Do you neglect Conversational Prayer?
I neglected it like the plague for years. I prayed with different types of prayer and I did all the talking. It wasn’t a dialogue but a monologue. It was about me, myself and I.
Don’t beat yourself up. You’re not alone.
Ranking high among the most neglected aspects of the Christian life is one Conversational Prayer.
Not that Christians don’t pray, they engage in all types of prayer. What’s missing is Conversational Prayer.
“The Lord says, “All you who are thirsty, come and drink. Those of you who do not have money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend your money on something that is not real food? Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you? Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies.
Come to me and listen; listen so you may live” (Isaiah 55:1-3).
I can’t get away from Isaiah 55:1-3. We own a Yorkie called Rocky, and these verses in Isaiah paints a picture of what he does when he gets his meaty bone. Yum!
He prizes his bone and anyone who owns a dog knows the routine.
I say to Rocky, “Want a treat?” His ears perk up and he prances even before he sees his treat. He now has his prize, wagging his tail, and proud of his find, even though it came from my hand.
After telling Rocky what a good dog he is he drags his bone to a more quiet place in the TV room. He settles down, gnaws on his bone and it’s obvious he’s enjoying himself. He isn’t in a hurry and after an hour or so he buries his bone in his doggy box so he can find it the next day.
I love to see Rocky chew his bone. I call it doggy meditation. Just kidding – but it’s a lot like Conversational Prayer.
Let me explain.
“O taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:8).
The missing link to Conversational Prayer is neglecting to come to the one who gives you food for your soul. Rocky comes to me to get his meaty bone because he knows who gives him tasty treats. He doesn’t go to the next-door-neighbor but to me. Again, and again without fail.
God says, “Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you? Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies. Come to me and listen; listen so you may live.”
I hear God saying, “The spiritual food I give feeds and nourishes your inner man that all your material things can’t.”
“Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies. Come to me and listen; listen so you may live.”
God is speaking about His Word. The word “listen,” is directly connected to the phrase “eat what is good.”
Conversational Prayer is a Feast for Your Soul
No one taught me how to eat the rich food God gives. I came to Him but totally missed the listening part.
Eating the word is not a new concept. “I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, “Take it, and eat;” (Revelation 10:).
Jeremiah and Ezekiel old testament prophets had also eaten books. Yum. A good diet for anyone who cares about Conversational Prayer.
I am using the metaphor,
“Eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies.
Come to me and listen; listen so you may live.”
In addition, I want to focus on and clarify what it means to “Eat what is good.” When you learn to “eat what is good” it becomes a feast for your soul.
When God speaks things happen. You see this from Genesis to Revelation.
“You can’t hear God speak to someone else, you can hear him only if you are being addressed.” Ludwig Wittgenstein
Like Rocky putting all of himself into gnawing on his bone, we put all of ourselves into eating what God gives us to eat. As Rocky chews and eats away at his bone, he absorbs it. There’s not a trace of any meat left on the bone. It’s now become part of him. His coat shines, his teeth are white, and he’s satisfied.
How to start absorbing the food God gives you to eat.
Read Isaiah 55:1-3. Which thoughts below describes your most common response to what you just read. Circle two or three, if you wish.
- What in the world do you mean Holy Spirit by “eat what is good”?
- I need your help to understand these Scriptures?
- I remember a teaching about this passage – how is it connected?
- I can’t do what this passage teaches.
- That was new!
- I’m done, it takes to long.
- I’m sleepy – I’ll read it tomorrow.
Read Isaiah 55:1-3 again.
- In Conversational Prayer why are the activities described in these verses a right response if you feel poor and penniless spiritually?
- Describe the reaction you have when you read. “Those of you who do not have money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
- “Why spend your money on something that is not real food? Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you? Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies.” What does that mean Holy Spirit?
- What do these verses tell you about Conversational Prayer?
- Which of the following responses to Isaiah 55:1-3 would you like to try more often? Why?
- Why are you more likely to change when you engage with God through Conversational Prayer?
Going Deeper with Conversational Prayer
Experiment with one or more of the following.
- Choose a response from this passage (such as how thirsty you are).
- Read Isaiah 55:1-3 aloud slowly. Which word or phrase is most meaningful to you? Why? What does that phrase say about how you want to connect with God? If you were to pray phrases from Isaiah 55:1-3 back to God, what would you say to Him?
Here are some starters:
Abba, my Father, open my eyes to the rich things you’re blessing me with that I don’t see or understand about Conversational Prayer.
Thank you, O God, that you know what I need to nourish my soul.
- Journal about “Eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies.”Here’s an idea to get you started: Eating what is good takes time Cindy. Don’t rush, let’s enjoy this time together. I want to savor every word you give me Father like I savor each bite of smooth luscious chocolate. Each word you speak to me is like a feast for my soul. Delicious and satisfying.
- Give yourself permission to respond: sense how much God loves you; how you may have left God on the sidelines of your life; how much God has helped you understand Conversational Prayer.