Do You See Prayer as a Conversation?

"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." - Col 4:2 ESV.

Prayer is supposed to be our connection to the divine. It's a dialogue between us and our Creator, a profound exchange of words, emotions, and desires. Prayer transcends religious boundaries, offering solace and guidance to both believers and non-believers alike. As the renowned theologian C.S. Lewis aptly put it, "I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God; it changes me."

Prayer takes on various meanings and forms, each offering a unique connection to the divine. At its core, prayer is a conversation. It's our way of communicating with God, sharing our thoughts, worries, and gratitude. Imagine it as a heartfelt chat with an old friend, where honesty flows effortlessly. Communication is the heartbeat of prayer, and as the great writer Mark Twain observed, "Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart."

But prayer is not just about talking; it's a two-way street, an exchange of thoughts and emotions. God listens and responds, not always in words, but in ways that resonate with our hearts. This divine exchange, though often mysterious, can bring profound clarity and comfort as well as intimacy. The intimacy part should not come as a surprise since it is through conversation that two parties get to know each other better and therefore enhancing understanding and finally respect.

Just as prayer has different meanings, there are various ways to pray. Some opt for long, extended prayers that span hours, immersing themselves deeply in the divine presence. These marathon sessions are akin to a spiritual journey, where one explores the depths of their soul and God's boundless love. Others prefer short, purpose-driven prayers. These are like quick text messages to the heavens, sent before meals, before retiring to bed, upon waking, or in moments of crisis. These prayers serve as a lifeline, connecting us to the divine in the hustle and bustle of life.

Then there are continuous prayers, like a soft, steady rhythm throughout the day. These short, frequent conversations with God mimic an ongoing dialogue, much like exchanging pleasantries with a close friend throughout the day. These moments of connection remind us that God is not distant, but ever-present. The frequency also allows us to immerse in the exchange much like what we normally do with those who are close to us or those who are always with us. 

Prayer is not a mere ritual; it's a catalyst for change. It has the power to reshape our circumstances, aligning them with divine purpose. As God answers our petitions, something is bound to change and we can expect that change to bring about good. But more than good, we know that the bible also mentions miracles. The expression, "a prayer that can move mountains" isn't a figment of imagination. 

But perhaps the most exquisite facet of prayer is the intimacy it fosters with God. In these moments of conversation, where we lay aside our petitions and simply commune with the divine through what they call wordless prayers. This happens when our message to God is expressed in tears or groanings of the soul. Despite its unusual form, we still experience a closeness with God that transcends words. It's a closeness that comes from mutual knowledge and understanding as well as for being participants in a shared experience. 

So, embrace the power of prayer. Let it be your conversation with the divine, your lifeline in times of need, and your path to personal transformation. As you engage in this timeless practice, you will find that it doesn't change God; it changes you. For maximum effect, follow what the bible admonishes: Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.