Let's Talk

"Our loving Father simply wants to be who we talk to for EVERYTHING."

THE TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE was a day with tears in my eyes, my face in the bathroom floor. I was broken and needed God to heal me. I had no speech written out, no well-written list of Scriptures before me. I barely knew my name. Most of what flooded my mind was doubt, and you’d think, measuring that moment against a long list of fine sermons, the God of heaven and earth, so perfect, so holy, would have no time for me. I wasn’t in faith but desperation. The only confession I could manage was, “Jesus loves me. This I know” from a childhood song. Yet, as low as I was, as raw as my emotions were, and as confused as I was right then, God not only heard, He answered.

Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to not be anxious but to pray and offer thanksgiving, then the peace of God, in a measure beyond our understanding, will guard our mind and our heart from all the turmoil within us. Too much has been made of this verse as a procedure. Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. And once you’ve done these, then God will send His peace. It’s not that clinical. Steps may help our memory of the Word, but they take away from the easiness of it. Nothing in the Word of God is meant to be difficult to do. Paul simply meant, “Go speak to your Father.”

We’ve done anything but that. We heave our cares on repeat because somehow, they keep coming back. We pray professionally, a line of thees and thous straight out of Scripture. We quote a line of practiced thanks. When I was taking typing classes in high school, they taught us to write formal letters. To this day, I lean on that training. “Dear Mr. Smith, We would like to inform you …” But what child does this with their dad? I don’t have to be formal with mine. He will listen if I’m in my jammies, my hair in a muss, and it’s 2 a.m. He may have questions, but he will not send me away.

Our loving Father simply wants to be who we talk to for EVERYTHING. He wants to be our automatic choice. Like, we don’t have to assemble ourselves first. Skirt and blouse. Check. Knee pads. Double check. No, He’s supposed to be who we go to when things are in complete disarray. I talk to God like He’s my best friend, and He is. He replies like I’m His lovely daughter. He is God. I never forget this. But Jesus’ death and Resurrection made our communication possible. The Father speaks to me. The Spirit speaks to me. Jesus speaks to me. And I can tell the difference between them.

Now, you’re staring at me. But that’s what prayer is. It’s meant to be personal and one-on-one. We’re meant to know their voice, to be aware of their presence. To know how they’ll reply. Proper confession of God’s truth is important. We should speak the Word. But we speak it in faith and not because without following our faith-rules we fail. Instead, our faith is in the One who loves us to the moon and back. If I can go to my earthly dad with anything, I can especially go to my heavenly Papa for anything. Even if it’s something silly, He smiles and listens. So many in the church are toting the throne around on their back. Fear God, yes. Worship Him, yes. But know He loves you, most of all.

In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us the Father knows our needs and will supply them, that we do not need to ever worry about food or clothing. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “By His stripes you were healed.” These are provisions of our salvation. But if we walk around saying, “I’m so sick. This is getting worse,” or, “I can’t ever rub two pennies together,” then we will talk ourselves out of what God wants to do. Our words are very important. It takes trust to say you are healed although your body looks otherwise. But to make confession an altar absent of prayer isn’t correct. And to make prayer absent of the intimate relationship the Father sent the Son and the Son sent the Spirit to give us isn’t right either.

The Father delights in our asking. He loves hearing our prayers. Seeing us ask in faith, believing in His goodness is the desire of His heart. We should know the Word so that we can ask according to the Word. But if our knees are knocking and our heart thumping, if there’s a doubt niggling at our mind, we don’t hold back. It doesn’t have to be perfect first, and a speech written out. Many called out to Jesus but didn’t quite have everything square. They had doubts, they didn’t quite understand who He was, they simply believed He could but weren’t sure He would. He saw the level of their faith and filled in what they needed to be healed. But they had the strength to ask.

To confess our faith without asking in prayer is to skip the best part, a conversation with our Father, who gave His all to save us. How sad that is. It’s like me saying I’m Wayne Combee’s daughter, yet I never speak to him. What sense does that make? It is our relationship that I cherish, our conversations about my life, his life. Then, in our honesty with each other, when he sees a need I have, he fills it just because he can. God provided so great a salvation so that He could fill our every need. Our prayer life should be as important as breathing. I personally can’t imagine going an hour without speaking to my heavenly Father. I can’t imagine doing any part of my day without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And how amazing is it that the One who died for me, talks to me? Provides for me.

Prayer is neither a written report, nor well-crafted sentences. It is not words done by rote because “that” should be faith. 1 Corinthians 13 makes this clear. No amount of natural ability or acquired knowledge, no skill at speaking nor abundant generosity holds any value outside of God’s love. Faith spoken to the mountain, to remove and be cast into the sea, has no effect without God’s love in us. But with the love of our heavenly Father filling us, day-to-day, we can bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. He is the reason why.

We should tell Him so, as grateful children. We should take Him at His Word because we hear Him speaking. We should confess His truth because it holds the greatest value. And we will see the answers to our prayers because in Him there is no other ending. We know Him that well.

“Those who understand my methods and principles, and incorporate them into their lives, are the ones who love me and embrace all that I stand for. Those who love me will be transformed back into complete perfection by my Father, and I too will love them back to health, and share myself with them.” (John 14:21 Remedy)

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Suzanne D. Williams, Author