Prayer - Conversation or Communion?

I've heard prayer defined as an ongoing conversation with God, and on the surface, that sounds like a good definition, but it's a far too simplistic. Conversations are often just "mind dumps" on another person without taking the time to truly listen to them to see what's on their minds - on their hearts. We exchange information without really connecting with one another.  

image courtesy xymonau,
Prayer is so much more than conversation with God. Prayer is communion with God.

com·mun·ion -kəˈmyo͞onyən  noun
  1. the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.

    affinity, fellowship, kinship, friendship, fellow feeling, togetherness, closeness, harmony, understanding, rapport, connection, communication, empathy, accord, unity
Prayer is intimate. Prayer is meeting with the Creator of the universe, the Creator of human life - your human life. Prayer is connecting with the One who loves you beyond all reason - so much so, that He gave His only Son to redeem a broken relationship with you and tear down that barrier of sin that kept you isolated from communion with the Father.

Prayer is not one-sided. It's a sharing - an exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings - yours AND God's. You speak, He listens and nods in complete understanding. He speaks and you listen, in complete agreement - whether you understand all He is saying or not, because, well...He is Lord. You listen with a heart bent toward immediate obedience.

Prayer is experienced on a mental, emotional and spiritual level. We open ourselves up and pour it all out to the only one who fully "gets us," knowing that only He can bring about what is best for us. Only He knows whether our circumstances need to change or whether it's US who need to change.

So, with this deeper understanding of prayer, the next time you close yourself in with God, take a few minutes to remind yourself just who you are talking with. Reach for that richer, more fulfilling communion experience, rather than a surface conversation.

Reach for affinity, fellowship, kinship, friendship, fellow feeling, togetherness, closeness, harmony, understanding, rapport, connection, communication, empathy, accord and unity with God, your Father.

I pray that your prayer time will be a whole new experience for you.

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Glow in the Dark Christians

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You are the
 of the world.
Matthew 5:14

As a follower of Christ, a Believer, who has surrendered your life to Him, you have 
divine purpose.

God has proclaimed you a light in the darkness, 
bringing hope into hopeless situations
encouragement to the discouraged
love to the unloveable by
 pointing the way to the One who is 


Be a glow-in-the-dark Christian
and let your little light shine! 

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Shield a Badge with Prayer

Seems like every week we hear about another police officer who dies at the hand of some crazed criminal. Used to be that it happened as police were trying to apprehend the criminal, but lately, it's like someone (not mentioning any names) has declared open season on anyone wearing a police uniform.  It's horrible!

The very people who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve are being gunned down in our streets. Now, before you go yelling at me about cops gone bad - I agree - there are some cops that have done horrible things, but I believe that the greater majority of police officers are good men and women. They deserve our respect, our gratitude and our prayers.

Paul said - 
"First, I tell you to pray for all people, asking God for what they need and being thankful to him. Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God." 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Have you heard of Shield a Badge with a Prayer?  I just learned about this movement a couple of days ago.  Someone posted a link on Facebook. I clicked and read all about it. This is a prayer support group for police officers.  Here's how it works. You can click on a link and say you want to pray for an officer. You will receive a name and a badge number and that will be your officer. You pray for him or her everyday - for their SAFETY, GOOD JUDGEMENT, and A SAFE RETURN HOME.

I noticed, however, that the site is based in Texas, so I didn't know if I would get the name of an officer in Texas or my state. I wanted to adopt and pray for a local police officer here in Peoria, AZ.

This evening, Lee and I were having dinner at Panda Express when a uniformed police officer came in.  I felt the Lord prompt me to tell him about the program and ask him if I could "adopt" him and pray for him every day. After the look of shock faded away. He hesitantly said that would be very nice. He said, "We need it right now."

His name is Officer Fuller and I will be covering him in prayer every day!


How about you? Would you like to adopt an officer?  You can use the Shield a Badge with a Prayer site or you could just do what I did and ask the next cop you see if you can pray for him every day.

I would love to hear if you adopt an officer.  Leave a comment and let me know all about your officer.

By the way, here are the guidelines I found on the SABWP site:

NO - Promises beyond PRAY EVERY DAY 
NO - Phone calls or emails
NO - Soliciting
NO - Demands from Officers
NO - Favors extended
NO - Pushing self on Officers
NO - Money involved
NO - Collections
NO - Exchanges
One Year Commitment
A note or post card(s) during the year letting the officer know your name and that you are part of the "Shield a Badge" program.

