In Others’ Words: Keeping Company with God

Keeping Company with God 2016

There was a time, back when I was involved with teaching women’s Bible studies, that we spent an entire year studying prayer. I read a variety of books on the topic. Discussed prayer with my co-leaders. And, of course, I spent a lot of time applying what I was learning — which means I spent a lot of time praying.

Of all the things we learned, the most life changing for me was the concept of listening to God during my prayer time. I stopped talking, talking, talking — asking, asking, asking — and I started listening. I learned to quiet my mind, my heart, and to wait on God because I wanted to hear if he had anything to say to me.

One of my favorite Scriptures is 1 Peter 3:12 that says God’s ears are open to our prayers. But during that year devoted to prayer, I learned the importance of listening for God’s voice … and yes, it was, as Philip Yancey says, a new way of ‘keeping company with God.’ 

Do I still ask God for things? Yes. Can I fall back into a shopping list mentality when it comes to prayer? Yes. But that year was a change point for me — where my relationship with God became less about giving and taking (Him giving and me taking) and more about listening and waiting.

In Your Words: What are your thoughts on prayer? Have they changed over the years? How? Recently I found the 31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids App by Bob Hostetler.  It’s a great prayer tool! 

[Tweet “In Others’ Words: Keeping Company with God #InOthersWords #quotes #prayer”] [Tweet “”For me, prayer is not so much me setting out a shopping list of requests for God to consider as it is a way of ‘keeping company with God.'” #quotes #PhilipYancey #prayer”]


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  1. August 23, 2016, 7:03 am   /  Reply

    I spend a lot more time thanking God in my prayers than I used to. And yes, over the years as we grow closer to God, our prayer life does change.

    • August 23, 2016, 8:23 am   /  Reply

      Pat: Yes, our prayer time can change as the years pass — if we are attentive and teachable. I learn from others, too, as they share about their relationship with God.

  2. August 23, 2016, 7:05 am   /  Reply

    Beautifully said and I love the way you live this and it filters effectively through your writing. I know your work will only get better and as well-known as it deserves.

    • August 23, 2016, 8:24 am   /  Reply

      Dee: You are one of the people who has taught me about prayer. Thank you for praying for me and with me.

  3. paynefulponderings
    August 23, 2016, 9:23 am   /  Reply

    Pprayer is to sustain the relationship between us and God. Relationships that are generally one-sided often are shallow or do not last long. Listening to God as the main focus of prayer is a way to deepen our relationship with Him. Thank you for this reminder.

  4. August 23, 2016, 11:08 am   /  Reply

    The only really formal prayers I compose are for Barbara – I send her one by email each morning as she is going to work.

    For myself, there’s no list. I just talk to The Big Fella, and He sometimes replies. The last time I did try a petitionary prayer, on my knees, hands raised, I heard a quiet but very distinct – and irritated – voice in my ear: “OH, for Pete’s sake, cut that s*** out.”

    So I just talk to Him, like I’d talk to a friend. Or, for that matter, a dog.

  5. August 23, 2016, 2:52 pm   /  Reply

    I would love to hear more about what you learned on prayer during that year of study. I am reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer and am finding another aspect that I have ignored; writing my requests, using Scripture, and being fervent in my requests.
    Thank you for your thoughts. I always enjoy them.
    I went to buy your book Catch a Falling Star and it isn’t priced at $3.99 but $15.99. Thought you might like to know. It was at that price on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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