Prayer: A conversation with God. (my definition)
Conversation: An informal interchange of thoughts, by spoken words between persons. (dictionary’s definition)
Wander: To extend an irregular course or direction. (dictionary’s definition)
NIV translation of Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God…”
My translation of Psalm 46:10: Shush-up and listen!
Can I ask you a question? Do you ever get distracted and wander when you pray?
Oh boy, I do. Especially if I’m trying to pray at bedtime. Best cure for insomnia ever!
I might be praying some thank you’s for the day and my words will start mingling with my dream state and I suddenly wake up thinking, Oh dear God, what did I just say to You? In my dream haze it was pretty crazy. Can I take all that back please? You know I was in the middle of falling asleep.
And of course He knows. God knows everything.
However, my mind can wander fairly easily even when I’m praying first thing in the morning, wide awake. I can be in a litany of requests and petitions and my mind goes to lunch.
No, literally I start planning my next meal.
But recently there have been times when God did the distracting, interrupting my prayer.
I might be on a roll, talking with God when out of the blue a crazy good analogy, sticky statement, or blog idea pops up into my head and my mind chases it down a trail and right off the prayer track.
After becoming completely exasperated with what I thought was my bobble-headed wandering again, I took this problem to God.
My heart heard this response. It’s ok, I’m entering the conversation by interjecting these thoughts. These ideas are from Me. You’re not wandering, you’re just not listening.
By my own definition, when I pray I’m having a conversation with God, only I never give Him opportunity to respond. I guess you could say He interrupted me to get into our conversation.
When my boys were growing up they were busy, busy. Many times when I needed to give them important instructions I’d have to calf-rope them to have any kind of meaningful conversation. To get their attention I’d have to say, (and sometimes loudly) “Shush boys, and listen up!”
I’ve always thought the verse, “Be still and know I am God” meant to make time for prayer or to sit still and listen for Him (if I had time) after I prayed, not while I’m praying.
But prayer can be, should be, a two-way conversation. A chat between friends. A communion between Father and daughter. A dialogue between Savior and redeemed.
A one-way delivery is not a conversation, or even a prayer, it’s a speech.
Maybe if I put pausing in my praying, I wouldn’t have to wonder about my wander.
I need to shush-up to listen up.
And if I don’t listen up, I just might be missing out.
Maybe you’ve been missing out too.
God wants to converse with us, give us His thoughts, ideas, our purpose.
“Be still and know I am God.”
With all that being said, I think I’ll stick to the one-sided prayer at bedtime. Saying a few thank you’s before bed is still the best way to turn off a busy brain. And I know if God wants to enter into the conversation, He will. He knows the address to my dreams.