I have a special affinity for transparency. So with that being said, I was not birthed out of the womb as a great orator or gifted communicator, where later at five years old, I was rocking a toy mic impressing family members. It took some time encouragement and prodding from The Lord to get me to share His Word, and much faith in His confidence in me to go forward along with learning all I can on a journey towards excellence. Like Apostle Paul states in Philippians 3:12 NIV, I too say, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” I say all of this to say, communication, which involves much more than just words, on any level can be difficult, drawn out, & mundane, feeling like a job we wished we’d never taken… even in communication through prayer. Has prayer begun to feel like a chore, one that seems to not pay off as well as you thought it would? With a little more curiosity, an aim to grasp more than you could ever imagine, and Divine guidance, prayer can take you places in your life, charted and planned by your Creator, but at this moment not yet gleaned by you!
Conversations that feel like daily duty isn’t fun for anyone, especially to those who feel they don’t have the time, the “know how” to hold one, or people who prefer spontaneity instead of a set daily schedule. Thus we feel plagued with questions or comments like, “What do I say?” “I don’t seem to have the time.” “Bob’s got more important things to do.” “Sally seems so far away whenever I talk to her, like she’s not there.” Thus, inwardly this eventually builds a feeling of avoiding interaction because there seems to be no point. We know we should seem interested and polite, so we push ourselves to socialize anyway. It feels like something we have to do and not something we desire to do. But, what about when the other Person on the other end of the conversation with you is God? Jesus in Luke 18:1 ERV encourages His “… followers that they should always pray and never lose hope…”, but for some of us it seems to produce similar previously mentioned feelings and thoughts about Him. Not because God is unable to communicate with us. Not because The Father has nothing of interest or importance to say to us. For God is perfect and all-knowing in every way. More than likely it’s because we need to strive to become more engaged in conversing with Him through prayer in ways that bring us closer to Him, so we can realize that He genuinely is highly interested in participating in every area of our lives.
Jesus is closer than you think. He’s never left you, nor forsaken you. You only need to reach inside of you to stir His Spirit that resides within. More than five years ago, though I believed in God, He felt far away, like an out of sight, out of touch entity. Having accepted Christ into my heart as a tween, He was still with me, but I rarely recognized His presence and work in my life because I scarcely spoke nor returned a listening ear to Him as the years went by. Fizzle of fires of desire to talk to God can be avoided, by going deeper, keeping conversation interesting, and reciprocally giving God the chance to speak. One of my former pastors often said, “Prayer is our sincere desire to communicate with God.” The Lord’s provided the tool of prayer because He has a sincere desire to communicate with us! Using it can foster anticipation of spending time with Him as you would about speaking with a dear and cherished friend or a loving and doting parent with whom you enjoyably speak with each day.
Reel in the Real
Substance is essential to any strong relationship and the conversations within it. It is weighty, and it goes deep. It may be time for you to dive significantly further than what is seen or can be skimmed off the surface. Consider the ocean. That which is closest to the shore is much smaller than what is out in the deep sea. You’re able to catch bigger and heftier things that will yield greater and lasting returns. During prayer, are you staying close to the shore, snorkeling asking to see the pretty shiny little fish? Or, are you scuba diving to touch the things that really keep the heart of the sea beating? This is not to say praying for small things should stop; instead they should simply be part of a package with things in it that make a Big God speak a Word and dispatch Angels because He knows it’s something you absolutely need Him to help you do or receive!
Variety Sparks Spontaneity
As you begin to go deeper, not only will you have greater things in view, you also will see greater variety. You’ll begin to get a glimpse of things you’ve never seen before. Jeremiah 33:3 GWT says, “I made the earth, formed it, and set it in place. My name is the Lord. This is what the Lord says: Call to me, and I will answer you. I will tell you great and mysterious things that you do not know.” The ERV version of that same verse has “…Call to me…” translated as “…pray to me…” Variety keeps anything from feeling uninteresting or mundane.
You are equipped with a tackle box filled with tools! As part of the Armor God’s given you (see Ephesians 6:10-17 for the rest), you’re empowered to “… pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 NIV Just to name a few, some kinds of prayers, for yourself and others, can be for: Spiritual and National leaders; physical or emotional healing; thanksgiving to The Lord; guidance and protection for children; strengthening relationships; increased knowledge of God to learn His likes and dislikes; and much more! Including prayers of praise in advance, which is what I pray for you, right now, as God plans to cause the magnificent catches of your prayers to bite so you can reel them in!
In this message, you’ve been shipped out to fish in the depths of the ocean. With Christ in you, though having a special regular and quiet prayer place is a good idea, you can pray short or long prayers anywhere you go, in a whisper or aloud. It’s up to you. John 7:38-39 NIV says, “‘Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive…” The deep waters are within you! You carry His Spirit around everywhere you go, so you can also pray in a plethora of places! Spontaneity is also the spice of the abundant life gifted to you!
Follow the Captain
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27 NIV
On any deep sea fishing excursion, the route in which the things you most desire to get a hold of or see, needs to be planned. The ocean of life is wide vast and deep. Just as you can only see the corner of the world you’re in at any given moment, and yet view far away destinations in the pages of a magazine, you can only see the current part of your life with some glimpses in pictures of where you’d like to travel towards in the future. Someone who has the waters all mapped out is needed to guide you. As you take time to listen to Jesus and allow Him to lead you, you’ll find and catch those great and mysterious things He’s promised!
By any chance, if conversing with God seems to be falling, or have fallen, by the wayside, go back and pick it up again. You don’t need extraordinary gifts and talents, only the one and only Supernatural God. It’s the most peaceful, rewarding, and truly compelling bi-directional conversation to have with our Father in Heaven when you go a little further. Starting with the few thoughts, mentioned above, in mind can be the fuel that propels you forward into all that God has as Scripture states in 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10 NIV; “’What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love Him—these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” Greater awaits in the depths of the Living Waters, accessible through a diverse set of prayer tools, revealing more about who He is, who you are in Him, and the future in store for you! Reel in your blessings!