The Best Conversation I’ve Ever Had: How to Stay Connected to God
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a toddler who was in the middle of going somewhere? They will do just about anything to circumvent you and keep doing the thing they set out to do. The toddler will is one of the greatest forces on planet Earth.
Sometimes I am like that toddler in relation to God.
He’s removing the dangerous obstacles in my path. He’s trying to get down to eye level and have a deep conversation, and I’m like “Things to do, people to see, move it along!”
In order to mature, I must stop and listen and regularly change my course against my own free will. Possibly one of the hardest things for humans to do.
This brings us to week 3 of The 5-Week Daily Practice series.
Read week 1 or week 2.
Find the 8-minute podcast version here.
The Never-ending Conversation
Is there anything new I can say about prayer? Probably not. But I would like to reframe it a little for us.
Think for a moment about your past experiences with prayer. What has it looked like? Was it only for special occasions? Formal or informal? Powerful or more like a rote exercise? Personal? Those experiences shape how we experience prayer now.
Sometimes when we confine prayer to specific contexts and mechanisms, we miss out on the fullness of God’s intent. For the Daily Practice, I want us to think about prayer as a never-ending conversation.
From the beginning of Creation we see that God is relational. He speaks to his people as well as listening to them, not just in religious settings but in the everyday moments of their lives. We see that He is the still small voice, as well as the signs and wonders. He communicates in a variety of ways, but closeness has always been his end game.
Prayer is not just a hotline for our needs, but a conduit for us to be in relationship with God.
It was never meant to be a chore or a last resort. It was just us in conversation with our Father. In the process of that never-ending conversation we are utterly changed – healed, matured, directed, loved, forgiven, filled, empowered. And our needs are continually met by Him.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV
How can we pray continually and also do life? Only if we integrate prayer with our thought life. If our hopes and dreams become prayers, if our frustrations become prayers, if our concerns about the future become prayers.
This week, maybe we won’t even use the word “prayer” if it automatically puts us into a more formal, less relational context. Instead we will converse all day with God, who wants to hear from us. We will intentionally direct our thought life in his direction.
One of the practical ways I integrate prayer into my day is just by talking to Him first thing in the morning while I’m still in bed as if He’s sitting beside me. “Hey God, good morning.” And I mentally turn my heart toward Him and open myself up to Him leading me through the day instead of me doing things my way. This very quick, small shift can have big implications for the rest of the day.
God, help me to become more aware of You and your presence and dialogue with you throughout the day. Clear away any doubts or fears that keep me from deep relationship with You and draw me closer each day. Amen.
How do you integrate prayer into the little moments of your life? How do you remind yourself to pray?
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10 Morning Prayer Cards: A free download from author Rachael Adams to make your mornings more meaningful.
5 Prayers to Win the Battle Over Anxiety: from Somer Colbert and the Ahavah in our Hearts Community.
My Morning Routine: 10 minutes of journal prompts that help you release your worries and fears, put on gratitude, and center your mind on truth.