Prayer is a conversation between you and God.
That’s all I heard growing up. A conversation. Where you talk and the other person listens and then they talk and you listen.
For the longest time, the conversations I was having with God were just rants. I’d say hi and just get right into it. I’d talk about everything that was bothering me. Funny thing is, in my adolescence, it was usually about boys. They are probably the most frustrating subject area in my life. You know what, cancel that. They are the second. Family is the first.
Anyway, our conversations were usually me telling him about everything and him just listening to me go on and on. And when I was done, I’d thank him for listening, then go to bed or go do whatever it is I was supposed to be doing. He is such a great listener. At the time, all I needed was someone to listen. To be there and just, understand me. I could trust him with all my fears and ideas and know that he would never betray me or use it against me or insist on me doing anything I didn’t want to do. The perfect gentleman, God.
My first understanding of God was, My Confidant.
Then I went to church and learned about how prayer was two-way. You talk, he listens, then he talks and you listen. I felt so bad. I probably had been cutting God off before he could talk to me and called it chivalry. Shaking. My. Head.
So I started pausing in our conversations so I could hear his input too. But the weirdest thing happened. It felt like I was talking to myself. Sometimes, it felt like I was intentionally hearing what I wanted to hear and then I’d prompt myself to shut up and listen. Was I going mad? Was this how it started?
I decided to change tactics. I would ask for his direction in my life and ask him to give me like neon signs I could not miss. Like the kind that makes it impossible to ignore. There are very few things in this life that has made me pray this kind of prayer, but yh. It works.
The first time I prayed this prayer, my social studies, and biology teachers, as well as my club patron were talking about the same topic I had prayed about all week. And their input was unanimous. It was the answer I’d asked for. The neon sign. I was like, Okay God, I hear you. Loud and clear.
Sometimes, however, it’s hard to accept the answers we get. Sometimes it’s not a Yes or a No. sometimes, it is a Wait. Wait is probably the hardest one. Because I AM waiting. I have been waiting for your answer this whole time and your answer is to Wait?! What exactly am I waiting for? How should I even wait? Where should I wait? Why should I wait? And what exactly am I to do while waiting?
Sigh. But that’s when we ask for strength. Strength and courage to heed His prompts.
The voice of God.
God has been my best-friend for the longest time, ever. He knows about everything I’ve ever said, done or felt. Not only because he was there and he is kinda… y’know… God. With all the powers and everything, but because I tell him everything. My proudest deeds and most shameful acts. And he has never, ever used any of it against me or made me feel like I’ve crossed the line.
My Best Friend. My Confidant. My God.
I’m learning about prayer these days. I‘m learning how the way we pray is somehow directly proportional to how we see God. I’m still learning about all the different facets (for lack of a better word) of God. It’s beautiful how each time my knowledge of Him evolves, the way I relate with him does too.
How do you pray? What crosses your mind when you think about God?
Dr Nyameba 💜