This is my favorite part! In the past 30 years, I have learned to do one thing right and that is I have learned how to communicate with God. When I was first seeking God, as I shared in my testimony in Part III, I learned how to throw out a lot of religious practices and did it my own way without all those religious trappings. I want to share some of what I learned, what to do and what not to do. I hope I can give you some insights to being intimate with God.
God is a Person
I shared that God is a person in my last article but I wanted to go over it again. This concept is huge and it is where most people mess up. Again, God is a person and if we take away all the religious trappings, and approach Yahweh, as you would any other person, you will go a lot further. I have a feeling most people believe they have to approach God as in the scene from the “Wizard of Oz.” In that scene there is a loud intimidating voice with smoke and flames coming up, then Dorothy squeamishly goes forward to meet the great Oz. However, we do not have to approach God in such an intimidated manner. The Bible gives us a much better way to approach God.
With today’s technology, we should have no problem understanding prayer. We are the generation with Skype, Messenger, What up apps, and Facebook to name a few. We certainly should understand how to communicate via long distance. Today we can chat instantly with anyone around the world, even if you cannot see them or hear them.
Well, that big religious word “prayer” simply means to communicate with God. That is all it means and yet we unnecessarily complicate it in the church and the world. Please do not get me wrong there are different types of prayers written in the Bible, but for our purposes here I want to simplify it as much as possible. The reason for that is if you do not get this one down, the rest is useless or will lead you to some religious bondage that will only frustrate you in the long run.
Another big mistake people make is thinking prayer is a monolog. That it is a one-way street, or it is some pre-learned prayer, we recite over and over again. Prayer is a dialogue, which means it is a two-way conversation.
We are not designed to do all the talking. God would love to speak, but most of the people I have watched only say their part and then they are gone out the door. That leaves God sitting there wanting to answer, but those praying are already gone. So to speak we have already hung up the phone.
This is the biggest reason so many in the church have never heard Him. They rattle off their wish list or petitions and say in the name of Jesus and then hang up. God is on the other end saying; “hello, hello, well they must have hung up, and I was going to share with them about their request.” So we go through life believing either God does not answer our prayers or believing that hearing God is only for the super-elite Christians. Let me share how I heard God even before I asked Jesus into my life and became born-again.
So all prayer is communication – a two-way dialogue. The bible tells us to “pray without ceasing.” When a religious person hears that, they automatically think that it is a lot of work and dedication. They think they need to dedicate their life to prayer. They think it will take years to learn how to stay in the mode of prayer. Let me reassure you, it does not. Think about when you used to talk for hours on the phone with your new boyfriend or girlfriend. Think about how much time we spend on text messages? We can spend hours on those things, if we think the person on the other end is worth it. Let me share this, GOD IS WORTH IT AND HE LOVES TO TALK TO YOU ALL THE TIME!!!
When I pray, if you could hear me, you would think I was talking to my best friend. Othertimes it might sound as if I was talking to my dad. Then there are times I just include Him in my day while riding in the car, at the mall or at a restaurant when I am alone and I want someone to talk to. Do not get me wrong, I am not nuts and I do not sit there talking aloud to an empty chair.
If you read my last article, I shared that during the evening of June 10 I first talked to God in the physical realm. Later that evening, God told me to go and sleep in my broken down Mustang. As I sat there and tried to fall asleep, I began to talk to Him about how to fix my car and how to find a place to live. To make a long story short, every time I asked God for something, even something as simple as the need for a blanket, one showed up. Then I said I needed some money to get my car fixed and at 3 o’clock in the morning a woman I knew knocked on my car window and gave me a blanket and lent me enough money to get a car part.
As God began working mysteriously in my life, I was so happy that I thought all I needed now is a vehicle to go get that car part. The same woman who gave me the blanket and cash, now showed back up and offered me her car. The next day I bought the part and the car was fixed but I was still homeless.
I then went to the Lord and asked what am I to do with my homeless situation. God said,”I was to humble myself and reconcile things with my sister. I then went to her house and knocked on her door and she hugged me so hard because she thought I had gone back to drinking. We finally became reconciled that day. Later that day I told God, “I need to sell my stereo, so I can relocate from my home town and get a new life started.” Within one hour a friend called and asked; “if I was still interested in selling my stereo.” I sold it to Him that day.
Ever since that day I have been talking to God. There are times I do the talking and there are times He begins talking to me about my life. There are also times that I have even had a passing thought on something and I would share these with God. If I needed something, it would show up. I figured out later on that God knew and heard my thoughts and prayers. God let me know that He wanted to bless me.
Our Daily Bread
God taught the Israelites, who just started out with him in the desert, an important lesson;
They were to gather manna once a day and only for that day except for the Sabbath. They were not to collect a weeks worth, or a months worth because it would spoil. God wants us to learn that we need to come to him for a fresh provision every day. So many Christians think they can go collect their manna and their other spiritual needs only on Sunday, instead of meeting with God daily.
I have heard so many say on Sunday; I need to go to church to recharge for another hard week. You do not need to recharge if you stay plugged in all week. Then they wonder why their life is spoiled and rotten and nothing seems to flow right in their week. If your life moves like a rusted joint, then oil it every day. When Jesus taught us to pray He said we are to ask for our daily bread not our weekly bread!
Intimacy with God is not going to happen with a quick cup of coffee and a donut as you rush off to work or drop off the kids at school, and then think you’re going to get your prayer time in as you fight traffic. I know what you’re thinking, I am so busy! Jesus was busy too! Jesus taught, preached and healed whole towns full of sick and demon possessed people and in addition fed the masses. He also walked everywhere He went, but every morning, He got up and spent time with God before “every man wanted to see Him”
The Prayer Closet