You know how to pray.

If you’ve ever sent a text message, talked on the phone, or met a friend for lunch, you know how to pray. If you’ve ever composed an email or a FB post, if you’ve ever told a story, or spent a long enchanted evening looking into your sweetheart’s eyes, you know how to pray.

Do you ever get more than a little frustrated, as I do, with some Christian types who seem to so easily speak flowery spiritual-sounding phrases when they need to, and the rest of the time act anything but Christlike? A few King James phrases on Sunday morning or a memorized but thoughtless prayer at bedtime is not what it’s about.

Prayer is not a performance; it’s a conversation. And if you’re like the majority of people, you can do “conversation” just fine. Think of all the text messages, phone calls, Instagram pictures, Facebook updates, sticky notes, and emails you send and receive in an average day. And then there’s meeting with a friend for coffee, the long phone call with an old classmate, a girl’s night out for fun, or a guy’s evening at the game. And of course don’t forget the intimate gaze-into-your-eyes dinner for two. You know how to communicate!

Why not see prayer in the same way? If prayer for you is calling out a list of requests to Someone you don’t really believe is there, you’re missing what prayer is all about. There are many ways to communicate. Think of all the ways you communicate every day, and put them in the context of communicating with God.

God wants to hear from you. And He wants to be heard by you. That’s what prayer is really all about.

How about these prayers:

  • Send God a text message prayer: “That’s beautiful! Thank You!”, or “Ouch! Can You help me out here?”
  • Meet with God over coffee. Open your day together. Share your thoughts with Him, and hear His plans for today as well.
  • Gather a few friends and have a “God party.” Of course be sure to invite Him! Talk with Him together, and see what He might have to say to you together.
  • Do something with Him. Learn about Him enough to know something He would enjoy, such as feeding someone who’s hungry or telling someone about Him. Then do it, asking Him to do it with you.
  • Look for “notes” from Him: an unexpected flower, a Scripture that comes to mind, a friend who’s there at just the right time. Respond back: “Thank You. I’m thinking of You too!”
  • Call Him up and tell Him about a friend in trouble, in prayer. Talk together about how you might work together with Him to help that friend out.
  • Write a letter or journal to Him. Share what you’re thinking, what worries you, the questions you have, or however you hear Him responding to you.
  • Plan an intimate “dinner for two.” Carve out a couple hours where it’s just you and Him. Bare your soul to Him. Be silent and hear His heart for you, your future, and your world.
  • Cry. Liquid words can sometimes be the most eloquent. Next time your heart feels overwhelmed, whether it’s painful or joyous, let the tears roll – in His presence.
  • Look for a time and place when you will be undisturbed. It may be along a river, on a hillside, at the ocean, or in an inspiring church setting. Just BE together with Him. No words necessary.

I’m sure you can think of many different ways you communicate throughout the day; think of how each one of those ways can be analogous to a way in which you communicate with God.

He’ll be glad to hear from you!

Your Turn: How do you communicate with God? Do you sense Him communicating back to you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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