Prayer: Living in a Conversational Relationship With God
“Conversational” prayer focuses on worship of our Savior, intercession for ourselves and others, confession of sin, and thankfulness to God. As in a normal conversation between friends or family members, no one person monopolizes the discussion, but each one contributes a few sentences at a time.
Bottom-line: How can I begin or deepen a conversational relationship with God?
Something To Talk About:
Conversational prayer recognizes that prayer is dialogue, conversing in prayer not only with God but also with others present. As we pray, we invite and expect the Holy Spirit to be praying with us as well.
- Personal: I live in a conversational relationship with God: When you have a conversation with people who have an intimate, personal relationship with God, you realize there is something more, a deeper level to their relationship with God. Being close to God means communicating with Him–telling Him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what He is saying to us. God wants to have that kind of a conversational relationship with us? God continues to speak to His people today and having a conversational relationship with God will assist us in seeking guidance for very specific circumstances in our lives. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but that can also be so difficult. Conversational prayer cannot be only us talking to God.
- Praise: I live in awe of God: Have you ever taken a moment and tried to consider the greatness of God? Maybe you’ve thought about what God has done in the Bible, in your own life or the life of someone you know. Psalm 145:3 says “…No one can measure his greatness.” As human beings, we cannot even begin to comprehend the full extent of the glory of God and His greatness. Hebrews 12 encourages reverence and awe. Being in awe of God implies that we have a respect toward Him as well as an attitude of worship and admiration.“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29 NIV).
- Purpose: I commit myself to doing God’s will: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act” (Psalm 37:5 ESV). Committing our decisions—and lives—to God means taking a step back from what we think we want and honestly contemplating what God wants us to do. It means taking our successes, failures, plans, and questions to God in prayer every single day—not just “the big stuff.” It means seeking out answers from God through the Bible and trusted Godly counsel that help us make decisions based on what is in line with God’s will. God promises to establish our plans, to put the right plans for us in our hearts when we go all in—commit to Him every day. By the way, commitment doesn’t mean perfection; it just means giving your best every day, trying your hardest to do what is right and walk away from what is not.
- Persistence: I continue coming to God: Persistent prayer is not giving up. Persistent prayer is standing in faith that God will answer your prayer. It never stops until it receives God’s answer. God honors persistent prayer because persistent prayer honors God. Persistent prayer is a confession that I will seek what I need only from the hand of God. When I bring my need to Him, I am saying that He is the source of all I need. The persistent prayer says, “I will look to God for this need. I will continue to look for His supply, and I will continue to pray until God answers me. I don’t pray until something happens, I pray until God answers.” Persistent prayer honors God by confessing that He is my supply and He will answer my prayer on His timetable. Persistent prayer is a statement of faith that my loving God will answer my prayer and reveals my commitment.
- Provision: I ask God to meet my daily needs: “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Paul was speaking from experience. He had faced almost every need imaginable. He was thrown in prison, faced persecution, and suffered at the hands of those who hated him. But God had faithfully met Paul’s needs every step of the way. God had never let him down. God promises to meet our every need. God already knows what we’ll need, and He promises to meet our needs. God will be with us every step of the way, providing for us in ways that only God can. “God meets daily needs daily. Not weekly or annually. He will give you what you need when it is needed.” – Max Lucado.
- Pardon: I ask God to forgive my sins: Asking God to forgive your sins is an important process. It is important that you admit what you did wrong and truly feel sorry that you did it. You must come to God and ask Him to forgive you. Then you must believe that He has. After you are forgiven, work on leaving sin behind and living a new life. And as we bare forgiven we need to forgive others. Pray that we may grow in consideration, empathy, grace, and forgiveness.
- People: I pray for other people: “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them” ( 1 Timothy 2:1). In the midst of His greatest trial, Jesus prayed fervently. He prayed, not only for Himself but for His disciples and for us (John 17:18-21). Jesus did not just focus inward, but by His words and His prayers interceded for others. Have you ever felt an unexplained burden on your heart to pray for those who are far from the heart of God in your community or the world at large? There are many ways to love our neighbor, but intercessory prayer—praying on behalf of other people—is surely one of the most powerful.
- Protection: I ask for protection and direction: As followers of Christ, we can go through life with confidence and security because we have a Protector who is faithful and strong. Psalm 121:5–8 provides us with this encouragement: “The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” That doesn’t mean we won’t face challenges or suffer loss, but when we do, we can trust God is with us, and with His comfort, strength, and peace, we can keep moving forward.
- How do you describe conversational prayer?
- Is prayer a challenging discipline for you?Why or why not?
- Why do you think people struggle with prayer today? What obstacles keep us from taking everything to God?
- What is your motivation to talking to God?
- How does prayer unite us with one another?
- How does reframing prayer as an ongoing conversation with God help you rethink what prayer looks like in your own life? How can we determine if our prayer life is a real two-way conversation?
- How does your prayer life reflect how much you want to understand God’s plan for your life?
- What are some next steps that you need to take in your prayer life?
- Have you seen God work through your intercessory prayers?
- Have you experienced a blessing in your life as a result of someone interceding in prayer for you?
Take One Thing Home with You:
Prayer is your opportunity to talk with God and should not be avoided. How can you get close to someone if you don’t communicate with them? Make and spend time alone with God, without distraction. James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” There’s no better feeling than being close to God. In fact, God is one big step closer than anyone else ever can be; He’s there in you. He’s there in the room with you. And when you sit in that meeting with a customer, and your mind is working a million miles an hour trying to understand problems and develop solutions without resources and in spite of office politics, He is there. When family problems mount, He is there. In the toughest moments in life, we can have the incredible, indescribable joy and peace because God is in that place. Jesus wants to guide our way through life, but we have to be willing to let Him. We don’t need an international mobile phone to talk to God; we can talk anytime, anywhere, because He is there. We can ask for advice, help, guidance, wisdom and then trust that He will guide and lead us in the way we should go.