Finding God in Conversation: Experiencing God’s Presence

Struggling in conversation with God? Try these prayer ABCs:

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 This article is an excerpt from the book Experiencing God’s Presence: Learning to Listen While You Pray, by Linda Evans Shepherd. (Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.)

It can be difficult to experience God’s presence, when you’re not sure how to talk to him or wonder if you try you’ll end up saying the wrong thing.

A lot of people are worried about this and I can understand the concern. I mean, God is the most awesome and powerful being in the universe. But treating God like the stranger you just met on the subway is not the answer. Perhaps what you really need is a few basic conversation ideas, like these prayer ABC’s:

  1. Acknowledge him – Let him know you’ve noticed or that you’re thinking about him. “Hi Lord, I love you. Would you go into my day with me?”
  2. Bring it – Tell him about your concerns or needs. “Lord, I’m worried about making rent this month. Would you show me what to do? Would you provide for my need?”
  3. Chat - Tell God whatever is on your mind. For example, you could tell him about your day, your problems, job, family, your bank account, or even your mother-in-law, just like you were talking to a good friend. “Lord, did you see the family at dinner tonight? I’m worried about little Bobby. He seemed so quiet and I’m wondering if something’s wrong. Would you comfort him and give me wisdom on how to talk to him about what’s going on?”

Sure, God already knows all about whatever topic you might bring up, but that’s not the point. The point is, just like in any relationship, you need to communicate because communication builds intimacy. Don’t be so afraid of saying the wrong thing, because God already knows your heart. God is big enough to take your joy, your tears, your fear, your frustrations, your anger, and even your tantrums. But what he doesn’t want from you is a cold shoulder. Whatever you bring to God, he’ll help you through, then when you look back, you’ll see his fingerprints on the things you brought to him in prayer.

Let’s stop and practice this kind of communication right now. Just, either out loud, in writing, or in a whisper in your heart pray:

  1. Acknowledge him: _________________________________________________
  2. Bring it: _________________________________________________________
  3. Chat: ____________________________________________________________

That was a great start, and even if you felt a little uncomfortable doing this exercise. If you practice these prayer ABCs daily, it will get a lot easier and you will begin to enjoy a fresh closeness with God.

Experiencing God's Presence: Learning to Listen While You Pray

 

Linda Evans Shepherd, the President of Right to the Heart, is also the publisher of Finding God Daily, and pens many of the articles.  She’s been married for over 30 years and has two children.  She’s also the author of over 30 books, including this recent book Experience God’s Presence: Learning to Listen While You Pray and  When You Don’t Know What to Pray, How to Talk to God About Anything.

Share

Max Lucado on Finding God in the Miracle of Wholeness

By Linda Evans Shepherd:

In my interview with Max Lucado, we discussed his wonderful book Grace, More Than We DeserveGreater Than We Imagine and the miracle of wholeness.

 

Max LucadoRecently I spoke on the phone with pastor and author Max Lucado, to interview him about his new book for our blog. (See our other post: Finding Grace with Max Lucado.)

In the course of our conversation, I asked him how someone could find the miracle of wholeness.

Max explained:

“I think that one of the underutilized disciplines of faith is confession. After thirty years as a pastor, I believe most people carry around unresolved guilt—a regret, a stumble, a failure—and they’ve never talked to God about it. Satan uses this guilt because the commodity of Satan is condemnation. Satan wakes up every day wanting to figure out a way to make us feel guilty. The Bible calls him the accuser, and his goal is to condemn us and to create within us a feeling of condemnation.”

“How do we apply the solution?” I asked

“If we could learn to quickly confess, ‘Lord, I’m sorry for what I did. I accept your grace,’ then we would live in a state of confession, not in a state of guilt. To live in a state of receiving this forgiveness from God, all you have to say is, ‘Lord, I’m sorry; please forgive me.’ Then confess specifically what you did. ‘I looked at a woman in the wrong way,’ or ‘I spoke out of turn.’”

Max explained, “On the days I really apply this, I find myself practicing dozens of confessions an hour. But it’s not a sense in which I’m just beating myself up. It’s a nonstop conversation that takes place in the back of my mind between God and me, and it’s so liberating!

