Two-way conversation is a healthy way of verbal interaction between two parties engaged in the transmission of information. A two-way conversation is personal, and effective.
The definition of prayer is: it is a two-way conversation with God. One speaks to God, and God speaks back.
Since the time I could speak, my mother taught me to pray. She taught me to pray before meals, and at bed time. As I grew older, I learned to pray for things I wanted from God. These things could be good health, to pass a test at school, to get a job, to get food, to get a girl to like me, and the list goes on.
It was as if prayer was a grocery list I took to the “God-mart” for shopping. In some ways, prayer was like a magic phrase I yelled to God when I needed urgent help. I treated prayer like my convenient wand I pointed at material things my heart craved. I often prayed, asking God for material things, then bolting out of the prayer time without waiting for God’s response. I assumed my role is to ask, God’s role is to give me whatever I wanted.
Philippians 4:6-9, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Prayer is a two-way, relational communication between God and His beloved children. Prayer is a conversation between two beings who love and respect each other. Prayer is like a walk down the beach at sunset, hand in hand with your daddy. “Prayer at its highest is a two-way conversation –and for me the most important part is listening to God’s replies.” (Frank C. Laubach) A personal relationship with God is impeded by a one-directional, self-centered conversation.
We are already good at asking God for stuff. We need to learn to listen to God. We need to change our prayer lists into two-way conversations with God. This happens when we listen. We cannot listen if we do not know how God speaks. How then does God speak to us?
God speaks through His Word, the Bible.
God speaks through an audible voice.
God speaks through circumstances
God speaks through the church. Yes, through the sermons, worship, songs, and Bible Studies.
God speaks through people. He can speak through the children, the neighbor, your friends, family, mentors, and so forth.
God speaks through visions and dreams. While dreams and visions could be difficult to interpret, it does not mean God does not use them to say something to you. (Blackaby)
Next time you pray, take time to listen. Prayer is a two-way conversation.
- How often do you pray?
- How would you rate your prayer time?
- What’s good, and what’s bad about your prayer? Why?
- What stops you from praying? Why?
- What stops you from listening to God? Why?
- How could you make your prayer time a two-way conversation with God?
- What do you think God is saying to you these days?
Blackaby, H. T., & King, C. V. (1994). Experiencing God: How to live the full adventure of knowing and doing the will of God. Nashville, Tenn: Broadman & Holman Publishers.