PRAYER #talk2God #textingGod
Prayer is the smartest phone. Prayer is what God the Father invented to talk to you. But the service is not free. Jesus willingly gave His life that you could have your own number, instantly giving you free face time with the Father. Prayer has high speed connection and the quality is out of this world—just ask the Holy Spirit. Prayer is very emotional; you get to feel what is on God’s heart while He touches yours.
Let me ask you a question: how often do you talk to friends? How often do you talk to others? And on social media: how often do you “like” someone’s picture or post? Really. Take a moment to come up with an answer. (I know, that was more than “a” question; bear with me.) Do you have your answer? Now, answer me these: How much time do you spending talking to God? When was the last time you prayed? You might say, “I pray.” Or you might say, “Why should I pray? It doesn't work!” How do you know if prayer is effective or not? In order to answer this question we need to know God’s heartfelt desires behind prayer.
The Father wants a family and Jesus desires a bride, while the Holy Spirit, who is God, is willing to instantly connect you to the private connection (the very private connection) called prayer. All throughout the gospels, Jesus taught us about prayer. He said, “When you pray...” (Matt. 6:5), NOT “If you pray...”. He also said we should pray to our Father (you may have an issue with an earthly father, so call your Heavenly Father, and He will fill your heart with healing love). Also, Jesus teaches us when to pray by his own example: He got up early to pray, and He stayed up late to pray. Did you know? He desperately fought in the place of prayer! He sweat drops like blood (Luke 22:44) so He would not fall into temptation. He did this while His disciples slept. Jesus was willfully contending to bear the cross that you might be fully alive. Prayer is instant access to the very depth of the Father's deepest secrets, hidden in the mysterious chambers of His heart. Prayer lets you know that you're not alone, and that your Father always answers perfectly in His time and in His way. Prayer is instant access to the deepest love of your Heavenly Father, and to the highest love of His Son—the Beloved Bridegroom, Glorious King, and Just Judge. Prayer is not a means to the end—it is the end. You have the privilege to pray! You are invited to talk to God!
God wants you to talk with Him because He loves you and wants an extremely close relationship with you. And when I say `close` the human mind is not powerful enough to even consider how close God wants to be in your life. You may say, “I am close to my friend”, but God wants to be closer still. A husband may say, “I am close to my wife”, but God wants to be closer still. Even a mother may say, “I am close to my newborn child” (is there a closer bond than this?)—and yet the Holy Spirit tells us, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15) The closeness of a friend...of a husband...of a mother...combine these together, and even then, you will hardly even begin to touch the sheer magnitude of how close God wants to be with you!
Now, where were we...oh yes...talking to God! It is very easy to talk with Him. Do you have a phone? If so, do you “text” your friends? Well…it is time to start “texting God”! That’s right: it is time to start asking Him questions and getting answers (ha ha ha….no I don’t have His phone number.) So, how do you “text God”? Do you just get out your phone and text God questions? No; texting God is the metaphor. Instead, get out a pen and paper and start to write. You can look at my example below to get a hint on how to “text God”. The goal is to find out who God is and what He thinks and feels about you—to connect to His emotions for you.
In case you needed more proof of why you should “text God”: Did you know that (3) texting is on the rise? Here’s a stat for you: the average teenager sends 3,339 texts per month. That’s more than six texts per waking hour. According to a new study from (4) Nielsen, our society has gone mad with texting, data usage, and app downloads. The number of texts being sent is increasing, especially among teenagers age 13 to 17. But what if we spent time texting God? What if you took that time to talk2God? What if you wrote back and forth with God? What would your heart look like? But don’t take my word for it. Nicole was a university student, whose life was changed, while spending time texting God.
Last semester when I started going to Holy Clubs, I learned how precious our time with God is. I had been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts this year. My thoughts were consumed with feeling purposeless, unwanted, and unloved. At one of our Holy Clubs, I had a huge breakthrough by “texting” God. God spoke clearly into my life by telling me what life meant to Him: Nicole George; University student.
Why take time to text God?
1. Firstly, God wants to spend time with you because He loves you.
2. Secondly, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to know to succeed, to overcome in the areas of your weakness, and to complete the God given desires of your heart.
3. Thirdly, you are called to “go and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19). If you know how to #talk2God, then your disciples will know how to #talk2God.
Example of texting God:
Directions: I like to start with a scripture and then talk2God, or “text God” back and forth. The two questions I use are:
1. What does this Scripture show me about You (God)?
2. What does this Scripture show me about what You (God) think and feel about me?
3. Then I try to summarize what be said with a builder sentence or main point.
EXAMPLE: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9)
Question #1: “What does this Scripture show me about You (God)?”
Me: Father of Glory “What does this Scripture show me about You (God)?”
Father: It shows that I am “your” Father and I am “our” Father
Me: What does that mean You are “our Father”?
Father: There is no one like Me; Father: Ask Me what that means.
Me: What does this mean?
Father: I am not like your earthly Father.
Me: How can I trust You?
Father: Wait and see. I will show you that I am good.
Me: Father, What is the “builder sentence”? Father: I am the good Father; worship Me!!
Builder sentence (or main point): You are a good Father; help me to believe You’re a good Father.
After you text God, it is time to Pray: UP, IN, OUT
UP: (BELIEVE) What does this verse show me about who You (God) are? You grow in belief as you diligently seek the knowledge of God and then you declare the truth about Him, (i.e. who He is). Your ministry to God will allow God to increase in your heart and in the atmosphere around your city. He is enthroned in the praise of His people (Ps. 22:3). Also, He enjoys your devotion; you move His heart. When you minister to Him, He rewards your heart with more of Him. “Main point” prayer: Help me believe and give me revelation (ex. You are Holy, Holy, Holy…Lord God Almighty; Thank You, Holy God; help me to believe You are holy, give me revelation of your holiness).
IN: (BELIEVE) What does this verse show me about what You (God) think about me? You grow in belief as you minister back to God what He thinks about you. You must seek the truth about what God thinks and feels for you and then speak that truth into your heart so that you can grow in God, and become more like Christ. When you minister to God, He speaks tenderly back to you and touches your heart, filling your emotions with His truth. “Main point” prayer: Help me believe and help me obey (ex. You are Holy, and You love me so much, You made a way for me to be Holy just like you; Thank You, Father, for making me Holy; give me revelation of Your desire to make me holy like You. I will obey Your call for holiness; give me strength to obey Your call unto holiness).
OUT: How then shall I pray for my neighbor? “Main point” prayer: Jesus, help my neighbor believe and obey You. This is where you write down a summary prayer for those around you. Old Testament Prophets taught the people and then wrote down their prayers for others to declare. David ministered to God, prayed for Himself, and asked God for the people around Him (all the Psalms). Paul taught the people and wrote down the prayers that needed to be heard (Eph. 1:17-19).