Talk to God!
People “pray” all the time these days! But who are they praying to and what are they praying about? When you are praying, God is listening … and He will answer. Is it important to you? The dictionary actually defines prayer as, “An act of communion with God, or another object of worship, such as in devotion, confession, praise, or thanksgiving.” Hmm … Does it seem to you that the people you know are “communing” with God? Are they praying with “devotion”? Prayer is when we take the time to talk with God! The God of the Universe! The God who created you! The God who has all of the answers to all of life’s questions!
Suppose you were having lunch with a friend one day and your cell phone rang.
You answer and an unfamiliar voice calls out your name.
You ask, “Who is this?”
The response? “I’m your Heavenly Father. I’m calling to talk with you because you’re my child … and I haven’t heard from you for awhile!”
What would your reaction would be? Would you feel special ... scared ... excited ... nervous ... convicted? What thoughts would you have?
A:___________________________________________________Prayer for the Christian is really a conversation with God!
But the “conversation” can be a little tricky, because sometimes it feels like a one-way deal:
Us talking and God listening. It takes a measure of sensitivity to hear God’s responses back to us!
What has been your experience of prayer at this point in your life?
God wants you to know Him so well that you will always feel like talking to Him … even when you sin. Prayer is one of the most incredible privileges we have. We actually are invited to come directly into God’s presence and talk with Him about whatever is on our hearts. And He promises to listen!
Prayer is when we take the time to talk with God...The God who has all of the answers to all of life's questions.
When you invited Jesus into your life, you began a relationship with God that is very personal and intimate. All relationships need good
communication to be healthy. Jesus’ death for you on the cross made it possible for you to talk directly with your Father in heaven. Your Father wants you to seek his guidance, comfort, peace, and intimate companionship at all times … not just when you want things. He actually desires your companionship!
Dan DeHaan in his book, The God You Can Know, was hard at work in his office one day when his son opened the closed door, came in and sat down quietly. Dan asked, “What do you want?” The boy said “I didn’t want anything, I just wanted to be with you.” He didn’t want money, he didn’t want to go out that night, he didn’t want help with his homework. “No,” he said, “I just wanted to be with you.” Have you ever felt that way about God? We so often just barge into His presence, reel off our selfish list of wants and take off!
What thoughts do you have about just “being” with God?
A:___________________________________________________Prayer is a dialogue between two persons who love each other. It is a means God uses
to give you what He wants for you. God does not just respond to your prayers,
He responds to you as a person. W. B. Hunter in his book, The God Who Hears, said
“Prayer is not a blank check which can be cashed for anything we have enough faith for
… we must learn to want what we get!”
Why pray? The Bible is filled with reasons and promises regarding our conversation with God:
- God wants us to pray (Colossians 4:2)
- God is listening (Jeremiah 29:12)
- God answers our prayers (Isaiah 65:24)
- God wants an intimate relationship with us (James 4:8)
- God wants to bless us (Matthew 7:11)
- God wants to meet our needs (Hebrews 4:16)
- God wants us to be protected (Matthew 26:41)
- God wants to conform our perspectives, desires,
and will to be like Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:12)
- God’s kingdom is built through prayer (Matthew 6:33)
As you look as this list, which reason for prayer is most important to you today?
Our relationship to God is as a child to a parent!The act of prayer is to have fellowship with our Father! Prayer is sharing your heart with your Heavenly Father, who desires a relationship with you! Relating to Him as your loving Father prevents legalism, fear, a critical spirit, or jealousy. An incorrect concept of God will bring forth an incorrect response to Him. It is important to see Him as He is!When you pray you have the incredible privilege of talking with the King of the Universe! You can actually know Him and have His guidance and protection made real to you. Our lack of influence and fruitfulness is primarily because we don’t really believe that God can and will act on our behalf!
What motivates you to pray?
Prayer is the natural result of meaningful time in the Scriptures where God reveals Himself to you. It is there we learn that God wants us to think of Him as our “Father.” That term is applied to God 189 times in the Gospels (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) alone! Prayer is one way God reveals His will to us, and where personal battles and battles for others are won.
Jeremiah 33:2-3 says, “This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own’”(The Message).
What do these verses tell you about your part in talking with God?
James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask” (NASB).
What kinds of things do you think God wants you to ask Him for?
Because Almighty God is our Heavenly Father and He wants us to talk to Him.
Prayer is not end in itself, but the means used to know and develop intimate fellowship with God! The Holy Spirit helps us pray. Faith makes our prayers effective. God’s Word teaches us who God is and how to pray. Prayer is the means whereby God moves in the accomplishment of His mighty operations on the earth. We can’t fully understand this enormously important concept, but we can believe it.
The Bible records many specific, detailed examples of prayer making a difference in the real world. It is the major means of becoming a fruitful witness for Christ. Someone once said, “The divine order is first to talk to God about men, and then to talk to men about God.”
When you are praying, God is listening … and He will answer. Take time to listen for His response–through His Word, through other people, through an idea or thought brought to mind by the Holy Spirit. Pay attention to God’s answers!
How can you begin to incorporate a conversation with God into your life every day?
Related Lessons From Series Two: Empowered by Christ
Pray with Confidence
We serve a great God! And that great God loves us unconditionally and wants what is best for us! God is your perfect Heavenly Father and you can pray with confidence knowing that He is listening and will answer your prayers!
Different Ways to Pray
We can pray in many ways! The important thing is to take time to be still with God. Enjoy His presence. Allow Him to speak quietly to you. Let the Holy Spirit fill you. Take time to be with Him every day.