Item Needed: phone
Most anyone you ask can tell you that they have prayed at some time, even if they aren’t Christians. But even many people who are Christians do not really know what prayer is all about. For most people prayer is just something you do when you are in a crisis and need something. That is not what prayer is at all. Scripture shows us that God expects us to pray all throughout the day. (Psalm 55:17 – Evening, morning, and at noon will I pray.) You aren’t going to have a crisis all day every day, so that isn’t prayer. Some Christians think prayer is just to ask for things. That isn’t true either. Here I have a phone. Let’s pretend that this phone represents prayer. (Temporarily set it out of site.) Let me dramatize an event for you.
Oh, man! This is a horrible problem! I need help fast! Where is that phone!? I need a plumber now! There is water everywhere! Where is that phone?!? Here it is! How do you turn this thing on. Oh, OK. (Dial number.) I need a plumber right now! I don’t care what he is doing! My water pipes broke and water is flooding my house! Everything I own is going to be ruined! I need a plumber now so you better send one right now! (Click.)
What’s wrong with that conversation? The plumber will never come. Why? That’s right. All I did was talk. I never stopped for them to get the information that they needed, such as find out who I was, where I live, what parts are needed for the pipes. You never have a conversation on the phone in which you don’t listen!!! God isn’t like the plumber. He knows everything going on in your life and He knows all the answers–but you don’t! Prayer is like a conversation on the phone; there must always be time to listen. In fact, it is more important to listen when you pray than it even is to talk. That doesn’t mean you don’t talk at all, but that you actually need to spend more time listening than you do talking. You see the phone everyday. Let that phone remind you everyday that prayer is not just talking, but listening. It’s good to talk to God throughout the day about what you need or what is happening in your life, but it is even more important that all throughout the day you take time to listen!