Prayer (part 1): What can I say…

One thing I can’t stand is meaningless conversation or “small talk.”  If I have nothing to say to someone, I usually say nothing.  This usually results in a long awkward silence (for them) followed by an uncomfortable “Well…see ya later”.  For the ‘Dumb and Dumber’ fans out there I call this, the “big gulp” moment.  My wife hates when I do that to people, but I just can’t help it. 

Because of this personality flaw I struggle when it comes to prayer because I can recognize that I have nothing to say to God at most times due to the fact that he already knows what’s on my mind.  How do I talk to an omniscient God?  What do I say to Him that He doesn’t already know?  Perhaps I am over analyzing the interaction that takes place?  I feel like I should have something to say, but at the same time there are no words that seem right.  Should I be talking at all?  The silence isn’t near as awkward with Him because He is the strong silent type as well. 

I wonder how Jesus, being the Son of God, was able to pray.  Not only did He know that God knew the question, but He, Himself also knew the answer.  In fact Jesus spent hours just before He was taken away to be crucified praying a prayer that He knew the answer to.  He prayed so earnestly that His sweat was like drops of blood.  Perhaps I am not idealistic enough to understand this or perhaps I just don’t have a firm grasp on what prayer actually looks like.  I know all the church words that you hear in every long-winded prayer, but praying those over-used words seem to burn me out quickly.  I want my time talking to God to mean something. I want it to be special.  I don’t want it to be a time I set aside to be quiet.  I want it to be like a conversation with someone I love being around where I never want to leave.  I want it to look like I am with Him all day long, and we are inseparable.  I want my prayer life to look like…I am constantly abiding in Him.  

There will be more on this to come…

-jc

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4 responses to “Prayer (part 1): What can I say…

  1. Dearest,
    I love you. And you are very wise. But I need to point something out: while my God is DEFINITELY the strong type, He is anything but silent. Sometimes He shouts so loudly at me through His Word…or random wild flowers or even our precious sleeping baby (during those rare hours he actually does sleep)…that I am moved to tears, and at other times to my knees. Listen carefully – He wants to be heard and found by you, but also longs to hear your voice. It’s that whole “3 Purposes of Communication” thing – we’re not seeking to inform Him, because He already knows. It’s more about the method than the message: He longs for our undivided attention! It’s a lot like “fun” youth activities: I couldn’t care less about stupid towers made out of toothpicks and marshmallows, but I DO care about our youth talking and building relationships in the process, and maybe even learning something about each other in the process.

    Love,
    me.
    p.s. b/ refers to his wife as beautiful in his blog. why can’t you call me your beautiful wife in YOUR blog? hmmm?? (said in my best Lucy – from Charlie Brown – voice) I love you anyway. 🙂

  2. Dear beautiful wifey,
    I love you too. Thank you for your input. I am referring to His audible voice in dialogue as being typically silent. He has the ability to be loud, no doubt, but most of my dealings have been at a low decibel level. Sure the things that you mentioned can hit hard and leave an impact, but reading the word, and wild flowers, and SLEEPING babies all sound silent to me as well.

    ps – You will also notice that b/’s wife, k/, doesn’t comment on his blog to tell him she loves him, but that doesn’t mean she loves him any less. I am glad you do, because otherwise I would not receive many comments.

  3. ummm don’t have a title to give you and I doubt you have one to give me…so let me just say:

    Ever talk to someone when you know what they are going to say but you listen anyway? I am sure there will be moments when you long to have Jack tell you stuff you probably already know. Like when he did something wrong and confesses before you ask him about it. When he tells you about his friend’s birthday party that was so great but you were at and experienced every moment. When he tells you he loves you for the billionth time. It delights your heart, teaches you more about being a dad and about him being your son. I think God is like that. He knows what you are going to say but He wants to hear and experience that with you. I think Jesus spoke his heart in the garden because that was the MAN side of Him. He had to. He had to be renewed daily just like we do. I often wonder how much MAN was in that conversation and struggle more than the God side? (I’ll ask when I see Him)

    Our sit down “let me pray” often begins in the car (or truck) in the shower, the hunting stand, or wherever. Sometimes we hear silence when God is speaking to us everywhere, we just don’t notice because our world seems so busy and loud.
    In abiding in Him in those everyday moments, reading His word, and just interacting with Him we find our voice to our best friend, and sometimes we do find Him in silence.

    But I would guess to say that He would rather we flounder while we speak and long to find words that fit what we want to say or think more than for us to remain silent.

    that was a lot…sorry. thanks for the post…worth the wait.

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