I talk to myself, a lot. Sometimes out loud, which entertains those around me, but most often silently, within the confines of my own mind.
My internal monologue runs pretty constant and ranges from the mundane – “Should I run by the store now or will it be less crowded later?” to the more challenging – “What do I need to do to resolve a conflict with a coworker?” After consulting with myself, I’ll decide on a course of action, or I’ll put the problem on the bottom of a mental stack and deal with it when it pops up again.
In some ways it’s the most natural thing in the world to do – to ruminate on your problems, to contemplate what you’re going to do. I suspect most of us do this without even trying. At least that’s what I said to myself.
But then my internal monologue was interrupted by these words:
“You seem like you do a really good job carrying on a monologue in your head. The great privilege for every believer and my hope for you is that your life becomes a constant dialogue with your Father in heaven.”
This wisdom came via a mentor of my friend Neil Tomba, which he shared in a recent sermon on prayer. You can get the whole message here: “The Parable of the Midnight Friend”.
I’m afraid too often I think of prayer as something we do together in church. Or if you’re really serious about your faith, prayer is a set time in the schedule for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication™. Viewing prayer only this way tends to make prayer an activity, a task to be completed before we get on with other stuff.
In the sermon Neil points out that when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, He taught them to begin with, “Our Father …” – a highly relational approach to prayer that encourages us to pray like young children who freely pour out their requests to their mom or dad throughout the day. Seen this way, prayer isn’t just a scheduled activity, but an ongoing conversation with our Father in heaven who gives good gifts to us every day.
Something to think about … and something to talk to the Father about.