We are taught that we should talk to God as if he were a friend. Some prefer to talk to Jesus, some to the Holy Spirit. Doesn't matter.
I thought about that friend aspect of it and how I talk with my friends. It's just not the same. We are told in the Bible to ask, to be persistent in our prayers, to pray continuously, etc. So how do I do all those things?
I started talking to God just like I was talking to a friend. One on one. Just He and me. It was awkward. I was used to just stating my wants, trying to listen for a response, lifting up names and situations throughout the day. But talking to him like I talk to another person? Wasn't happening.
So I prayed. I really wanted to have God as my friend in addition to my Savior. I started paying attention to how I talk to my friends, what things I said and how I said them. Then I talked to God like that but with the same requests.
At first, I felt ridiculous. Why was I reciting the same things over and over? I wouldn't do that with a human friend who may or may not remember what I've told them; why should I do that with the God of the universe? Surely he could remember the details of why I want blessings on friends and family.
I wanted to stop this experiment in prayer because I felt silly doing it. Yet I was compelled to stick with it a little longer. I felt the Holy Spirit had something for me just around the next corner, if I would only give it another chance.
What I found was the best understanding of prayer I have ever had. When I just couldn't force myself to repeatedly repeat my cares, I found myself going past the just-asking point. I started talking to God about the whole situation, not just what I thought should happen or just saying "Your will be done." I talked with him about the history of these things, what had worked and what hadn't. This part was not a repeat of earlier prayers. I felt like it was more like how I would talk in a two-way conversation.
But God doesn't care if I repeat. Like a good friend who has heard this story many times, He patiently listens and sends love to me through my soul. As I talk to him, I receive His thoughts on the matter, things I would never have thought of on my own. I go deeper into the request, finding new layers I didn't know existed, even with old, old stories that have twisted and turned through the years.
I believe that every time I post on my blogs, every time I present a program at church or at the local city jail, there is someone who needs to hear it. Sometimes I suspect that person is me. So I offer this to you just in case God has picked you this time.