“Prayer is like a telephone for us to talk to Jesus” - A line from a Sunday school classic I used to sing as a kid.
I always knew about prayer. My parents prayed with me every night growing up - “Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for a lovely day today...”. I knew that I could talk to God whenever I wanted and that He would hear me. But I felt like I never heard anything back.
I thought prayer was supposed to be like a telephone, so why am I the only one talking? To me, prayer was like talking to a brick wall. Pointless and boring.I came to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS) at YWAM Furnace in January 2019. On my DTS we spent over 6 hours a week in the Furnace Prayer Room, a place of both devotional and intercessory prayer.
I had no idea how to pray for 5 minutes a day, let alone 6 hours a week!
Fortunately for me, we were taught about ‘Hearing God’s Voice’.
Brianna, our teacher, told us that God wants to hear our prayers, but He also wants to talk to us, too. This blew my mind.
Why would the God and Creator of the universe want to talk to little old me?
As Brianna taught, it became clearer and clearer that God wants to talk to me because He wants to be in relationship with me. I just have to be willing to listen to Him and He will answer my prayers.
I started to pray with more confidence.
Months later, I was reading through the Psalms and was hit by the rawness of the writing. Psalm authors, like David, would use Psalms to cry out to God. A lot of the Psalms are praises, but many are just broken people crying out from a broken world for God’s help.
The realness of it all hit me. We don’t have to sugarcoat our prayers. We don’t always have to come to God with it all sorted out so we can thank and praise Him. Sometimes we can come to Him and say “God, this really sucks — help.”
I started to pray more real prayers.
If David could be real with God, so can I. I don’t have to change my voice or my language, I don’t have to pretend I’m okay if i’m not. He knows me better than I do.
Knowing that I can speak to God like I would speak to a friend makes prayer so much more exciting. We aren't just talking to a brick wall - God hears us and actually wants to speak to us too!
Now I spend over 10 hours in the Prayer Room each week, and I love it.
It can still be hard to pray. But now when I do pray, I feel things changing because I know that the God of the universe is listening, and He really cares.