TJS Podcast – Growing in Intimacy with God: Prayer as Dialogue (Episode 12)

It’s a little intimidating to talk about prayer. I mean, for 2,000 years, theologians, pastors and priests and monks have written a bazillion volumes on the topic of prayer: where to pray, when to pray, what to pray, how to pray, and what to pray for. What can I possibly say that hasn’t been said?

Well, probably not much. But I’ve learned some things that I wish I’d known years ago and maybe, just maybe there’s some of it that’s new to you.

The big lightbulb that has gone off in my head over the last dozen years or so is that prayer is one thing and one thing only, dialogue. It is communion with God, which is relationship-building. Prayer is where intimacy with God is forged. And as such, prayer is meant to be a two way communication with God. And that’s really different from what I had always thought and from what I’d always been taught.

What I’m gonna describe here is what’s called contemplative prayer. And Christians have been practicing contemplative prayer for well over a thousand years. But you hardly ever hear about it in evangelical circles. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Join me today as we discuss:
1) How our prayer lives evolve over time.
2) Embracing the Quiet
3) What listening to God looks like for me.
4) How paying attention to your emotions may help you hear what God most wants to say to you.
5) How to recognize the voice of God.
6) How to sort out competing voices.

In the end, you can only learn to encounter God by encountering God. Again, the quote from Arthur Miller that I gave you last week is helpful:

“How does [God] so communicate with you? How will you know? Because God has designed your frame and understands how you are put together, and how you function, what you notice and what you ignore, what you read, what you hear, and what gets your attention. Because the Spirit of God is resident within you and has a job to do as you do yours — leading, nudging, instructing, guiding, opening new doors, reminding, questioning, affirming, prodding, sometimes engineering circumstances — strange, extraordinary things happen. If you need a knock on the side of your head, or a sense of God’s love that will take your breath away — that will happen in God’s time and in a way only you will understand.” – Arthur F. Miller, Jr.

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Thanks for listening, and I hope you’ll be back. And remember, you are greatly loved.

Resources for today’s show:
1. Armchair Mystic: How Contemplative Prayer Can Lead You Closer to God, by Mark E. Thibodeaux SJ (2001, updated 2019)
2. Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, by Dallas Willard (2012)
3. Walking with God: How to Hear His Voice, by John Eldredge (2016)
4. Soul Work: Confessions of a Part-Time Monk, by Randy Harris (2011)
5. Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence, by Ruth Haley Barton (2010)
6. Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation, by Ruth Haley Barton (2006)
7. The Way of the Heart: Connecting with God Through Prayer, Wisdom, and Silence, by Henri J. M. Nouwen
8. He Loves Me: Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection, by Wayne Jacobsen (2008)
9. The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery, by David G. Benner (expanded ed. 2015)

Music by Nathan Longwell Music

2 thoughts on “TJS Podcast – Growing in Intimacy with God: Prayer as Dialogue (Episode 12)

  1. Pingback: The Lord’s Prayer Part I — Teach Us To Pray | The Jesus Society

  2. Pingback: The Lord’s Prayer Part II — The Father Heart of God | The Jesus Society

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