International (MNN) — Do you have a two-way relationship with God? Or is it just a monologue from your end?
How’s Your Prayer Life?
Sometimes prayer can be neglected because of busyness, forgetfulness, or even because of doubts. And sometimes prayer is treated more as a wish list for God rather than a means of communicating with our Heavenly Father. However, prayer isn’t meant to be a one-way street.
“We call it two-way prayer because of really trying to signify that prayer is an aspect of our relationship with God, and communion with God, and fellowship with God, and conversation with God…. In any healthy relationship, that needs to be a two-way thing,” Biblica’s Stephen Cave explains.
Wait. How is prayer made into a two-way street? Simple. By listening to God. And the idea of listening to God isn’t as intimidating or hard as it might seem. And it doesn’t necessarily take long drawn out periods either, though sometimes those periods exist.
Listening to God
“For me, the keyway for listening to God is where God speaks, and primarily through His Word. And it has been on my part a commitment to submit myself to Scripture, if I can, every day and listen to what He is saying,” Cave shares.
“It’s the one place that I can be sure that I will hear what God is saying…Where I can be really sure that I know what God is saying is through His Word. And it means taking time to make that a priority.”
Cave has been a Bible reader since his mid-teens, and at 52, he says he needs to hear what God is saying more than ever. God’s Word walks His people through every stage of life. His Word is living and true and good.
“For me, that two-way prayer of listening to God is submitting myself to His word, asking Him to speak, and asking Him to apply that Word to the different situations that I face in life…and I am constantly amazed at how often God speaks,” Cave says.
“And when we talk about the Bible being the Living Word of God, I am constantly amazed at how alive it is…and how it has been ‘bang on’ for situations that I’ve been facing.”
Roots of Prayer
Ultimately, prayer is an expression of faith and of trust. Cave says at its very base, prayer is an acknowledgment that we are not God, we are not in control, and that we need the One who is greater than we are.
Even Jesus, while entirely man but entirely God, still expressed His need for the Father’s help and His support.
“I’m thinking if the perfect Son of God needed to do that, how much more for us?” Cave says.
In fact, Cave recalls reading Psalm 50, where God challenges His people about their sacrifices, declaring His ownership of every bird, insect, and animal in this world.
“So in one way God was saying I don’t need your sacrifices, but He went on to say sacrifice thanks offerings to God. Fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you. And it struck me that in this talk about sacrifices that the thing God was asking for over and over above any sacrifice was our trust,” Cave shares.
“And for me, at its most basic prayer is me saying to God, ‘You are God, I am not.’”
So, what do you trust? Is it money, people, security? Or do you trust in the Creator of this world and Savior of our souls? If you trust Him, then seek Him through a two-way prayer life. Be God-conscious 24 hours a day.
Starting a Two-Way Prayer Life
And if you’re not sure how to start incorporating Scripture and listening to God in daily life, just start reading a passage during morning coffee or replace a few minutes of nightly TV time with Scripture. Build into it and grasp on to God’s Word as He speaks to your life. So, challenge yourself today to dig into the scriptures and listen to the God who knit you together, loves you, and desires your trust.
Finally, just pray. Look at how Jesus himself prayed, and learn from Him. Pray daily until it becomes a habit, and then keep at it. Start by praying for God’s strength and encouragement to remember to pray daily and to trust Him. And then give Him everything else that is on your heart, even if it’s just asking for help sleeping at night.
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