Monday, June 30, 2014

Why Do We Pray? Part One

Understanding More About Our Conversations With the Lord

I was listening to a radio show the other day and they were discussing reasons Christians pray. New Christians pray because they are taught to and to ask God for things (in many instances, but not always), and often get angry early in their walk because God didn't answer the way they wanted Him to. 
Christians a few years into their relationship with the Lord begin to see that the Lord has only good things in store for them and come to understand that prayers answered in ways other than our ideas or plans are God's way of letting us know He has something better in store.
But Christians long established in their faith and relationship with Jesus feel it is a necessity, almost like checking in with a loved one on a daily basis and often several times a day. That relationship is fostered and grows because the Christian spends time with the Lord getting to know Him, getting to know His plans and the true nature of His heart.

Just as friends who stay in touch over the years can know that they can call on each other in times of need or to just spend the night while traveling, so we can know that God is there when we call on Him. When your friend calls you, even if you have a ringtone specific to her and have her number saved in your Favorites, you know your friend by her voice. So we learn to know the voice of the Father the more we spend "talking" to Him in our prayer time.
One of the reasons we pray is to learn to hear God's voice. It may sound like your own voice, your pastor's voice (that often happens with me!) or it might not sound like any other voice you've heard. But it will become more and more familiar the more time we spend talking and then (this is one I'm currently working on!) LISTENING to His reply and ACTING on what He's said.
His voice might catch you as you're walking out the door: deodorant. I heard it plain as day yesterday before we left for a family drive in the mountains. I looked at the small deodorant tube on my desk and shook it off. I left the deodorant sitting there. When we had been driving for a while, we stopped for a potty break (does anyone travel with kids and NOT stop?!). While in the bathroom, my older daughter commented that she needed deodorant because she had forgotten to put some on in the morning. Had I listened and ACTED on what I heard, I could have pulled that tube out of my purse and she could have used it right then and there. I knew immediately that I had heard and missed my opportunity to act on what He told me.
So what does deodorant have to do with listening to God? Well, just to point out that even in the small things in our lives, He talks to us to remind us He's there, watching out for all areas of our lives. To speak, have us listen, and then act on what He's said.
If you're like me and you feel you missed an opportunity to act on what God has said, don't beat yourself up about it. There will be other things He will tell you and you will be able to listen and act at another time. The more you listen and act, the more familiar His voice will be to you!


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