Have a Little Talk with Jesus

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Talking to God can seem like a daunting task. Our prayer list can become a mounting to-do list as we try to write down everything we need to say to God. It can become a shopping list as we look around for the right words to make this a good prayer meal. We bite our lip as we think it through because what do we say to a holy God? What can we bring up in God’s presence? Frankly, what do we really bring to the conversation?

And what do we say that hasn’t been said already? With John describing God as the Word in his gospel, prayer might be perceived as a vocabulary test (John 1:1). But that’s simply not true. No big words are required. No professional degrees are necessary. God is familiar with every tongue and every tale. Prayer is an opportunity to tell your own story.

Consequently, prayer is not a problem solved by saying the right amount of words. Prayer is not measured by the number of syllables in our words or the length of our sentences. Not surprisingly, prayer doesn’t work like that. There is no check list and there are no talking points that add up to a successful time of prayer.

Besides, Jesus warned the Pharisees on this matter, but he could just as easily have been speaking to us. Our long-winded prayers are not necessary. This is not a contest for the longest prayer. There is no timer; no medals will be awarded, and no certificates will be handed out for our performances (Matthew 23:14). We can save our thank-you speeches.

It doesn’t take much to pray, and you don’t have to say a lot. Praying doesn’t have to be hard. It really requires no preparation. In fact, life prepares you to cry out to God and to hear God out. Circumstances challenge us enough to pull the cat away from our tongue cecause we realize that our mouths are nothing to play with. The psalmist says the power of life and death reside here (Proverb 18:21).

We have something to say and we have something that God wants to hear. And it’s not a speech. The songwriter says, “Have a little talk with Jesus.” I know that you are busy, but it won’t take up too much of your time, too much space in your life. The presence of God in Christ squeezes into a manger; surely, we can find a few minutes in the 168 hours that we have each week. It’s just a little talk.

Reverend Starlette Thomas* is the interim pastor at Village Baptist Church in Bowie, Maryland and the Minister to Empower Congregations at the D.C. Baptist Convention. She writes on the social construct of race and the practice of faith at www.racelessgospel.com. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and Starbucks.

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