Lately my wife and I have been teaching our 3-year-old daughter about praying. So every once and a while before school, or before a meal, we will ask her if she will pray. She says the cutest little prayers. She prays things like, “Tank you for my mommy, tank you for my daddy, tank you for my toys…”
Lately, she isn’t quite sure what to pray for. She will start out with her standard prayer, then she will pause, look up at us and ask. “Ummmm…what else can I say?”
At our church we take communion every Sunday. We believe it is a crucial part of our worship experience. We believe that at the moment when we take the cup and the bread, we are truly communing with God.
But what does that mean? What does it mean to commune? If you stopped someone this Sunday after church and asked, I’m not sure anyone could give you a good answer. We take our little piece of cracker, and our little cup of juice, we bow our heads and….
And what? Pray?
You know those conversations you have with a person you just met? You talk about your job, you talk about the weather, but then…you don’t know what to talk about. It’s gets a little awkward. That’s not how it is supposed to be with God. Yet, I fear too many of us have come to the point in our conversation with God where we don’t know what else to say. Like my 3 year old daughter, we thank Him for the things he has given us, but then we look up and ask “Ummm…what else can I say?”
Not that long ago, my wife and I were talking about the things that made us fall in love. My wife’s answer was one I will never forget. She said, “It was easy to talk to you, I never had to think about what to say, or what we should talk about.” I am happy to report that she still feels the same about me today, thirteen years later. We talk to each other about everything. We are not afraid to bring up a touchy subject and ask for something we need. I’m afraid we can’t always say the same about God.
When it comes to God, we seem to have some sort of rules in place governing what we can and can’t say. We get stuck in scripted repetitions where we simply pray for the same things over and over again. When we really do have a request for God. Something important to us, something we are really struggling with. We almost hesitate to ask. We say things like, “If its your will,” or “not my will, but yours.” We are afraid to boldly ask God for the things we need.
That’s not true for my wife, and it’s not true for my best friend. In fact, the closer I know a person, the more likely I am to just come right out and say what I need most. Often, it’s not a request. It’s an expectation. We expect our friends and loved ones to come through for us when we are desperately in need.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-12)
What would it take for us to tell God how we really feel? To talk to him blatantly, honestly, and boldly about the things happening in our lives? It’s almost scary to think of. Which makes me think we are at least beginning to know what it truly means to commune with God. To know Him, to trust Him, to expect Him to listen and come through when you need it most.
Is that unreasonable?
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Photo Credit: Bruno, Flickr