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How (and When) to Talk to God.

And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. (Matthew 6:5 NASB)

I have known many folks who are reluctant to pray either in a group setting, or even in their own quiet place because they have heard some other Christian pray, and they don’t feel they can make it sound like that.

Have you been there?

You hear some 30 year prayer veteran using Thee-ses and Thou-ses and making it sound so eloquent and beautiful and well – religious, and you feel like if you stood up to pray it would be more like “Yo God – what were You thinking when You let that guy…”

We read David’s eloquent prayers in our carefully edited Bibles (that is not to say they are inaccurate, they are just not written in the original language) and think – I could never pray like that. Just for the record, remember, poetry starts as emotion – passion – inner noises that need words – it does not start with rhyme and meter (correct me if I am wrong here all you wonderful poet friends of mine) so in my mind David started with a cry in his heart to God, and turned it into poetry so others could sing along.

My point is that true prayer is unrehearsed. It may be coarse and rocky. It is probably not ready for Prime Time. It might include some anger, frustration, sorrow, even laughter, BECAUSE IT IS A RELATIONSHIP not a speech!

So PLEASE do not hold back from prayer just because you don’t know what words to use. There is nothing that you can say to God that will shock Him or hurt His feelings, if you come to Him in prayer.

Here are some perfect times to talk to God.

  • When you are angry.
  • When you are sad.
  • When your feelings are hurt.
  • When you just got a raise.
  • When you need a raise.
  • When you lost your keys.
  • When your best friend betrayed you.
  • When your best friend went to be with Him.
  • When you are losing.
  • When you are winning.
  • When you are afraid to join the game.

Paul said it like this “Pray without ceasing.” I don’t know what translation this is, but in Jr High I learned that verse like this: “Constantly maintain the habit of prayer.” (1 Thes 5:17)

Don’t hold back today – talk to Jesus!

Thanks for stopping by.

Ben

0 thoughts on “How (and When) to Talk to God.

  1. Vicki

    excellent post.. I have often wondered why people pray in thee's and thou's when it is not part of their every day language. if a prayer is sincere from the heart it is acceptable, do you agree?

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Absolutely, sometimes I read the Psalms and think - are we really allowed to talk to God like that? But God is not surprised by what is on our insides.

      I am always amazed at how He talks to me - sometimes through the most unusual means.

      Thanks for the compliment and for joining the conversation.

      Reply
  2. Jeff

    It's sad that so many people are hindered from prayers because others make overt attempts to impress God with flashy rhetoric and "preachy" voices. Which is equally sad, because they don't realize that there is nothing that we could possibly do that could impress God.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Yes and amen to that - like the guy Jesus talk about the prayers of the pharisee and the publican and it says the pharisee prayed like "with himself" - God was not even in the conversation!
      Hey Jeff, thanks for stopping by and joining this
      conversation!

      Reply
  3. Caddo Veil

    This is so beautiful, wonderful today, Ben! "Relationship" is truly what it's all about--I was just telling someone yesterday about my recent conversations with God. I said, "you don't walk this broken road for 50 years, and use King James vernacular with God. He's my Father, Brother, most trusted Friend--He gets the real stuff, unedited, all the time". Maybe living alone facilitates the habit of constant prayer (or "jabbering with God"), I don't know. And as you've probably guessed, the Lord and I have a few laughs everyday--it's not all serious stuff.

    I also liked what you said about poets--that we usually start with "passion--inner noises that need words"--wow, Ben, wish I'd said that!!

    Now, I have a question, a serious one: what is your opinion/interpretation regarding natural disasters being God's response to sin? The 2 pastors who I rely on each week say natural disasters are just that, natural--events which occur because the earth is part of a fallen world; and that God does not "send them, in His ferocious anger about the colossal sins"--in fact, in His great love and mercy, He often "turns them (disasters) from their course, in order to spare men"; that we are no longer living in the Old Testament, but in God's New Testament covenant of Grace. Can you speak to this?--as, I think how we view this point, reflects on our personal relationship with God. Thanks, Bubba--God bless you Big--love, sis Caddo

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Hi Caddo!

      I love that you jabber with God all day - good habit! I don't know if you ever saw the movie "the Apostle," or what you think of it, but there is a scene in there where Robert Duval talks with God, and it is so real - passionate - i like it.

      Re the passion quote - you can use that as your own since i forgot i said it (LOL is my age showing?)

      Now to the hard part. I want to be careful with this answer because i feel like anytime I say God does this or God never does that, i am kind of building a crate in my understanding of God and limit Him (or at least limit my estimation of Him)

      That said - The Old Testament does indicate that God would judge with the weather and judge cities and nations. However 2 Cor 5:19 says "namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them."
      So if that "world" means world and it actually means what it sais - He has nothing to judge.

      He will judge sin on the last day - the great and terrible day of the Lord - but today - the rain falls on the just and the unjust.

      There was a storm that Jesus got caught in - and He rebuked it - did that mean He was going against the Lord's judgment? - nope

      So - there you go - I do not think that God is judging now - judgement is reserved for then end. Today we have the ministry of reconciliation because the sin issue is off the table for now.

      Now that i have posted this - i am in big trouble probably.

      Love you girl - hope that helps.

      Ben

      Reply
      1. Caddo Veil

        Yes Ben, I definitely think you can do a great post on this--I'm sure I'm not the only reader who would benefit. Not sure I got the part where you spoke of "building a crate", if you opine as to your understanding of God--but I do understand that we don't want to place limits, and it's just prudent not to use "always, never", regardless of whom we're referencing. And when you speak of the Judgement day to come--you are talking about the unsaved, correct? This issue also gets confusing--"my" pastor at Gateway Church (online, TX), Robert Morris, spoke this past summer about 2 judgements: God will judge the unsaved, and then the works of the saved; we aren't in any danger of the first--and the 2nd, as I understood him, has to do with "eternal rewards". Maybe these are doctrinal points/arguments--and maybe they don't really matter, I don't know--it's only been the past year and a half, that I've been tuned in and "hungry" to learn about the Bible. Prior to that, my life was so difficult that I was just grateful to have the salvation issue taken care of long ago--I couldn't process anything more.

        I really liked the movie The Apostle. I'm a Robert Duval fan, and I think he did a great job presenting the frailty of man--one who somewhere down deep has a heart for God, but seriously screws up (I think he wrote it too, no?). You have me wanting to see it again, to refresh my memory of that conversation.

        Ahh, those wonderful benign senior moments, eh Bubba? You know me, if I use the "poet definition"--and I likely will--I'll credit your brilliance; good-hearted sisters just roll that way. God bless you Big--I'm gonna go rest up for tomorrow night--love, sis Caddo

        Reply
        1. Ben Nelson

          Re the crate - well - I don't like to put God in a box, because in my life, every time I have figured out "what God would do" He surprises me, or confounds me. So I try to hold all my thoughts more lightly than i used to (back when I knew everything.) I am transformed by the renewing of my mind - and I am not done with my transformation, so i am always willing to have my mind renewed.

          Re judgment - that is for another day - i will tackle that in a post some day - probably some where near the end of Matt 7

          G'night

          Reply
  4. Debbie

    Thank you for encouraging us to pray without ceasing, however it comes out of us! This is the 2 blog I read tonight with that verse. 🙂 I realized the other day that I can get so set on hearing from Him and listening . ..that I forget He is listening for me too! 🙂 God bless you, Ben . ..and all the ways you pray!

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Words of Jesus – Sh! Don’t Tell Anybody | burningfireshutinmybones

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