A loving conversation

I am wrestling with writing a two-hour workshop on prayer.

It’s an overwhelming task.  So much has been written on prayer and there are so many viewpoints.

So, I’ve decided to be selective.  I have decided to choose a theme or storyline – a spine on which to hang the skeleton of the prayer workshop.

In my eyes, prayer is a loving conversation with God.  It is based on a loving relationship between God and me.

I say “loving” because I am talking with a God who loves me.

I say “conversation” because prayer is not a one-way street – sometimes I talk and sometimes I listen.

I think the loving relationship idea is central to prayer.

It is an unequal relationship.  God created me and loved me before I loved him.  The apostle John says: “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4: 19).

It is because he loved me so much that I have any capacity to love him.

But love also means that God can say and do things that hurt at the time but prove good for me in the long term.  Out of these times flow confession and repentance and, ultimately, healing.

It is hard to over-state the love part of prayer.  As I become more aware of how much he loves me, I am bound to praise and worship him.  It is my way of showing love to him.

As I respond to his love, I am more open to sharing his love with others.  So, I pray for them.

In other words, having a loving conversation with God involves praise and thanks, confession and repentance, praying for myself and interceding for others.  And it means listening to what God has to say to me.

This does not fit as neatly into spiritual warfare which is another aspect of prayer.  But, when I call on God for his help in fighting the attacks of Satan and the dark forces of the spiritual realm, I am appealing to the fatherhood of God.  He is protector and defender of his loved ones.

Also, as father, God wants me to grow and become more like his beloved son.  So, the loving relationship I have with God is designed to equip me to carry out his will in the world.  Any earthly father is pleased when his son or daughter is ready to take an active role in society.

So, it seems to me that an intimate relationship with God must involve prayer.  How can I love God if I don’t speak to him and listen to him?


2 comments so far

  1. Anne Douglas on

    I love how you describe prayer as a loving conversation. Ever since I was a young Christian I’ve longed to hear God’s voice. Learning to listen to Him has been the most difficult and rewarding aspect of my Christian life so far. It’s only when I began to truly understand and feel His love for me that my spiritual ears began to open. The more I sense His love, the more I listen. A loving conversation.

  2. Kim Cochrane, Andrew and Anne friend on

    Thanks you for blessing me with these truths. You have an amazing revelation and articulation of Gods love and relationship with Him. I too find, as I receive Gods love in His presence, healing naturally occurs and I am freed up to love the people in my life. I am freed up to love God. God is love and that’s who we are in our truest form through Jesus Christ. We are love, poured in and out.

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