by Dustin Lindsay
When I look at each prayer as a conversation with God, I realize the shallowness of my relationship with Him. When I measure my “me” time or my “friends” time against my “God” time, conviction engulfs me, and I draw closer to God. In turn, God draws closer to me.
The lights in the sanctuary were dim; the silence dwarfed the lone individual sitting on the front pew. His head was bowed, and his arms were resting on his knees. A mere couple of minutes into his prayer, he had run out of words to say-every cliche had been used, and every term of endearment had been repeated. He sat staring silently, blankly at the floor.
No one would have guessed how fast my mind was spinning. My thoughts were racing in circles, hopping from one thing to another. Finally, exhausted, my thoughts focused on my present situation. What was I going to do about prayer? I knew that, so far, I had not accomplished a thing. The thought had never occurred to me to just talk to God-to actually have a conversation with Him. But there in my silence, I realized for the first time that God wanted to talk to me as much as I wanted to talk to Him. I decided to give the idea of a conversation with God a try; I was determined to have a tete-a-tete with God.
“God, it’s me, Dustin. I haven’t really talked to You in a to while, so here goes. Things have been a bit hectic lately, life’s been a bit stressful, and I’m not really looking forward to the next week.”
That is how it started. Soon, I was praying, not to a distant God but to a close friend. I was not presenting a wish list to an impersonal deity-I was really getting to know Jesus better. The coolest thing about it was that, as I got real with God, He became real to me. James said, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). That day those words became a part of my life.
Since then I have lived with James 4:8 continually in the back of my mind. When I feel that God has deserted me, I ask myself, “Have I left God? Have I sat down recently and just had a good chat with Him?” I cannot say that I have practiced that verse of Scripture every time I have prayed, but when I take the time to stop, converse with God, and draw closer to Him, God always has the time to draw nearer to me. I have found that God here goes.
Looking back on that lonely night in a dark church, I realize that at the time when I felt the most alone, I experienced companionship with God. When I felt at a loss for words, I enjoyed a conversation with God.
48 JULY 2007
Dustin Lindsay is a student at Gateway College of Evangelism. He is a member of The Apostolic Sanctuary in Silvis, Illinois. His pastor is Gary Randol.