Leave the Chit-Chat behind
According to a professional counselor Jim and I once talked to, (and we believe him because he is a “professional”) married couples spend an average of 27 seconds per day in meaningful conversation. That’s not a typo. Seconds! That is pretty scary, isn’t it? No wonder most of us hit rough patches when our companionship is shallow and our passion is tepid. Our friend also showed us a visual tool that explains the levels of intimacy in communication. It’s plain to see the necessity of going beyond the first two “functional” levels to get to the “relational” levels if the relationship is going to thrive.
We soon connected the dots to apply this tool to the way we communicate with our Heavenly Father. Just as chit-chat is inadequate to nurture deep companionship in a marriage, spiritual chit-chat will shrivel our communion with the Savior. The level of our prayer communication reveals the level of our relationship with God.
When we saw this, we stopped to ask ourselves: What does my prayer life sound like? Is it pretty frivolous?
“Be with us today.” “Bless this bunch as we munch our lunch.” “Thank you for this day.”
Or maybe it goes a little bit deeper to facts.
“I’m not feeling well.” “The kids are traveling home on icy roads.”
Or maybe a little bit deeper into fellowship.
“I remember Your faithfulness during last summer’s hurricane.” “You have faithfully kept Your promises to supply in ways beyond what I could ask or think during our last job crisis.”
Or maybe a bit deeper still into feelings.
“I am feeling fearful and lonely and the fruit of the Spirit is not flourishing in my life right now.” “Deliver me from self and all of its disguises so that I desire what You desire.”
O perhaps all the way deep into freedom.
“Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” “In the deepest part of my being, I will rest in Your purposes, even when I don’t understand.”
The more we talked about it, the more we realized that intentionality is key as we pursue knowing the Lord, really knowing Him and really communication with Him. So tomorrow we are hosting a Personal Prayer Retreat at our home. A small group of friends will each have a private corner where they can spend an extended time conversing with the Lord.
We will use our Bibles, journals, songs, poems, and a Prayer Guide to help us move beyond the Frivolous and the Facts. We will use our lists (to do list, worry list, contact list, wish list, bucket list, blessing list) to cover many areas of life while we “exercise toward godliness” as I Timothy 4:7 urges us.
We encourage you to join us and set aside a few hours – often – to move into deeper intimacy with the One who ransomed us. May the never-ending conversation get richer and deeper as we travel Home.
You can download the Personal Prayer Retreat booklet HERE. Just print off the odd-numbered pages, flip them over and print off the even-numbered pages on the back side. Then fold the sheets in half and staple them in the middle to make your booklet.