Are you a conversation starter? Can you keep a conversation interesting? Some people just have a knack for carrying on a good conversation. They have a natural inquisitiveness that knows the right questions to ask. When I was a salesman travelling in my car, I listened to a talk show host named Jan Michelsen on WHO in Des Moines. He was exceptional because he always had a follow-up question. You learned a lot about the guests because of his skills. I marveled at the ability he had to stay focused with any person on any subject.
I am not a very good conversationalist. Finding that opening question and knowing what to say next is difficult for me. Unless it’s somebody I know the right questions are not top-of-mind. When I was selling magazine ads I attended networking meetings held by the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. Meeting new people was the goal. Saying hi and meeting them is one thing. Getting them to talk is another, especially when you don’t know them.
Prayer can be a conversation with God. It can be a give and take on many different levels if we are keenly in tune with the Holy Spirit. The biggest problem we have is taking the time to listen in the middle of our prayers. Requests seem to be what we offer up, and that is a one-way street. There are many examples of conversations with God in the Bible. Here are just a few:
Gen 3:9-13 – Adam and God have a conversation about eating from the Tree of Life
Gen 4:9-15 – Cain and God discuss Abel and the consequences of his disappearance
Gen 17:15-19 – Sarah discusses with God about having a child in her old age
Gen 18:23-33 – Adam pleads with God over Sodom and Gomorrah
Exodus 3:11-4:17 – Probably the longest conversation in the Bible was Moses and God when Moses was commissioned for the task ahead at the burning bush
Exodus 32:30-35 – Moses admits Israel’s sins
Job 38-42 – God and Job exchange words
Isaiah 6:8-13 – Isaiah’s commission to go to the people
Acts 9:4-6 Paul on the road to Damascus.
Many of the prophets held short conversations with God. One of the things I notice is that the further we read through the Old Testament the less we see people having conversations with God. Man becomes so entrenched in himself and in his everyday situations that he no longer converses with God. He just takes his request to God and then leaves without listening. Today, people come to God with their requests and then walk away, not taking the time to listen to what He has to say.
I think that God wants to have conversations with us. He wants to speak to us even more than we want to speak to Him. He wants to ask us questions and see where our hearts are. If you look at the Psalms closely you will see several times that David speaks and the Lord speaks within the same Psalm. This is the type of prayer that we should be praying. Allowing God to actually fit into our conversation and into our words as we listen to him in between what we say to Him.
For more on conversing with God, please buy a copy of my book, “The ASK Principle.”