Someone to Talk To
If you have ever taught middle school or high school, you have probably been that “someone” a student could talk to. You may even be the type of person colleagues feel they can approach when they need a listening ear or sound advice. As human beings we all have an innate need to share our thoughts, needs, worries, and aspirations. I believe God made us this way on purpose. He placed in us a need to speak and a need to be heard.
Who is your “go-to” person when you need to talk? For me it would be my husband. Having been married 38 years, there is little we don’t talk about. While I know we have a strong marriage, I don’t tell him everything, and I suppose the same is true for him. Some thoughts are for me alone to ponder, buried deep within my protected bubble. I know I’m not alone in that regard. If you are like me, these safely guarded thoughts can easily create anxiety or take up way too much brain space! We simply need someone to talk to. We need someone who won’t be caught off guard by our innermost feelings or confessions.
I’m sure by now you have an idea of where I am going with this, and you would be correct. Yes, we should talk to God. Yes, we should pray. If you are a believer, you know this. Why then is prayer so hard for us to do consistently? Why do we shy way from talking to our Creator, the One who knows us better than anyone, loves us unconditionally, AND responds with mercy and grace no matter what we tell Him? (Jeremiah 1:5, Romans 5:8, Romans 8:28).
I wonder if we have inadvertently complicated prayer. As a little girl growing up in the church, prayer seemed pretty formal to me, and only the important people prayed out loud! Of course, like any other good church-going family, we always prayed before meals. Sometimes those prayers were organic, and other times we would recite or sing a familiar prayer. When it came to my personal life, prayer was pretty sporadic. I was uncertain about how I was supposed to pray. Surely there was a right and wrong way. For so long I never grasped the concept that prayer was simply our way of talking to God openly and honestly.
This past year I have spent a lot more time talking to God, and He is teaching me a few things. Prayer doesn’t have to be a formal recitation. Prayer doesn’t have to last a certain amount of time. Prayer doesn’t have to follow a pattern. Prayer doesn’t have to be perfect. Prayer is communication. Prayer is about relationship.
I’m reminded of Luke 5:16, “Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Jesus was in constant and conscious communication with his Father. God was His go-to, His lifeline, His someone to talk to. Jesus, in all his humanness, held tight to God through prayer.
It is so easy to be insecure about prayer. We all know we don’t pray enough, but when we do pray, we often wonder if we are doing it right. Should I be praising, repenting, petitioning, asking questions, or quoting scripture? Before we know it, prayer has become a legality instead of a sweet conversation with our loving Heavenly Father. God doesn’t want us to worry about what we say or how we say it. He simply wants to be our someone to talk to.
The Bible tells us through Jesus we can always approach God with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). He hasn’t put up barriers and established rules to keep us from His presence. We do that. Satan does that. Talking to God and with God was never meant to be hard.
Prayer gives us the perfect someone to talk to. When we pray, God…
· Listens (Psalm 66:18-19)
· Comforts (John 14:16)
· Guides (John 16:13)
· Convicts (John 16:8)
Who else can do this for us? No one. As the old hymn says, “No one satisfies my soul like Jesus.”
Don’t let your insecurities about prayer keep you from talking to God. Real relationships are built through constant and conscious conversation. God cares about every detail of our lives. Talk to him about it all, and talk to Him often! What are you excited about, worried about, and curious about? What questions do you have? What hurts need healed? Nothing is off limits.
While I believe it is important for all of us to regularly get alone with God in our own wilderness, our conversation with Him can happen anytime and anywhere. God isn’t limited by time and space. He is available 24-7! Let’s hold tight to God through prayer. Let’s make sure He is our someone to talk to!
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances for this is God’s will for those of you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18