Jesus is a member of my family. I freely talk to Him every day. My son and daughter talk to Him like He’s their best friend. My grandchildren have already learned and continue to learn about having a personal relationship with Him. From time to time, we share what we’ve heard or the results of having put into action what He said, but mostly we simply live our lives in contact with Him. We don’t apply our reasoning abilities or our logical thinking to our conversations with Him. Our prayers are heart to heart communications.
Of course, we know He already knows everything, but He expects us to treat Him like He is our Dad and explain to Him in detail our dreams, our hurts, our needs, our joys, etc. Sometimes just in the explanation we discover wisdom, and suddenly we know what to do. Sometimes while praying we discover His solutions, and we trip right over into thanksgiving. Sometimes we appreciate the fact that He is concerned with us, and that He wants to perfect that which concerns us, and the peace that passes all understanding fills our hearts and mind.
God likes prayers that are explicit and come to the point. Before I gave myself to Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, I used to use prayer to ask questions or make requests, and I never waited for the answer. Then I discovered that prayer is a two-way conversation. He talks; I listen. I talk; He listens. He can be a regular chatterbox! He loves to communicate with His children. It takes time to formulate my thoughts and to listen to His, but every bit of time spent is well worth the effort.
He also likes it when we pray for other people. The greatest gift we can give to another person is the gift of prayer. It doesn’t matter where that person is. We don’t have to be praying for them face to face; they could be on the other side of the world, but the minute we pray for them, they are touched by God. The greatest form of evangelism is to go door to door with a little team of three and ask if there is anyone in the house who would like to receive prayer.
If we want to receive answers to our prayers, they must be specific. General prayers are like general sunshine. It’s warming, it feels good, but does it change anything? Whereas a laser beam is beneficial beyond belief! Our prayers must touch the very heart of what we are praying about. The best way to find the heart is to ask the Lord how He wants this issue prayed for. What are His recommendations? Then we pray specifically for that! Most of us do not receive because we do not ask for specific things.
The devil bubbles with mirth when we are too busy to pray. He doubles over with laughter when we pray according to what we think or what we devise. But when we pray aright, first asking God how to pray and for what to pray, the devil shakes all over with fear. When we come boldly before the throne of God (that’s where true prayer takes place), Satan runs away. We place our inability in the lap of God who has all ability, and then miracles happen. At least what we call miracles, because in God’s realm the way He handles our prayer requests is simply everyday life in the Kingdom of God, not miracles.
Let me remind you of an old-time hymn:
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
If we have invited Jesus to live in our hearts, we can have this intimate type of conversation with Him anytime we want. We don’t have to say one word out loud. Inward conversation is heard by Him and responded to by Him. We can even sing to Him in the quiet of our inner being. I like to dance with Him that way. On various occasions, He has mentioned we would dance around the world, and so I rehearse with Him inside. I believe I am praying for other nations and citizens of other nations while we are spiritually swirling across them in the spiritual realm.
Let me quote Corrie ten Boom:
“What wings are to a bird and sails to a ship, is prayer to the soul.