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  • Writer's pictureSherry Johnston

He Just Wants You to Talk with Him

I'll admit it; I sometimes struggle with prayer.

I used to be a part of a wonderful prayer ministry where parents would get together and pray for their children. We'd pray for things like playground behavior when they were little and tests and dates when they were older. But every week we would make sure to pray for their walk with Christ.

Somehow, along the way, and at no fault of the ministry itself, I started to feel like this was the key for assurance that my children would grow to whole-heartedly love Jesus.

There was a tragic moment when I felt the rug come out from under me as a mom and I was angry at God. Didn't He owe me at least as much as to keep my children safe? After all those hours, even years, of prayer, how was it possible that they were not in fellowship with Him? Patient as He ever is, and through other people and circumstances, God let me know that He was neither finished with my children nor with me. The fat lady was not singing; she wasn't even warming up!

Okay, sorry, Lord. Lucy was right in The Chronicles of Narnia. You are not a “tame lion” and I cannot expect You to do my bidding. My prayer life changed. I recognized that the LORD John describes in Revelation 1:12-16 and 5:6-14 is not One to bring my laundry list of requests to! I would spend prayer time in praise and thanksgiving but my requests went no farther than “Thy will be done”. But that was somewhat frustrating. It didn't give me the closeness of relationship that my soul needed.

Over lunch one day, I got up the courage to confess my frustration to a friend. She shared that she also did not fully understand the mysteries of prayer, but she looked at me with grace in her eyes and said, “He just wants you to talk with Him”.

I was reminded of the story in Mark 10:46-52 where Jesus restores the sight of a blind man. What I find curious is that Jesus asks the man, “what do you want Me to do for you?” Why would He ask that? It seems obvious even to me; I've no doubt that Jesus knew what the man wanted. But Jesus wanted the man to ask. He wanted the woman with the hemorrhage to speak with Him in Luke 8. Look at John 5: 1-9. Jesus asks a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years if he wanted to get well! What's crazy in this story is that the man doesn't even give a direct answer, but blames circumstances. And guess what, Jesus healed him, too. Jesus has a lengthy conversation with the woman at the well in John 4:5-26. Throughout Scripture we see that Jesus liked to talk with people.

Not one to be too quick to learn a lesson, I mulled all this over for a while and prayed a bit sporadically.

Months later, my, now adult, child was going through another crisis and had shut down communication. You can see where this is going, can't you. Like I said, I'm not too quick. It wasn't until I was talking with another friend about the sadness I had over the lack of relationship with my child that I heard myself say, “I just want her to talk with me!” and the words of my friend echoed in my ears.

O Lord Jesus! Now I get it! I am so sorry. All this time You just wanted me to talk with You. I can praise You for Your glory, I can express frustrations and desires. I can tell You of my hopes and worries. I can tell You what I want. Not a laundry list of demands, but a conversation about what I'm facing and how much I need You!

As Lucy would put it, You are not “tame” but You are “good”.

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