What does it mean? What does it mean to be a Christian? If you’re a Christian, what is prayer?
These questions plague me. I could wrestle with them for hours.
I really really love Noah Gundersen (a musical artist from Seattle). He wrote a song called “Jesus, Jesus,” which is the most real prayer I have ever heard anyone pray. It has a few “curse words” in it, but I think if you’re mature about it, the song becomes even more real to you. Here is the third verse:
“Jesus, Jesus there are those that say they love you,
But they have treated me so godd*** mean.
And I know you said forgive them for they know not what they do.
But sometimes I think they do,
And I think about you.
If all the heathens burn in Hell,
Do all their children burn as well?
What about the Muslims and the gays and the unwed mothers?
What about me and all my friends?
Are we all sinners if we sin?
Does it even matter in the end
If we’re unhappy?”
So this brings up the question of “what is prayer?”
I think that so often, prayer is done just for the hell of it.
PRAYER IS A CONVERSATION
About a year ago I took a survey, and I asked this same question. I got a HUGE range of responses, but this is one of my favorites. I can’t remember exactly who said it; I think it was my friend Sara.
“[Prayer is] A vital piece to the relationship, something I don’t fully grasp, something I don’t do enough, something that brings me comfort and joy and provision and truth, something I dodge a lot because I’m lazy, it’s a gift, it’s talking to my dad, it’s figuring life out with him, it needs to be intentional, it’s something I tell others to do but I rarely do efficiently.”
I love the reality in this statement. It is the most important piece of the relationship, because conversation makes the relationship. Any relationship for that matter. I mean, think about it, the almighty, sovereign, omniscient Creator is your Abba (Daddy) and He will never once fail you or let you down. He WANTS to hear your problems, your struggles, your highlights and lowlights of the day, the girl or boy you like, how your relationship is with your family, the questions you have about His Word, the questions you have about drug use or homosexuality, he wants to hear your apologetics on abortion and other ethical issues of the day. HE WANTS TO KNOW YOU.
The best part about this is that He already knows you. He knows your innermost thoughts and your deepest, darkest secrets. Jesus died for those things. Jesus died for the sake of a relationship between Creation and Creator. He voluntarily died. If you are found in Christ, you are found IN CHRIST. That means when Abba looks at you, He sees your blood-stained heart and sees Jesus’ blood stains and sees perfection in His child.
So, how do you pray? For the hell of it? Or are you actually being intimate? Are you just asking God for a new Ferrari or the new Justin Timberlake album? Or are you asking Him for those things and then listening for an answer?
There’s always an answer. You just have to intentionally be listening. Two friends don’t just talk over each other throughout a conversation without listening to each other.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Is prayer for you a conversation or a wish list?