We finally made it to the strawberry patch to pick ourselves some berries yesterday. Great way to start our Canada Day! It was warm but cloudy making it perfect picking weather in my opinion.
It took some convincing, but we managed to get both of our daughters along for the excursion and by the time they were picking and eating berries, they were both glad they came along.
After we came home with our berries, we made some jam, and then we made some short cake to have for dessert with the strawberries of course, for after dinner.
I’ll admit to you that I like to watch people. And it was interesting watching people while picking strawberries yesterday. There were quite a few people out in the field picking berries. A couple of rows over from us there was this lady picking strawberries and talking up a storm to the guy in the row beside her. It was obvious they didn’t know each other, but she seemed to find some things they had in common whether it was people they both knew or local places they’d both been to. Their conversation was loud enough you couldn’t avoid hearing it. As I listened without really hearing the words that were being spoken I began thinking about prayer.
I wondered if we sometimes sound to God a bit like that lady in the strawberry patch. Non-stop talking without really pausing to hear responses from the other person she was talking to.
It made me think of Matthew 6:7-8 “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Repetitious prayers, meaningless words said over and over again don’t accomplish anything. I purposely included verse 8 here because I absolutely love it – Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. He already knows what we need. He already knows!
Talking with God is important. Prayer is talking with God. Notice I didn’t say talking TO God. It’s a conversation that’s rooted in relationship. If you think about it, seriously, what in the world could I possibly offer as wisdom or advice or help to the God of the universe? Why in the world would I monopolize the conversation and make it all about me? He knows what I need. He wants me to ask Him for the things I need, and I do that, but then I listen.
The beginning of the most famous Psalm says it so well – The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul – Psalm 23:1-3a. He takes care of me, he leads me, he refreshes me. These verses depict a relationship – a two way relationship.
It’s so critical that we understand that God wants us to be in relationship with Him. He wants to talk with us. Like we do in our relationships with other people. Real conversations where we talk & listen and spend quality time together. With God we do that by reading the Bible, spending time reading or listening to His words and through prayer.
Have you ever had someone in your life that only talked about themselves and didn’t make much time if any time for you to talk? I have. It’s pretty difficult to have a balanced, healthy relationship with people like that. I don’t want to be that type of person in my relationship with God and I would encourage you to avoid that too.
Being conscious of what we’re saying when we pray and making sure there is time to spend quietly to listen in prayer are keys to building a stronger relationship with God.