- - Sunday, November 29, 2015

Prayer is a conversation with God.

I’ve grown to believe it’s really this simple.

So upon waking up each day, I start the day in prayer because I say out loud, “I want to thank you, Lord, for this day and for another privilege and opportunity to serve You.”

The first words He says back are in my bathroom.

“You are the light of the world” the beautiful picture reads. I clipped and framed it from a free calendar years ago.

Matthew 5:14 is really small under this scripture, so I usually don’t read that part because my reading glasses are nowhere close by.

As I make my way downstairs to brew my coffee and do the dishes from the day before, I’m usually talking to Him the whole time about what kind of light I can be today.

This is the point where I realize I should check my calendar to see what my assistant has booked me to do that day.

God says the same thing many mornings in response to me because the stone plaque over my coffee pot is Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

Next, I sit down with my coffee and my Bible and start to read the Psalm and Proverb for that day.

My daily Proverb reading King Solomon outlined in 31 chapters, one for each day.

For my daily Psalm, I depend upon Tyndale House, which published “The One Year Book of Psalms” with devotionals written by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen, a book I have now read through year after year and just recently downloaded on my phone to lighten my suitcase.

Because yes, this is my daily morning routine even when on the road (all except the wall scriptures and the dishes).

Others, some perhaps having gone much deeper with understanding Christ than I, may believe that prayer is much more complicated. And that’s OK with me.

I know a lot of people that others know too, and we each have unique yet special relationships and ways we communicate with one another.

I recently attended the funeral of a mentor of mine from The Heritage Foundation and, after listening to those who knew him well, I’m convinced that he has a comedian star in his heavenly crown, but I knew him 20 years and don’t recall him ever telling me any of those jokes.

Maybe the real difference in sorting through distinctions and characteristics of prayer between folks who seek God though prayer is in the way God chooses to speak back.

One can pray and pray and pray yet think their prayers are not even being heard or answered.

Oh, trust me. God has heard and has answered all of your prayers.

In fact, the Lord is so intimate in our details that He told Jeremiah to tell us, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

One secret that many, many people for many, many generations from many, many backgrounds from all around the world have discovered — is that God tucked all of the answers to all of life’s questions and problems and joys and prayers in the Bible.

But sometimes, unless you have developed a habit to daily read it, God can seem very hidden and very silent.

One beauty of prayer is that it can always change.

One beauty of God is that He does not.

I can guarantee that my prayer the day after I chose to leave welfare was very different from my prayer the day after my 14-year-old daughter died. Or my prayer two years later upon the birth of my first grandchild.

(And now I have two grandchildren, so added to my prayer list is for enough grandmommy kisses to share. And for a husband to share life and prayers with.)

Even prayers for my business have changed from “Lord, please let this one donor check of the month clear the bank before the ones I’ve written against it come in, to Lord how can I pray for the personal needs of each and every one of Cure’s 3,500 donors today?”

Prayers change because life on this side of eternity is constant change.

But our hope and future is on the other side of eternity, and I have grown to believe that the author prayer never changes.

His answers are always in His word.

God’s revelation to Elijah after during exhaustion he poured out his heart in prayer according to 1 Kings 19:11?

“Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks into pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”

Star Parker is founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (urbancure.org) and blackcommunitynews.com, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. She is also an author, news commentator and nationally syndicated columnist with Creators.

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