Today I’m going to share with you the sweetest scripture I’ve ever read. A scripture so powerful in its sweetness that it stopped me in my tracks. When I read it yesterday in a post, I thought for sure it wasn’t really an actual scripture. This couldn’t have been in my Bible all this time and I never saw it. But indeed, here it is.
Psalm 27:8 “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Woah. Does that touch you the way it does me? God says to your heart “come and talk with me.” Let your heart simply respond “Lord, I am coming.”
On a weekly basis I receive messages asking about prayer. How do you pray more meaningful and powerful prayers? How do you find the proper words to say that bend the ear of the creator of the universe? What exactly do you ask him? Have we turned prayer into a formal communication for which we do not know the language? Have we complicated the connection and in the process disconnected from the Almighty?
David, the little shepherd boy who defeated Goliath, then grew to become a great King with the favor of God, is believed to have written this scripture. He knew. He knew the promptings within that bring him to his Maker, and he knew to simply respond.
God says “come and talk with me.” That’s not an agenda. That’s not a script. That’s not a formality. That’s an invitation to a conversation. A two way conversation. Talk WITH me, not just TO me. I have things I want to tell you, and there are things I want you to tell me.
Today, don’t you hear your Father saying to your heart “come and talk with me.” Yes, you do. Now maybe you’ve allowed the busyness to distract you, and maybe you would first have to tread through layers of guilt and shame before you could bow your head, but today all of that can be removed. Today you can respond “Lord, I am coming.” I’m coming to talk with you. I don’t know exactly what to say. I don’t even know how to start. I don’t even know how to listen for you and be sure you’re talking to me. But I am coming.
I didn’t always talk with God the way you hear me talk with him now. I felt distant from him, even unimpressed by him. I honestly felt like he was going to do what he was going to do, and my communication with him wasn’t going to change anything. But I was wrong. My communication with him changed everything.
After God saved me from a stroke at 19 years old, I found a relationship with him that created a hunger within me for more. I craved reading God’s word. I wanted to understand. I wanted to spend time with him. I had a green study bible at my work desk and I highlighted nearly every page as I studied. I prayed the promises I read and believed them to be true. I grew immensely. But somewhere in the midst of being completely well and life going on, I lost the sweetness of that relationship, and prayer became an obligatory 3 sentences I would repeat before my meals.
Then struggle hit in my early 30’s. Business failed, success ceased, doors closed, and my heart grew bitter. I was angry God had allowed these hardships. I had grown distant and distracted as I tried to fix these problems on my own. But nothing worked as it all fell apart. This was a turning point. This was the day I prayed for the first time in a long time and told God I was angry and disappointed at him. To my surprise, God didn’t turn from me. Instead he responded to my anger with a gentleness and peace I can’t describe. To return to that peace, I began spending more time with God. Instead of just whispering my prayers, I began journaling my prayers. Writing my praises and my requests. Recording the promptings I felt within my spirit.
And goodness gracious if our whole world didn’t start changing. We went from parking our car in the garage to hide it from the repo man, to building our dream home with the resort style backyard. I kept talking with God … until I didn’t. Life got blessed and busy, and I got distracted. Distracted by all we had and all we were working to get more of. Distracted by all the goodness of the trips and the toys. Sadly, I allowed my blessings to crowd God right out of my life. I no longer had time to journal prayers, that time was filled with more pressing things in a growing family and business.
One day I stopped and realized I had totally lost the sweetness of our prior relationship. There was no connection. I no longer knew how to talk with him. I didn’t hear him in my life anymore, and I didn’t know how to start again. Struggle had first hardened my heart to God, then success distracted me from my destiny.
Then came the game changer. My friend Suzanne taught me the 4 sentence prayer. A simple way to talk with God that came with no strings and no pressure. Just 4 simple sentences and you’re done. The very day she taught me, I went into my closet, I closed the door, and I hit my knees and I talked with God for the first time in a long time.
Sentence 1: Tell God what you’re grateful for.
Sentence 2: Tell God where you’ve messed up and ask him to forgive you.
Sentence 3: Tell God what you’re worried about.
Sentence 4: Ask God for help.
Within a few weeks of starting this daily conversation of 4 simple sentences with God, he clearly told me to start hosting devotionals. I hadn’t read my Bible in YEARS. I didn’t even know what a devotional was supposed to look like. And I couldn’t possibly be expected to tell people about Jesus … I was an emotional hot mess and couldn’t speak his name without crumbling into a snotfest.
But, he wouldn’t release me from this continual nudge, so I agreed to hosting a devotional conference call for 1 week to prove I wasn’t possibly the right girl for the job. 9 years later, it would take nothing short of God’s loud booming voice to make me stop!
How did all of this start … a girl who’s struggles and successes both had pulled her away from a relationship with her creator, and a simple responding to God’s whisper in my heart when he said “come and talk with me.”
Now, this gets me really excited for you. If God is saying to you “come and talk with me”, what could he have waiting for you? What amazing adventure could he invite you into? What incredible movement could he be ready to show you? What purpose could he reveal? What blessing could he bring? What promise could he fulfill?
Maybe you’re in the struggle … see God here. He hasn’t abandoned you. His eye is on you, his hand is here for you, and he has good plans for you. Hear him call to your heart “come talk with me.” Let your heart respond “Lord, I’m coming.” And if all you have to come to him with is anger, then bring it. If all you have are questions, bring those. If all you have is a a prayer of “help”, then say it over and over again. Help.
Maybe you’re in the success … see God here. You’ve been busy and distracted, surrounded by all the things you once prayed for. Don’t let struggle be the only thing that brings you back to your knees. Get yourself there today sister. Respond to his calling and talk with him. You have a whole lot to tell him thank you for. Start there. Thank him for every single blessing you recognize today. Talk with him about the goodness of these details.
Did you know you don’t have to close your eyes while you pray? Sometimes when I’m praying over a delicious meal, I look at it intently and smell it’s wonderful aroma and pray while I take that first bite. Sometimes I open my eyes and look around at all that is good and right and beautiful in that moment and talk with God about my blessings.
Closing your eyes is not required for this conversation with God. In fact sometimes I think he wants us to open our eyes, see what he is doing and talk with him about it right there.
Won’t you respond to the whisper in your heart that says “come and talk with me.” And just keep coming back. Keep coming back to this relationship with him where you are strengthened in the struggle and grounded in the success.