Prayer life is one of the most basic things in Christianity, so why is it so hard?
A few years ago, I was driving up to North Dakota. From Kansas. It is all very flat. Which is super interesting for the first 20 minutes because you’re just amazed at how far you can see. But then you start looking for something else to do. Well, this was my second trip to North Dakota, so I came prepared. I brought along “Moving Mountains” by John Eldredge – the audiobook version. It’s a book about prayer and how you’ve been doing it wrong – ha – or maybe how you can be doing it better.
That book and this podcast – link – changed my life and my prayer life. So, I wanted to share with you some of the practices I still remember and use in my daily prayer life.
Hearing people don’t like silence. It makes them uncomfortable and so we often try to fill it with something – music, car noises, and one of the worst, our own voices. I am no different. But, I found that when I prayed, I talked the whole time. My favorite part about praying is that it is a conversation between me and Jesus. But when I talk the whole time, he doesn’t have a chance to talk to me. And when I don’t let him talk, I can’t hear him. And when I can’t hear him, I can’t get to know him. And when I don’t get to know him, I am just a lost sheep. “His sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” So, when you ask a question, wait for the answer. Get to know the shepherd’s voice so you can follow him when he calls.
2. Get Deeper
Think of your best friend. How do you talk to your best friend? Do you call your friend up and say, “Hey, I’ve been a little sick today and I really need to get better. Thanks.” Or do you say, “Hey, sorry I haven’t talked to you in a while, but I could use your help getting my car fixed.” No.
But that’s how I used to talk to Jesus. The one person – being – who knows me better than anyone else on the earth, in the universe and I talked to him like he was that friend of a friend who owned the only truck in town – “Hey, can you help me move a couch?”
When I talk to me best friend, I give her the full version – I leave nothing out. And I tell her what my heart actually feels. And I do it often. Talk to Jesus, then go deeper – what’s actually in your heart? You won’t surprise him.
It took me years to learn how to ride a bicycle on my own. I’m still working on learning the piano. I’ve had every class that KU has to offer in ASL, I lived in a Deaf house, and I continue to talk to Deaf people. Why? Because practice is at the base of everything I do. So, why do I feel like practicing talking to Jesus is weird? I didn’t take my training wheels off the first day I got a bike. In fact, I asked my dad to take them off, tried to ride my bike, fell, left my bike in the grass for a week, then took my bike back to my dad to have him put the training wheels back on.
I start small. I share one secret. I ask one thing. I wait for an answer. Then I ask another small thing. Then I build my way up to, “Jesus, what do I do with my life?” I don’t start with that. One easy test to practice if you hear Jesus – ask him if he loves you. If you hear, “no” or “kinda” or “sometimes” that’s not him. So, you can ask again. “Jesus, do you love me?” Until you hear the resounding – “YES!”
Jesus wants to talk to you. And your heart wants to talk to him.
What’s something you’ve been learning about prayer? Leave a comment below!
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