Just Pray

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;”    Isaiah 55:6

We are drawn towards God because, when He created us He implanted His characteristics in us. Although the sin in the garden destroyed our perfect relationship with Him, it did not remove God from our minds. Since the beginning of recorded time humanity has prayed to God. There are at least 650 recorded prayers in the Bible. People spoke to God about their circumstances, their relationships, and their desires. The content of many of those prayers are somewhat similar but all share a common feature; humanity seeking assurance from God that He is there listening to them.

We all know that when we want a relationship with someone, whether for casual friendship or something deeper, we must find a way to acknowledge them. Prayer is an important part of our relationship with God. It has been the primary way we acknowledge God. People struggle with prayer because of their expectations. They treat God as a magic genie to whom they go to with their wishes. They become discouraged because they don’t seem to get the answers they were looking for. Many pray but few listen.

In the 1944 classical movie “To have and have not”, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are the main characters who are going through their own life struggles but at the same time developing a relationship with each other. Both are trying to act cool and indifferent towards each other while at the same time they want a relationship. In one scene Lauren, for no reason, kisses tough guy Humphrey and he pretends to be shocked and asks why she did that. As she leaves the room she says to him “You know, you don’t have to act with me. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.” She was telling him to let their relationship fall out naturally and don’t try any gimmick or anything else to impress me. Just be present and from time to time acknowledge me.

We should want more than what Bogart and Bacall seeking of each other. We should want a deep, ongoing connection to the God of the universe so that we can get back to how it was when He created us. We pray based on how God designed us to communicate. We don’t have to pretend with Him, and we don’t have to try to do or say anything special to try to impress Him – we just have to open our lips and talk.