ADVENTURES IN PRAYER
Today, I have decided to take a slightly different path in sharing my spiritual journey with you. Instead of providing my usual transcript of two-way prayer, I’ve chosen to delve into the narrative of my own transformation, a testimonial of sorts, that traces the path of my relationship with Christ. The purpose behind this shift is not to extol my own experiences, but to illustrate how a shift in prayer practices can profoundly change one’s spiritual journey.
My tale is one of struggles, of questions, of seeking, and ultimately, of finding a deeper, more meaningful connection with Christ. It is my sincere hope that by sharing my journey, I may inspire you, my cherished readers, to seek out and cultivate your own vibrant, daily quiet times with Christ. This isn’t about recounting the past, but about encouraging each one of you towards a brighter, more fulfilling future in your walk with Christ.
As you embark on this reading journey with me, remember, the objective has always been, and will always continue to be, to inspire and encourage you to foster a deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ. It is my prayer that my story might act as a catalyst, nudging you towards vibrant, daily quiet times, where the voice of Christ becomes the most awaited sound of your day.
So, with that in mind, let us begin…
WHAT PRAYER WAS LIKE
When prayer becomes a one-way conversation, simply talking to God without taking time for silence and listening, it can indeed become monotonous and uninspiring. This form of prayer may feel like reading off a grocery list, devoid of the deeper spiritual communion that prayer can offer. Our words, while important, may end up echoing hollowly back to us when we do not pause to hear what might be spoken into the quiet of our hearts. This unidirectional approach not only can make prayer a tedious task, but it also misses the point of prayer as a relational act. True prayer involves an intimate dialogue with the Divine, a give and take that breathes life into our spiritual journey. So, a one-sided prayer can often be dry and boring, lacking the richness and profundity that comes from two-way communication.
In 2015, the turbulence of life brought me to a profound crossroads. My business was teetering on the edge of turmoil, and the emotional distance imposed by geography between my wife, living in Central America, and me, in the USA, added to my internal strife. The challenges were immense, and I found myself driven to my knees in prayer, seeking solace and guidance in a situation that seemed to be spinning out of control.
Embracing this new method of prayer, my daily quiet times with Christ began to transform from monotonous rituals to vibrant, dynamic exchanges. I found the intimacy with my heavenly Father that had always seemed elusive, now within my grasp. This was not merely speaking at Christ, but speaking with Christ, and more importantly, listening to His voice. As my commitment to these quiet times deepened, so did my prayer life, setting off a positive cycle of spiritual growth. I found myself waking up earlier, fueled by an eagerness to engage in these meaningful moments of two-way communication.
This newfound connection sparked a flow of the Holy Spirit in my life, becoming a wellspring of positive change. I saw my circumstances begin to shift, but more importantly, my perspective and my relationship with Christ were fundamentally transformed. I had finally discovered the profound intimacy with Christ that I had longed for, and my journey as a Christ-follower began to accelerate. This was the turning point, the moment when my walk with God went from a casual stroll to a purposeful stride, all thanks to the transformative power of two-way prayer.
WHAT PRAYER IS LIKE NOW
Engaging in conversational prayer, a dialogue where we both speak and listen to God, brings a dynamic vibrancy and a sense of adventure to our spiritual practice. The act of silent listening opens us up to the potential for divine wisdom to filter into our consciousness and the Holy Spirit within us, creating a space for God’s whispers to resonate within us. It’s like embarking on a mysterious journey where every moment holds the promise of a new revelation. The thrill lies in the unexpected – a sudden insight, a comforting affirmation, a challenging thought – that can guide our spiritual growth. As we try to discern God’s message, we also learn to attune ourselves more deeply to the presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. This spiritual adventure of conversational prayer, filled with its highs and lows, uncertainties and affirmations, makes the relationship with God the Father, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, not just a monotonous ritual, but a living, pulsating, and exciting connection.
For me, one of the best parts of this process is the journaling that I do, as I am sensing the Holy Spirit making an impression on me. I capture this, as you know, and freely share it with anyone who would care to have it, in the hopes that this will give others the confidence that they, too, can “hear” from God the Father, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, our blessed, triune God of All.
I hope that my personal journey has resonated with you, illuminating the transformative power of two-way prayer. My hope is that you might be inspired to explore this method of prayer, fostering a deeper intimacy with God. And remember, the concept of two-way prayer isn’t a newfangled notion, but one deeply rooted in scripture.
In the book of Jeremiah, the Lord says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV). This verse beautifully encapsulates the promise of two-way prayer – not only do we call out to God, but we can also expect Him to answer us, to share with us insights and wisdom beyond our understanding.
In the Psalms, we see David practicing this form of prayer, speaking to God and also waiting for His response: “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” (Psalm 17:6 NIV). David understood that prayer was more than just talking to God; it also involved listening for God’s response.
Jesus himself exemplified this in the New Testament: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6 NIV). The reward here can be seen as God’s response to our prayers, an affirmation of the two-way communication.
So, as you delve into your own quiet times with God, remember these scriptures. Allow them to guide you into deeper conversations with your heavenly Father. The two-way prayer is not just about speaking, but also about quieting our hearts to listen to God’s voice. May your prayers become vibrant dialogues, filled with revelations and affirmations that bring you closer to God each day.
Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to engage in a private, two way prayer with Christ, to seek his guidance on a big business decision I have before me. If you don’t mind, please whisper a prayer to God our Father on my behalf, and ask Him to give me His wisdom, for I know that I lack it, He has it, and by asking, we shall receive. Amen.
Your aspiring servant,
16 May 2023