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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Speaking to God as Friend to Friend

“A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24 NIV

I have to admit that in the past I have had butterflies in my stomach when the thought of trying to develop an intimate personal relationship with Jesus would be discussed. Some of us avoid intimacy and others are not good conversationalists. Some of us do all the talking and never listen when others speak.

I have found that the very best teachers and ministers are those who are real. I also love a minister or teacher who has the ability to speak spiritual truth and show you what it looks like in the real world. I for one need examples and word pictures. I need to know how to apply spiritual truth at the grocery store, the shopping mall, at my dinner table, in the car, on the job, and at family functions. I need to know what the truth is and what it is not.

You may find the idea of meeting God in your heart’s garden to be both beautiful and comforting, or this scenario may make you feel like you are stepping into a fantasy world and greatly uncomfortable. At first I was not comfortable spending time with Jesus. My life was complicated, cluttered, and busy. It was stressful for me to sit down when there is so much to be done. I admit that many times in my life it has been hard for me to focus for more than five minutes on spiritual things and praying for longer than two minutes was out of the question. Unless I was in trouble, I simply did not have that much to say to God. God seemed to be far away and aloof.

The truth is that God welcomes us into his presence. He knows we are frail and unaccustomed to being in his presence. God is patient, kind and loving as we attempt to learn how to move into a deeper relationship with him. I continue to be amazed that the God of the universe desires that I know him intimately. He wants all of us to speak to him everyday and all through the day as friend to friend.

So when I became intentional about developing a daily friendship with Jesus I tried to think of him as my very best friend. I asked myself, how do I treat my very best friend? I then began to implement those same acts of friendship with Jesus. I now speak to him as a friend who cares about all aspects of my life and understands my concerns. Figuratively speaking, we chat over morning coffee and we share secrets over a cup of afternoon tea. As I talk to Jesus I express my frustrations and I admit my fears. I tell him of my challenges. I tell him of my joys. I confess my sin and shortcomings. I tell him often what his friendship means to me. I thank him for being in my life and for all that he has done for me. I ask him for his advice, help, and guidance. I then practice listening to the voice of my friend. Shhhhh…I must be still…be quiet… what does Jesus have to say to me?

What scripture will he remind me of today and what thoughts will he place in my mind. This kind of simplicity and honesty is prayer in its purest form. My friendship with Jesus begins early in the day in a private place set apart for just my friend and me, and it continues throughout my busy day. It even continues as I sleep. Jesus is becoming my first thought in the morning when I get up. Together we begin our day, ready to do it all over again. Jesus is my dearest friend!


Who is your best friend?

How do you treat that friend?

How would you feel if you no longer had that friendship?

Are you in a relationship with Jesus?

Are you willing to try to treat Jesus like your best friend?


Dear Lord,

Help me to desire a special friendship with you. Help me to start simple and build on that simple beginning. Give me the faith to believe that you care about me and want to be in a personal relationship with me. Lord, I pray that our friendship will continue to grow stronger every day. Thank you for being a friend that sticks closer than a sibling, a parent, or a spouse.

In Your Name I pray. Amen.