It’s strange that you can’t find words to say when you’re praying, but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend.
Part of a recent Facebook post in my newsfeed, I found this statement nestled among similar ones designed to highlight Christian failings. Instead of finding it strange, however, I found it sad. And not in the way intended.
If the statement is reality for believers, then prayer has become something other than it was meant to be. Something we do (or should do) because we’re Christians, rather than the means by which we become more intimately acquainted with our heavenly Father. This is strange, but in a sad way.
Proverbs 18:24 NIV A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
The friend who sticks closer than a brother is Jesus Christ, Who lives in us by His Spirit. That’s as close as it gets. In addition, He calls us His friend.1 If we are really friends, why is talking together so difficult?
Friends talk with one another about anything and everything, listen to one another, find comfort in silence, work together to help others, interacting along the way. The more time they spend together, the better they know one another. The better they know one another, the more time they want to spend together.
Is this the kind of friendship I experience with Christ? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. How about you? When the methods and mindsets from so many years of religion become my default mode, I lose the freedom in prayer for which my friend Christ Jesus has set me free.2 When the duty becomes my focus, rather than the relationship, that sense of intimate friendship is lost temporarily, leaving me unable to find words to speak.
That’s not strange, my friends. It’s sad.
1 James 2:23
2 Galatians 5:1