Prayer Is A 4-Letter Word

A 4-letter word for Prayer?  How about h-a-r-d? l-o-n-g? a  bore? a drag? a HAVE-to?
Is prayer supposed to be that laborious? It is a struggle or a joy for you? Let’s think about that. How do YOU explain prayer to a non-believer, or what is their concept of it? I expect a common explanation from a non-believer might be:
   “Talking to a non-existent spiritual being, who if He was present, couldn’t care less about us.  If there is a God, it’s an energy force. It God is a person, He doesn’t give a rip about us. He just created stuff & left the scene.”
Assuming God is personal and does care, we can communicate with Him. I sense we’ve heard this common definition of prayer:
..Prayer is talking to God.
How do you explain prayer to a non-believer?
Can I pray without talking?  Think about that possibility.
Recently I experienced one of the most beautiful days ever weatherwise.  The wind was brisk and refreshing. The skies were blue and then filled with puffy cumulus clouds. The temperature was cool and comfortable dry.  “What a beautiful day!” I exclaimed. I sensed the goodness of God.
We recognize God in the beauty of nature, but have we considered the possibility that He is communicating with us — possibly without words. Maybe he is stroking us with the wind like a mother would do to her lovely child.
Prayer to some is laborious, travailing, long, boring.
I’ve heard prayer defined as “Talking to God”.   Not bad.  What most folks do without hearing a reply.
Listening to a Christian radio talk show, I heard a guest mention that “When I pray I talk to God, but I don’t have a conversation the same way as when I talk to you .”  My immediate reaction was “How sad – Why not?”
Have you ever experienced meeting someone and the conversation was uncomfortable because that person did all the talking. You could not get a word in edge-wise.  Possibly you remember being so excited to tell an acquaintance your story, that after a while you realized you were dominating the interaction.   I wonder how God feels when we do all the talking and we don’t give Him a chance to reply.
If we only have a one-way conversation, it is indeed lonely.
One of the lost arts in prayer is listening.
Listening prayer. – A novel idea.

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