Today I experienced God in a new sort of way.
My prayer life as of late has been pretty one-dimensional. As in I list a bunch of things I want God to do, telling Him what I think I and others need, pausing for .2 seconds in case He has a response, and wrapping things up with the traditional “in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Every once in awhile, though, I sit a few minutes longer and ask God to speak to me. But He usually doesn’t, and I get frustrated. I want to hear from Him about something specific, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say He’s ignoring me.
Those kinds of experiences with God make me mad. I get all little-kid about it and subconsciously say, “Fine! I don’t want to talk to you ANYway!” I march off, pout, and hesitate to come back to Him in prayer for several days.
But that’s not what happened today.
Today something new – something PHENOMENAL – happened while I was praying.
I put my kids down for a nap, and I laid on my face on the floor. I closed my eyes and pictured Jesus and me sitting on a couch. I asked Him for something important, but He didn’t answer me. So I began to tell Him why I wanted that something. At some point Jesus got off the couch, came around to face me, and we were transported to a coffee shop. (I say “transported” because it wasn’t me directing this visual; it was the Holy Spirit taking control.)
Jesus and I were sitting facing each other in some super comfy brown leather chairs. I knew it was a coffee shop, but I couldn’t see anything else except Jesus in His chair.
And here is the awesome part: we dialogued just as quickly as two humans. We had an extended conversation that was just as fulfilling as one I might have with any of you over a cup of coffee. It was two-dimensional.
I felt a closeness to Him I don’t typically feel during prayer. His love for me was palpable.
I prayed for some friends, but it wasn’t “normal” prayer in the sense that I did all the talking. It was “dialogue” prayer in the sense that I’d say one sentence, and then Jesus would verbally acknowledge that He heard me.
For instance, when I told Jesus to protect my friend spiritually, He immediately replied, “I will,” with a smile on His face.
When I told Jesus about a problem I was having, He immediately responded, “I’ll fulfill you; you serve others.”
The results of our conversational interaction are that I became more impassioned in my praying and more convinced of the power of my praying because He was instantly responding. And because I was encountering Jesus personally and directly, I trusted more fully in His counsel than I otherwise would have.
My heart felt connected to our Savior’s. I felt spiritual and emotional fulfillment in that moment.
I don’t know if this makes any sense at all, but praying in this manner – as opposed to one-dimensional prayer – is something I can get excited about doing.
Give it a try.