As you may know, I have a propensity for offering some takes on Scriptures, and my Faith Walk, that are a tad been different than the norm. Well, that’s what I am up to yet again today! If, after reading these various Blogs you haven’t gotten mad at me yet, this one just might push you over the edge!
You see, while most people will tell you that you need to set aside at least an hour a day to pray to God, as suggested by Larry Lea in his book a few years back, COULD YOU NOT TARRY ONE HOUR? Me? I don’t think God wants you to Pray to Him, I think He wants you to talk with Him!
To begin with, I think Mr. Lea may have misinterpreted Matthew 26:36-40, where Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him when He goes to pray. 36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
If you notice, Jesus didn’t take Peter and the boys so they could Pray with Him, but rather that they could “stand watch” while He Prayed! In essence, He took them with Him so that could “have His back!” His intent was not to have them Pray in agony the way He was Praying. And, He was in agony as He Prayed, as we are told in Luke 22:44 – And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Now, this is where it gets a little dicey, so get ready to flare up with indignation and get mad at me: Jesus didn’t expect the three disciples to pray with Him in agony because we were not created to pray in agony!!! Jesus, on the other hand, was created for that very purpose! That’s why He said in Matt. 26:39. “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
“Ok, Floyder,” I can hear you thinking, “if we weren’t created to ‘pray in agony,’ how are we supposed to pray.”
That’s a fair question. Before I pontificate on this, let’s look at the lyrics of a few songs to set the stage for my comments. First, my mom’s favorite hymn, IN THE GARDEN:
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known
Then, there is the chorus of HAVE A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS:
Now let us have a little talk with Jesus
Let us tell Him all about our troubles
He will hear our faintest cry and we will answer by and by
Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
You’ll know a little fire is burning
You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right
I believe that we were created by God to fill His “people void,” and therefore we should talk with Him just as we would any of other good friends. As a result, Prayer should not be a sanctimonious undertaking, nor should it be constant pleading/teasing. What it should be is us just smashing out a visit with Him. Telling Him how much we enjoy being able to share our lives with Him; Thanking Him for all the little things He does for us; Recognizing His hand in every aspect of our lives.
Don’t misunderstand me – – there are times when we have to get down to some serious down-on-our-knees supplication! But, for the most part, our best approach to Prayer is simply,
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
The GOOD NEWS is He is always available to visit with you – – to “have a little talk” with! Just as we are to Fellowship with each other, Jesus wants us to Fellowship with Him as well! Just as you visit with your other friends in an informal, on-going basis, so should you Fellowship with Jesus. And, like Mikey, I can safely say, “Try it, you’ll like it!!!”