Observing National Day of Prayer: Six lessons I've learned about speaking to God
It's in that space that we speak and feel our deepest desires, longings, hopes, thoughts, regrets. Breaking through, we reach God, we discover what's in our heart that we may not even have realized — and we pour it out. We pass through the center of the hourglass.
That's where we feel the connection, we know we have been heard and received and we are changed by the very engagement with God. We are filled with peace. We get up and we know he will also provide answers; we are changed whether or not our circumstances immediately are. We know they will be touched by his hand. We move forward in faith, expectantly. We can move about anxiety-free. I believe that. I know that to be true.
5. Crying out is not synonymous with praying
I thank the gospel writers and Bill Gothard, who wrote about this, for driving this home. I love Psalm 107. When those afflicted cried out vocally — in all types of circumstance, hardship or vulnerability, represented by the four descriptions in this psalm — deliverance and answers came in a significant and notable way (“The Power of Crying Out," 2002). I cry out more.
6. Prayer: get real, just sayin’
Prayer isn't or shouldn't be ritualistic, flamboyant, artificial or disconnected from real and present struggles and circumstances. This is something I've felt for a long time, since coming to know God in 1980. Praying is not “saying a prayer." It's talking with God, anywhere, in any sincere way, though he has given us a template to assist us.
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