When I was a child, a Sunday School teacher taught me that prayer was composed of four actions, represented by the acronym "ACTS." "A" for "Adoration," "C" for "Confession," "T" for "Thanksgiving," and "S" for "Supplication," which is when you ask God for what you want.
I practiced "ACTS" like a monologue.
"ACTS" is not a bad place to start but it is a bad place to stop in one's relationship with God. As a little girl, I mistakenly (and unconsciously) believed that I had to follow this formula if I wanted to be a good Christian and have God answer my prayers.
There was no place for a dialogue with God that involved questions. It also did not include space for me to listen for God's answer (should He choose to give one) when I asked a question. It didn't convey the give and take that occurs between two people in a real conversation.
As a child, I unconsciously thought that God was like certain adults in my life; He didn't care what I thought or felt. He simply wanted me to be a "good girl" and keep my mouth shut. In the past 12 years or so, I have discovered quite the opposite is true.
God longs for me to share my heart and thoughts with Him. He is like the attentive lover who leans forward to listen to my every word. My response, in love, is to move closer so I can hear His reply.
"Trust in Him at all times...Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:8 (NASB)
God never tires of my ramblings although I am a verbal processor, who can flit from one tangent to another faster than a hummingbird hovers from one colorful nectar-rich flower to another.
David was called "a man after God's heart" and he had no-holds-barred conversations with God that are (thankfully) recorded in the Psalms.
Real love requires dialogue not a monologue - even when the words don't flow easily.
Do you dialogue with God? If yes, what about? Please share, if you are able, it would be a blessing to hear from you.
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