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We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. John 9:31

Imagine how you would feel if the person you loved more than anything else in the world would only say the same lines every day to you. The responses were predictable, rehearsed and said largely in a monotone. Some days there would be NO conversation at all. Some times there would be new words but only if there were some crisis or your cherished one wanted something from you. Would you look forward to spending time talking with that person?

Suppose you caught your child with his hand in the cookie jar. As you reprimand him/her for taking a cookie you get an apology. But as you listen to the apology your child continues to eat the cookie…and take another one! Would you consider his words as sincere?

What if you were sitting talking at a coffee shop with a dear friend who you hadn’t seen in years. You are trying to listen to what your friend has to say but the subject line seems to change without warning. Thoughts are left unfinished and on occasion your friend simply stops talking as though they have run out of things to say. Once or twice you were sure they had even dozed off! To make things worse, you aren’t allowed to even say a word and when you tried you know you weren’t heard!

I’m guessing, in the first instance you would question the reality of the person’s love for you. In the second instance the apology of the cookie-munching thief would be meaningless. The coffee shop talk? Frustrating to say the least.

Now think of those same three scenes and change characters. Imagine that it’s God that is listening to the words of his loved one. It’s you that rehearses your canned conversation on a daily basis. And while you are apologizing for your mistakes (cookie-snatching) you make no effort to change your actions.

Then there is the scene in the coffee shop. Do you think that if God were sitting across the table listening to your chatter he’d come to a point where he’d realize he didn’t need to be there? That you could carry on this conversation without him…or anyone else for that matter?

Take time to listen to your prayers. If God were visible would your pray differently? Would your words have more meaning? Would your worship be more and your requests be less? Would you listen for his response more and complain about your life less?

Meaningful, effective prayer comes when we look at it as conversation and not a one-way discourse. Your heavenly Father is passionate about you. Let that sink in for a moment. He’s a passionate lover who smiles every time he sees you. His heart skips a beat when he hears your voice. His attention hangs on every word from your mouth.

But often our prayers are rote and trite phrases. We forget that even though he wants to hear us, sin can hinder any prayer that isn’t bathed in heart-felt, sincere confession. We don’t give him the time to speak to us.

Spend some time learning to converse with God, not deluge him with dead words. Spend time learning about him, reading his word, listening for his voice. Time spend with your lover is time spent on the eternal. He longs to hear from you.

PRAYER: Father God. I’m convicted as I realize that I’m so often guilty of offering meaningless chatter rather than conversation with you. Help me to pray with the realization that you are in the room beside me, sitting across the table from me, earnestly wanting to hear from me. Forgive me for the sin that keeps us apart. Empower me with your Spirit to grow in relationship with you through conversational prayer. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

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