It is really hard for a person to have little or no conversation with the people around him. Like a felon, who is imprisoned in solitary confinement, completely isolated from others, we become spiritually disconnected from God if we do not have conversations with Him. In this situation, we can feel no joy, nor can we fully obey the will of God.
Above all, we need to have a conversation with God in order to fulfill His will. For example, to obey the words of God-“Go and make disciples of all nations,” we need to repeatedly ask God, “When shall I go? Of whom shall I make disciples? How shall I preach to them?” and continually pray to God to allow us circumstances to do as He has told. Only through continual conversations with God, we can fully obey Him.
Mother told us to preach the gospel very actively, full of hope and laughter, this year. To obey the words of Mother, we should always talk to God through prayer and do what pleases God.
Let me talk about a brother. He was eager to put his faith into action, but at some moment his faith began to cool, without knowing the reason for that. It was not because he lacked confidence in the truth or because he was troubled or persecuted. Of course, he did not neglect studying and preaching the word of God.
He didn’t realize why his faith was cooling down, and it troubled him. One day, he heard the news about a fire on TV. After that, his heart began to burn again. I asked him what made him restore his faith. He said that through the fire accident he realized something of great importance. When he was watching the news, he focused on the fact that most of the victims died of suffocation from the smoke rather than from the heat. Then suddenly he was reminded of God’s words, “Prayer is the breath of the soul.”
‘What will happen if I do not breathe spiritually?’
When he thought this way, he came to know the reason why he failed to stand firm in faith even though he diligently attended worship services and preached the gospel. Reflecting upon himself, he realized it was prayer, the breath of the soul, that he really needed. Though he believed in God, he wan’t having earnest conversations with God; rather, he lived the gospel life by his own efforts and zeal. That was why his faith stagnated rather than grew.
He earnestly prayed for repentance, asking God to allow him to have a continuous conversations with Him. After that, he prayed to God for everything, no matter how small. As he talked to God in prayer every day, his heart overflowed with thankfulness even in distressing and difficult situations. His faith became much more active and stronger than ever before.
As I heard of the brother’s gracious enlightenment, I came to realize that our conversation with God is an important key to the growth of our faith. If one feels empty inside and the fervor of his faith diminishes, even though he is diligent in attending services and is active in gospel preaching, it shows that he does not have enough time to talk to God every day.
Now, let’s take a look at ourselves. If we feel our soul becoming weary and losing its vigor, we need to ask ourselves how much time we spend in conversation with God. And we also need to examine ourselves whether we pray just mechanically.
We can not fulfill the gospel ministry with our own strength. We absolutely need help and advice from Almighty God. In spite of knowing all this, we do not often talk to God. So the Bible emphasizes that we should devote ourselves to prayer-a conversation with God.
… Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, … Col 4:1-3
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Ro 12:9-12
God has chosen us, knowing our weakness. What if we, who are so feeble and lacking in ability, try to do the gospel work with our own wisdom and strength, without asking God for help? Can we fulfill the work of God? Never.
God richly provides everything we need if we confess our weakness and ask Him for help. Our forefathers of faith described in the Bible gained wisdom, courage and strength through their conversations with God whenever they faced difficult and desperate situations.
When King Ahab reigned over the northern kingdom of Israel during the period of the Divided Kingdom, the prophet Elijah was delivering a message from God. There were 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah, who were supported by Jezebel, the Queen of Israel. Elijah fought all alone against the 850 false prophets at Mount Carmel and defeated them all with the strength provided by God. It was the power of prayer that enabled the great victory (1 Kings 18).
This made Jezebel furious. She tried to kill Elijah, and he fled from her into the wilderness. Then he said to God, “Lord, take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
At the most desperate moment, God said to him, “I reserve seven thousand in Israel-all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.”
God consoled Elijah and refreshed his weary soul and body. He thought he was alone, but God told him that there remained 7,000 faithful prophets. God’s words gave him great joy and encouragement. Through his conversation with God, he took courage again, so he could carry out his mission as a prophet (1 Kings 19).
Thus, our forefathers of faith had continual conversations with God throughout their lives. Though the followers of God were inferior in number to the wicked and seemed far weaker than the evil ones, God encouraged the little flock, saying, “Do not fear,” “Take heart,” “I am with you,” ….
With His powerful words, God floods our hearts with exceeding, overflowing joy. A continual conversation with God unceasingly inspires the courage and fervor of faith within ourselves.
