Good Talking to You


My prayer life has had its ups and downs, its verbal love feasts, its spats and silent treatments. But this is the nature of prayer, a catch-all for everything said and unsaid at the start of the day and when we finally climb into bed. From Hallelujah to I hate You, I have said just about everything there is to say to God, respectfully. 

Come on and confess.  I know that I am not the only one who has said it.  I also know that my prayer life is nothing special.

In a sermon on Psalm 139, theologian Paul Tillich said,

“Men [and women] of all kinds, prophets and reformers, saints and atheists, believers and unbelievers have the same experience. It is safe to say that a man [or a woman] who has never tried to flee God has never experienced the God Who is really God. … A god whom we can easily bear, a god from whom we do not have to hide, a god whom we do not hate in moments, a god whose destruction we never desire, is not God at all, and has no reality.”

Still, I’m glad that I have Someone to talk to all the time, who doesn’t care what I say so long as I keep the lines of communication open—as if I could ever cut them off.

A no telephone lines go to heaven, my tongue cannot cut God off. With that being said and understood, I just keep talking. Often unnamed but always acknowledged, I address God as everywhere present. There is no need to point or to offer directions.

I don’t start or end prayers.  I just keep talking. “Did you see that?” “What do You want me to do?” “Thank You.” “Please, don’t do that.”

Head down and up and down again, I pray while making the daily rounds between kitchen, living room, and bathroom, climbing stairs, up and down again.  It’s a good workout but this is also prayer.  It is pacing and routine, often returning to the same places and saying the same things. 

“Here I am again, God.  I thought that I was following Your directions but I have ended up in the same place, same headspace again, God. Can You talk me out of it?” Sometimes, I wonder why God even responds, most often repeating and reminding me for the 100th or 1000th time.

Even so, I just keep talking. From mumbling to sharing to shouting, from my mouth to this page, “It is good talking to You.”

Reverend Starlette Thomas* is a freelance writer in Bowie, MD. She writes on the social construct of race and the practice of faith at Her hobbies include reading, writing, and praying with her feet.

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