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How to become a Spiritual Self-Feeder

"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation" 1 Peter 2:2

image from
Newborn babies have no trouble getting what they need.  As a mother, you learn to discern the difference between, "I need to be fed." and "I need a clean diaper."  You learn the tone in their cry when something is hurting them and when they just need to be held and reassured. You're quick to provide whatever is needed for you newborn, however if your 5 year old is asking for what they need the same way they did when they were newborns - crying non-stop until they get what they want, you've got a problem.

At some point, we must teach our precious little ones to do for themselves. From holding their own bottle, to eat solid food as we spoon it into their mouths, to feeding themselves using utensils and eventually learning how to pour their own cereal with milk or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Eventually, they are fully capable of preparing a meal for themselves.  They are even capable of choosing between junk food and healthy, life-giving food.

As a new believer in Christ, we choose to accept Him as our personal Savior. We are hungry for more of Him, more of His word. We want to be around other believers, so we're there every time the church doors are open.  We read Christian books, listen to Christian radio stations. We're ravenous for more of Him.  We're quick to ask questions about spiritual and hunt for the answers. We lean heavily on those who are mature in their spiritual walk. Those who know how to "walk the walk" because we want to grow in Him.

image from
That's okay when you are a "newborn" in Christ, but at some point, we need to wean ourselves from depending on others. We need to learn how to go to read the Bible for ourselves, instead of fully depending on the preacher to tell us what it says and how to apply it to our lives.  Instead, we should be leaning on the Holy Spirit - praying before we dig into the Word that He will reveal more of Himself to us through the Word and that He will show us how to apply it - how to be "doers" of the Word and not just "hearers" only.
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22
Not that we wouldn't need to still learn from those who are more mature in their faith than us, because we can learn much from their example, but we need to be able to stand on our own two spiritual feet, so that we can be a help and an example to those who are coming up behind us in their own new spiritual walk.

So, let's take a minute and examine ourselves.
  • Do you spend some time daily reading your Bible and praying?
  • Do you set spiritual leaders on such high pedestals that if they fell, you would be pulled down with them?
  • Do you place too many demands for spiritual nourishment on those around you?
  • Have you realized that we are to continually exercise habits that will cause us to grow in Christ?
  • Do you reach out to those who are newer in the faith than you are to help them grow and mature in their faith?
  • Would you say you are someone who has learned how to feed themselves spiritual food, or are you still dependent on others to hold your hand?
  • How did you learn to walk on your own?
What are your thoughts on this subject?
Please leave a comment to let us know what you think.


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Gigantic Mustard Seed Faith

Are you a Mountain Mover?

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In Matthew 17:20, Jesus says that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, (which is one of the smallest seeds of all), we can move mountains.

Well, so far, I haven't been able to cast a mountain into the sea, so it makes me wonder just how small my faith is. That can really bum me out until I remember that the focus is not my faith, but on how much faith I have in the One who is the focus of my faith.  Do I believe that God is able to do great things? To move impossible mountains in my life?

Our prayers often reflect the size of our faith. I heard a quote recently that made me thing about the way I pray...

We should be storming heaven with prayers asking God for the impossible, not the mundane! ~Oscar Muriu 

...and I heard another guy say we should be praying...

Big hairy audacious prayers!
Why don't we pray for things that seem beyond reach? Things that seem impossible? Miracles?

Maybe it's because we're afraid that if we do and it doesn't happen, it will shake our faith in God.  Remember, we're praying and asking God to answer our prayers and sometimes (for our own sake or for His own purposes), he says "No" to our prayer.  That's okay.  We ultimately want his will, not our own.

So, why bother to ask for the miracle?  Because the answer might just be YES, but if we never have the courage to ask, we may never see His miracle-working power.

It reminds me of a story I heard about a man who went to Heaven and while Jesus was giving him a tour, He opened the door to a room stacked high with beautifully wrapped gifts of every size.  When he asked Jesus what they were, He answered, "Gifts waiting to be prayed for."

I don't know about you, but I want everything God wants to give me...and NOTHING that He doesn't want me to have.  So, I'll pray for those things that I believe to be within His will, like healing miracles, financial miracles and salvation of those I love who seem so very far from ever wanting to come to God, the salvation of my city or - and here's a biggie - godly government officials who make decisions based on what's right, not what's beneficial to them - because I believe in miracles and because I'm okay with God saying no.  I know that He will only do what's best, so that might mean I don't get what I think is best, but I will not limit him by being afraid to ask for the big stuff.