The prophet Moses also had continual conversations with God when he led the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey. For it was impossible for him to lead such a great number of people to Canaan without God’s help.
The Red Sea lay before them, and the Egyptian army was right behind them. At this desperate moment, Moses earnestly cried out to God, “Lord, what shall I do? I’ve been trying to lead Your people according to Your will. But now the Red Sea blocks our path in front of us. Please open the way before us.” Then God immediately answered his prayer.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. … ” Ex 14:15-18
Moses did as God had told him. As he followed God’s direction, the Red Sea was divided so that about 600,000 men and all the women and children could go through the sea on dry ground. God Himself did everything that He had planned. Moses needed only to hear God speaking to him through prayer and follow His instruction.
After the Exodus, Moses continued his conversation with God so that he could cope with all the crisis situations in the desert.
Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died down. Nu 11:1-2
… they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. … So Moses prayed for the people. The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Nu 21:4-9
Whenever calamities befell the people as the result of their sins, Moses mediated between God and the people. He prostrated himself in prayer and asked God to forgive their foolishness and rebellion and to guide him to the right path. God answered all his prayers and led him.
Moses intently focused on his conversation with God in order to lead one nation, Israel, to Canaan. Now, we are to lead all nations into the kingdom of heaven in obedience to the will of God. We should talk to God more frequently. What happens when we try to fulfill the great work of the gospel ministry without God’s help? We will soon become frustrated and give up, being limited in our ability. However, if we have continual conversations with God, all doors will be opened for us.
Looking back at our prayer life, we can realize that all our prayers have been answered. As we prayed that we would be able to participate in the gospel, God has called us to be His fellow workers. As we prayed for world evangelism, God has opened the minds of all peoples in the world. Of course, this is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, but our prayer can speed up God’s prophetic timetable.
So Jesus tells us to always pray and not give up. He repeatedly emphasized the importance of prayer through His teaching as follows:
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘… yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? … ” Lk 18:1-8
Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ … though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. … If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Lk 11:5-13
The unjust judge finally granted the widow’s request because she came to him every day and cried, “Give me justice.” And in another parable Jesus says that if one goes to his friend at midnight and persistently asks him for something, he will get up and give him as much as he needs because of his importunity, not because he is his friend. How much more will our Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to His children who ask Him! We need to understand what God is really talking about in the above parables.
God waits for His children to talk to Him. If we ask, seek and knock according to the will of God, we will receive, find everything and the door will be opened for us.
As children pester their parents constantly if they want something, so we should continually ask our heavenly Father and Mother to fulfill our spiritual wishes. God always answers our prayers unless we ask for things that may harm our future.
There should be frequent talks between family members. According to statistical survey, 95% of lawbreakers suffered from a lack of communication with their family members during their adolescent period. And according to another survey, a major cause of divorce is also the lack of communication.
Let us communicate intimately with our family members, and have more conversation with God. Conversation is necessary to preach the gospel. There should also be intimate communications among all the members of the Church. Through our mutual conversations, we will share things together, as a proverb says: “Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow.”
However, we should avoid all ungracious conversations. When the people listened to the ten faithless spies, they became rebellious and disobedient to God. And Eve’s conversation with the serpent brought all mankind’s fall and death. We should not have a conversation unpleasing to God but talk about things that give faith, hope and courage, helping each other understand God’s love.
God is the most gracious counselor to us. God gives joy and courage to His children who talk to Him and also give whatever we ask for.
The Bible describes God as the ‘Counselor’ who counsels and helps us in all our troubles. As our Counselor, God provides us with a solution for every problem we face, small or great.
Solomon enjoyed talking to God. As a result, he gained wisdom and made his kingdom strong; and as a bonus, he received riches and honor, too. On the contrary, the kings of Israel who had no conversation with God did evil against Him. The absence of conversation with God, who is love, caused them to be tempted by evil spirits and manifest their evil tempers, which led to violence.
Let us fulfill the world mission through lots of conversations with God this year. In our continual conversation with God, we shall understand and follow the will of our heavenly Father and Mother.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. … Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests… Eph 6:10-19
Though we put on the whole armor of the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing without prayer. In order to fully activate the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we should have an ongoing conversation with God.
Through conversations with God, we will be able to witness a miracle like the parting of the Red Sea. Let’s diligently seek, knock and ask, so that we can preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. As heavenly children, we should have frequent conversation with God, seeking to develop a righteous character. Then God will allow us to bear much good fruit and save the whole world.