Every Friday morning, our church doors are open at 5:30 am for anyone who wants to come and pray. We pray for our city, our people, our church, and a myriad of other issues that may arise during our conversation with the Father. Today started just like most other Fridays. I would love to say that I jump right out of bed in the early morning hours, but that would be a long stretch of the truth. I usually have a convincing debate in my head, and begin to make up all kinds of excuses of why I deserve that extra hour of sleep. Nevertheless, I force-ably swing my legs over the side of the bed and just get moving.
I am never disappointed in the decision to get up and get moving. The times that we have in prayer are never the same, but always rewarding. This morning was a little unusual in the way that we started. There was about 30 minutes of people silently praying and meditating, sipping on coffee, and walking around the room. Others were sitting quietly by themselves, connecting with the Father in their own way.
When the silence finally broke, there were the encouraging words to stay focused on the things that God has asked us to do, to honor His word, to exalt His name…all really good things. I began to hear my prayer in my head, the same words that I have prayed in times past like; “Oh God, fill this place with Your glory.” and “Oh God, touch your people and help this church grow.”and “Oh God, please bless the works of our hands.” Then I stopped. I began to hear the words as if they were spoken out loud. It’s not that they were bad, or untrue, or wouldn’t sound good to the rest of the pray-ers in the room, it’s just that all of a sudden I imagined the Father sitting in the room with us. I thought, “Are these the words that I would really say to Him if He were here?” “Do these words even make sense?” “Am I treating my Friend like some magician to come and wave His magic wand and make things better?”
As I began to meditate on these thoughts, I realized that most of my prayers would sound ridiculous if I were speaking to Him as a friend. Where did this odd way of speaking come from? If He is truly with us, then He is really listening, and He wants to have a conversation with us. If I were to approach Him from this point of view; what would I say?
The odd religious words faded. The King James version rhetoric ceased. I was able to connect with Him as a friend, and I simply said, “Is your heart happy? Are you happy today? Are you pleased with what I am doing with my life, and the gifts that you gave me?” “Am I allowed to encourage You? The source of all encouragement? Do you like that? Is that OK?”
Things shifted for me this morning, and I could almost literally see Him smile and say, “Yes, I love what you are doing, I am pleased with your life. I love the way you are using your gifts. Nothing brings my heart more joy than to see you take risks for me, and trust me, and talk to me, and have adventures with me. I love that you ask questions, and that you are not afraid of not having all the answers. And yeah, I like to be encouraged. I am proud of you, and thanks for spending some time with me this morning.”
I’m not sure I have ever really connected to Him like that before. I’m not sure the church has. I think that we look at the Father as some distant icon, and need to address Him like an old English professor using words we wouldn’t normally use when speaking with our friends.
If you could connect with Him in this way, what would you say? You might be surprised at the reality of this truth. He is here, and we have total access to Him. You might be surprised at what you would talk about. Start a conversation with Him. Let’s see where it goes!