“Then there’s the issue of deep-seated bad choices,” Max continued, “choices we made years ago that have never been dealt with. Many people need to go back and have a good talk with God about them—about the night in the backseat of a car, or the drugs, or the abortion—some of the major issues we’ve never really let God forgive.”

Max’s insights are right on, and I think I would also add that in addition to seeking God’s forgiveness, we may also need to forgive a few others, including ourselves, other people, and perhaps even God.  (Not that God sinned but that we need to let go of our judgments against God for when we’ve blamed him for our difficulties.)

The best way to accomplish these tasks is through prayer(s) like:

 Dear Lord,

I have been carrying around a lot of guilt for my sin, choices, and regrets.  I come to you now, through the power of Christ, and confess these wrong sins, choices and requests of __________ (confess here) before you now and ask for your forgiveness.  I exchange my shame for your peace.

In addition Lord, I ask that you would help me forgive myself for my choices, regrets and failings, including __________ (list here), not through my power, but through the power of Christ.

I also ask that you help me release the judgments of blame I have placed on you Lord for my difficult circumstances of __________(name difficulties you have judged God for).  Forgive me Lord!  Teach me to trust you as you turn my difficulties into good.

Now, because I don’t want to leave any stone unturned, I also ask that you, Lord, would, through the power of Christ, release my judgments, anger toward others, including __________  (name people) for __________ (name deeds).

Now, Lord, I ask that you exchange all of my pain, judgments, guilt, anxiety, bitterness and regret, for your peace; not in my power, but the power of Christ, the Prince of Peace, who died for my sins on the cross.  In fact, I accept your forgiveness and peace so that I can walk with you, Oh, God.  I give my life to you and yield to your peace.

In Jesus’s name,

Amen

 

To find out more about living for God, go to:  www.GodTest.com

Watch as Max Lucado talks about why your best days are ahead of you:

To see the book trailer for Max’s recent book on grace, click  HERE  (maxlucado.net).

 

Share

Finding a Christmas Miracle in a Book Cover

[SUN CITY, Calif., Dec. 4, 2012 /Christian Newswire] When bestselling novelist Kathi Macias was working on her book Unexpected Christmas Heroshe never expected to find a Christmas miracle in her book cover, but that’s exactly what happened.

When Kathi finished her manuscript and handed it over to her editor, photographer and designer Michael Lê was assigned the task of finding a homeless man who fit the physical representation of Macias’ character. Lê and wife Christine were in Ashville, North Carolina last Christmas when they stopped their car and asked a homeless man by the name of Willard Parker if he would be willing to pose for some pictures.

Parker agreed. He also began to reveal glimpses into his own sad story. He lost his house.  He lost touch with his daughters and grandchildren. He said his life had not turned out the way he’d hoped. Now destitute, he was walking the streets and looking for the next place to find a hot meal and a bed. He told Lê, how he longed to see his daughters but had no idea where they were or how that could happen.

When Macias heard the story, she prayed the cover would help reunite father and family. Unexpected Christmas Hero released in mid-October and fell into the hands of a woman who knew Willard’s 26-year-old daughter, Amber. The mother of his 2 and 5-year-old grandchildren, Amber went online and found the cover of the book. It was indeed her dad. She wept.  But where was he? How could she find him? Where does one find a homeless person who keeps moving from town to town?

Driving near Ashville North Carolina, Willard’s estranged wife unexpectedly spotted him walking down the sidewalk and picked him up. Willard has acute leukemia and is not in good health but kept talking about getting the family back together. He says, “When I had my picture taken for the book cover, all I wanted was for it to help me get back with my family. It worked, and I’m really grateful.”

Amber is equally as excited. “I’m so happy. I can’t wait to be together again,” she says. “You never know how long you have on this earth and all he [my dad] wants is his family together.” Since the reunion by phone with daughters Amber and Rebecca (Willard is now in Toledo, Ohio), both are eager to see their dad and bring this unexpected Christmas miracle to fruition.

Kathi is now trying to help Willard’s family with travel expenses so they can be united. She has set up a Go Get Funding project that will accept contributions to help make this happen.  You can help by clicking HERE.

To watch a book trailer about Kathi’s book, watch the video below:

Also enjoy this mention of  Unexpected Christmas Hero and other titles. See more from the FamilyFiction YouTube channel!

?t=1m52s

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share