Conversations with God
Lately, my prayers have been more like having conversations with God. When I say that, I imagine it peaks your interest. We’d all like to converse with God. One of the hardest things about prayer is sometimes it seems as though you’re giving a monologue. If you felt like you were conversing maybe you’d pray more. Having conversations with God may be simpler than you think.
Prayer can be boiled down to simply talking with God. But God doesn’t audibly talk back. That can make things hard. You can get distracted and your mind wander 1,000 different directions. You may find yourself tired and when you finally come to, you’re not even sure what you said to God. This makes it even harder to want to consistently pray. But Jesus prayed all the time and Paul said to pray without ceasing so there must be something more to it, right?
God has spoken. When we want to hear God speak then we read our Bibles. I think it was John Piper who said, “If you want to hear Him audibly, read your Bible out loud.” If God has spoken and still speaks to us through His Word then it is fair for us to deduce that His Word should be the other half of our conversation. We pair our prayer with the reading of God’s Word and we have a conversation.
What does that look like in action? Simply put, I typically pray based on the ACTS model. ACTS stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. When I am in a passage (Psalms are a helpful place to start) I read the passage and ask myself, “What in this passage makes me want to praise God?” and I pray those things. Once finished, I ask, “What in this passage shows me where I have sinned and need to repent?” and I confess those things to God along with other things I know I need to repent of. Then I repeat this process for thanksgiving and supplication.
A passage may not hit all four areas of the acronym and that’s totally fine. I will still pray through those areas because I need all four in my life and prayer every day. What you will find when you begin to pray like this is that prayer is fresh. It isn’t mindless. You’re not repeating the same things each day. You’re not zoning out. Prayer becomes a dialogue, interesting, and engaging. It really is like a conversation with God. It really will revolutionize your prayer life.
If you’d like to learn more on this subject then let me recommend to you Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney. Dr. Whitney is very helpful on this subject and one of the best resources for learning how to pray in this way.