A thought just came to me: I talk to my mom far more than I talk to God. That is not okay.
Now, I will say I talk to God daily. Some days more than others. I have the bad habit of calling on God most when I need Him to move immediately in my life, or when I’m recognizing something He’s done and praising Him for doing so. Aside from those moments, I rarely just take the time to call on my Heavenly Father and “shoot the breeze” the way I do with my mom here on Earth.
Here’s a typical day’s interactions between God and me:
I wake up in the morning and say, “Thank you, Lord. Forgive me, Lord. Keep me, Lord.” That’s it. In those three sentences I acknowledge that God has allowed me to see another day, ask His forgiveness since I know I have and will fall short, and ask Him to continue to stay with me throughout my day. In three short sentences I cover all of that… Then I proceed to call my mom (usually from the toilet, if I’m being candid) and spend far longer going over both of our agendas for the day and covering anything that may have occurred since we last spoke the night before.
Throughout the day I’ll let out an occasional “Lord, keep me”, “Thank you, Jesus”, and my personal favorite “Jesus Lord” (that one is universal and covers just about anything). They’re unplanned. They just happen.
Before bed I thank God for getting me through another day and I go on to sleep.
Amidst these brief interactions with my Lord and Savior, I must call my mom 15 or more times. I call her in the morning from the toilet. Then I call her when I think of something funny as I’m leaving class. Then I call her when I wake up from a nap to let her know just how exhausted I must’ve been. The list goes on. I find any reason in the world to call my mom, almost always disrupting her in some way, and talk about absolutely nothing. Yet throughout the day I say less than maybe 100 words to God, who is never too busy and always more than willing to listen to me… Interesting.
I spent just about all of today and yesterday watching a video series God directed me to on YouTube titled “Relationship Goals”. I’ll write a separate post on that later once I rewatch the sermons and look deeper into the scripture for myself. Pastor Mike delivers amazing messages though, and has dominated my attention. Anyway, when my iPad died maybe 30 minutes ago, I thought to myself: it’s been a while since I sat down for long enough to not only talk to God but to also listen. When I’m blurting out or mumbling quick acknowledgments of or requests to Him, I’m not taking the time to hear what He has to say to me. So rather than grab my charger for the iPad or pull the video up on my laptop (that I’m now typing this post on because, no, I still haven’t grabbed that charger) I closed my eyes and began to pray.
In starting off, it always seems I’m praying the same 3-step prayer, but a conversation with Him is never the same. Each conversation is different because every time I go to Him I am different. I have a different need, a different appreciation, etc. There’s always something new for me to say to Him and there’s always a new word for Him to give back to me. My relationship with God is ever-growing. One of the things I’m asking God for now is to help me talk with Him. I know how to pray. That isn’t my problem. My problem is I don’t make enough time to do so. I don’t make it a priority. I don’t think to pray half as often as I think to pick up my phone and call my mom. That is a problem. So I’m asking God to help me call on Him more. More importantly, when I do call, I’m asking that He help me to listen. So often my conversations with God are one-sided, not because He has nothing to say, but because I’m cutting His time short when I’m done speaking and not actually listening. In order for God to really move in my life the way I want Him to, I need to be listening, and I know that if I ask He will help me be better at it. So that’s that. I’m praying about praying.
Now, there is no way to pray. There’s no formula. God knows our hearts. He knows what we’re trying to say in any way we figure out how to say it. For the sake of this post, however, I’ll list my way below. Thank. Repent. Request.
Jade’s Three-Steps and a Conclusion:
- “Lord, I come to you as humbly as I know how to say ‘thank you’. I thank you for all you’ve done for me and all you continue to do.” Then I go into detail. I thank Him for how He’s kept and blessed me and my family, for how He’s allowed me to do X, Y, and Z and given me the strength to stay focussed on my journey, etc. I thank Him for every last thing that comes to mind because He is the reason for it all.
- “Lord I ask that you forgive me of my sin- those known and unknown, those in omission and commission, those in thought and in deed.” I acknowledge that I know I’m a sinner and ask Him to continue working on me. I ask Him to help me live a life that’s pleasing unto Him (that I list off specifically because the Lord and I both know I fall into some of the same habits over and over again). There are so many areas of life where I know I can do better and be better as long as I have the desire to and ask for His assistance. I reallllyyyyy take my time with that one.
- Then I transition into asking for continued blessings. Those I won’t list here. Those are the people, things, goals, and even ideas that are most important to me at that given time.
- “In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.”
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Ephesians 6:18 NIV
We should all learn to talk with God. We’ll be made better for it.
– Jade M Ernest