How about you? Do you pray mundane, anemic, namby-pamby prayers or do you really connect with God and seek him for depth and width and length and heighth - for the things that are beyond what you could do for yourself.  Do you ask for those things your heart longs for? Are you afraid to ask for those things because you're afraid he might say no?

What if He says YES!


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Love - I just don't get it

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19

I watched a sermon, based on this passage in Ephesians, called Falling Madly in Love with God this morning and I'm still teary-eyed.  

image by Zela,
Here, the Apostle Paul's greatest desire is that we would grasp (fully understand) how completely we are loved by Christ, so that we might be filled (saturated) with the fullness of God. That we are strengthened in our inner being (way down deep in their soul)  and he (Paul) was willing to kneel before the Father and implore Him to grant us this understanding.


Because he knew that if we ever truly grasp how much the Lord loves us - if we could really "get it" so completely that it goes down into our inner man, we would stand so strong in God's love, that nothing could shake us.  We would not doubt His love for us. We would fall so madly in love with God that we couldn't help but share this Good News with everyone we meet.

But, do we get it?  Do we really understand the width and the length and the height and the depth of His love for us? I don't.  How's that for honest? I just don't get it. Maybe I don't understand what true love is because I've never felt truly loved. That's an awful thing to say, considering I have family and a husband that love me and people that I love, but human love is flawed. It wanes when someone is ticked at you and sometimes the person who promised to love you "til death us do part" stopped loving you. Then there's those who love you as long as you're providing what they need out of the friendship, but when they no longer need you or you can no longer provide - they fade into the background.

It's no wonder we don't really understand the depth of God's love for us. The only thing we have to compare it to is faulty human love.

The only way we can comprehend God's great love for us is to pray that He will give us the ability to understand it. Paul knew that prayer was the answer.  He understood that no matter how many times he tried to explain it or how eloquently he preached it, the full understanding of God's love can only come when God fills our hearts with that knowledge, so he was willing to get on his knees and ask God to help us to grasp the fulness of His love.

So, I spend some time in prayer this morning, asking God to help me to fully understand His love and I prayed for those closest to me, too, because if we ever really got it, we would be powerhouses of faith - unstoppable in sharing the gospel, in loving others, in making a difference every day of our lives. Sin would loose it's persuasion and holiness would be our main pursuit, and I want that for every Believer.

Oh, God - please help us to understand just how much you love us!  Implant our hearts deeply with the knowledge of who you are and greatly we are loved. Make us stand sure in the power of that love, so that we might be a mighty force for you, here on Earth - reaching, loving, sharing YOU with others. Amen

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People are not fish and we don't bait them.

photo used by permission johnnyberg on
I recently read a short article on evangelism that began like this...

If you want to be a successful fisherman, you don't look for the most comfortable spot on the lake. Instead, you go to where the fish are, and you make it as easy and attractive as possible for the fish to swallow your hook.
Since we are called to be "fishers of men," I get the fishing analogy and I agree with not just looking for a place that's comfortable.  Sometimes we have to go into the dark and uncomfortable situations in order to share Christ's gospel with those who don't know him.

They lost me, however when they suggest that we make it "as easy and attractive as possible for the fish to swallow the hook." First, I don't like thinking of people as fish to be baited, then hooked and second, I'm not sure that we should make it as easy and attractive as possible for people to receive Christ.  I don't see that in the Bible..not from Jesus and not from the disciples.  They didn't water down the message just to make it attractive.

In fact, Jesus was often so forthright with the cost of following him that many people turned away and I don't read anywhere that he chased after them trying to make the gospel more palatable.

I'm not saying that we need to be rude or pushy.  We don't need to make it difficult to understand what it means to follow Christ.  But we do owe it to people to respect them enough to help them make a fully informed decision to follow Jesus.  Too many churches and Christians mislead people by telling them that once they accept Jesus as Lord, their lives will be just hunky-dory.  When trouble hits, and it always hits, new believers think that God should jump right in and fix everything for them.

He never promised that.  Truth is, Jesus said " this world you will have trouble, but take heart, because I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33)

He also warned people to count the cost of following him in Luke 14:25-33.

So, let's be careful to do what it says in 2 Timothy 2:15..."Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."

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