How refreshing it was to have a conversational prayer with our small group Sunday night in our home. A friend who I’d helped with a manuscript sent me a Greenberg turkey all the way from Tyler, Texas, as thanks, and I carved it for our small group, made dressing (or stuffing as some call it . . . yes, I made it–write me for recipe).
We moved from the thanksgiving meal to a time of discussion about what Scripture and events had shaped us in the last week, then Mike Comegna led us in a time of conversational prayer.
We’re using a good study guide called Growing in God’s Love, and it describes conversational prayer something like this:
- Start praying, not with spending valuable time with requests. Follow the lead of the topic of a person who prays.
- Stay on one topic at a time.
- Be brief, allowing others to hear and not lose concentration or daydream, then join in.
- Be spontaneous. Instead of going in a circle, join in when the Spirit moves you on a certain topic or topics at different times.
Conversational prayer worked well and rather than exhausting ourselves talking about the requests then having a few minutes of prayer, we began with a time of adoration of God, moved to thanksgiving for what he has done in the world and in our lives, then finished with intercession for family and friends, particularly our interaction during the holidays with some who are not Christians or for those in difficult family situations.
This recipe for prayer worked well for us, but there are as many recipes for Spirit-led prayer, such as conversational prayer, as there are recipes for Thanksgiving dressing (stuffing). May we all use some of those recipes for Thanksgiving prayer this week, and I’d like to hear about some of yours.
Conversational prayer … I’ve often thought that was Paul’s purpose in writing his 5th chapter of Ephesians. He encouraged Christians to speak to one another in psalms and hymns. If you’ve never tried that, go ahead … it’s marvelous! Walk up to someone you love and say, “Oh, be glad in the Lord and rejoice, and shout for joy every time your heart feels joyous!”
Or, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Or, “Our God is the king of all the earth. Sing praises with thought and understanding.”
I seriously doubt that Paul was talking about public worship services, complete with pews, communion cups and dress-up clothes, when he added such a sweet modifying clause: ” … singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
He was talking Spirit. He was talking conversation. He was talking about communing with the Father in easy-to-understand media.
I do a lot of highway driving in my occupation. I drive a pickup, and I’m glad because there’s plenty of head room, or in my case … hands and arms room. As I sing and make melody to the Lord; as I speak psalms and hymns; as I listen to praise music on my radio; as I watch a Kansas sunrise — I often bang my hands on the pickup ceiling in outright elation. OK, now that I’ve said it, you’ll know what I’m doing if you happen to follow me down the highway some morning. Aint’ crazy — just joyful.
Conversational prayer. Hmmm. Wish I had been there.
Rudy Taylor – Caney, Kansas