On Sundays after celebrating the Divine Liturgy we leave the church building and go to the double-wide at the back of the property for a Fellowship meal. We have such good cooks in the parish and because people have not eaten breakfast before coming to church there is often much laughter and camaraderie! One Sunday 6-year-old Julian (whom we call Juju) came over to me during Fellowship and said he wanted to talk with me privately in my office. Sitting on the couch in my office Juju said to me, “Sometimes I talk to God.” He said he talks to God out-loud when something is bothering him because he knows God will understand. Out of curiosity I asked, “Does he speak back to you?” Juju’s response was, “Yes, sometimes. I can hear him in my head and in my heart.”
What an incredibly profound conversation to have with a 6-year-old! Just think about other relationships that we have and as we talk with them over time how we come to know and understand them better. This is also no less true of our relationship with the Divine! This talking with God is what prayer is about! Sometimes it can be useful to use printed prayers in order to help focus one’s attention on God but ultimately one needs to speak to the Divine from the heart. This means that everyone needs to find their own words!
I often advise people to pray out loud to God especially if no one else is around to think that they are crazy or in need of medication! How about when driving in the car from one place to another? What a perfect opportunity and environment to speak aloud with God! The other drivers will think you’re singing with the radio! Too often we treat the Divine as a concept and not enough as a real person with whom it is possible to have a real relationship! And with that relationship comes very real conversations! Many of us would be SO much better off were we to follow Juju’s example of “Sometimes I talk to God!”