talking things through with Jesus

An important part of following Jesus for me is talking things through with Jesus.
Some people call this prayer, but that word doesn’t work for me.
Something to do with how one-sided and self-centered prayer often is for many, including myself.
But having a conversation with a close and trusted friend, talking things through with them, this is what I want from my relationship with Jesus.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about ‘buddy-buddy’, more like a mentor or trainer and trainee.
He is definitely the leader in this relationship, and I am totally dependent on Him for everything.

But with that assumption in place, I want to be able to talk through with Him about my new role as pastor at crossroads – why He has led me here and what He is leading me to be and do here.
I want to be able to talk through with Him my fears and doubts, some of them realistic (this is a big responsibility) and others of them excessive (Satan toying with my mind).
I need His help to tell the difference, to renounce Satan’s lies and affirm my position in Him, no matter how big the challenges are.
I want to be able to talk through my feelings, which often seem to overwhelm me.
I want to be able to talk through the latest book that I am reading, to have Him bring to mind His wise perspective on the issues.
I want to be able to tell Him what temptation I am struggling with (He knows anyway), and find strength and direction from Him.

So how exactly do I do this, talk things through with Him?
Well, a long time ago someone suggested to me that I talk out loud, and not just in my head.
This has helped, because it makes me actually feel like I am talking to someone (it also makes me feel a little crazy when people see/hear me talking out loud).
Another way that works for me is by journaling in the 3rd person (that is, writing: “Lord, You said…” or “Lord, I feel like You…”).
I’ve been journaling like this for years, and its amazing how He guides me through my thoughts, feelings and choices.
I will also take the assigned bible reading for the day and talk it through with Jesus, telling Him what I think I hear Him saying, or reading the story with myself in it, as part of the event.
Or I will apply the saying to myself, as if He were saying it to me (“Lord, I hear You telling me that You are my Shepherd, and therefore I have everything I need in You”) – all of this out loud, of course.

This has worked very well when I set aside specific alone time with Jesus.
Its harder when I step back into the real world.
It harder to talk out loud, but its also easier just to think, feel and act without talking it through with Him.
What I am working towards is being able to pause midstream through whatever I am doing or going through with others, and silently connect myself with Jesus in my mind.
Maybe by thinking a sentence, “Lord, You are here, help me to think involve You in this activity”.
Sometimes just by repeating Jesus’ name in my mind over and over again, I find myself connecting with Him again in the middle of what I am doing.

Anyways, this is what talking things through with Jesus is looking like for me right now.
Its not perfect (or rather, I’m not – He is), but its working.
I often sense wisdom through these conversations.
I often know deep down what the right thing to say or do is, when I process things with Him.
Bible stories or principles come to mind, that apply to my specific circumstances.
And above all, I feel like I am not alone, that He is with me as I go through whatever I am going through.

By the way, I find this so much more meaningful that ‘prayer’, at least the forms of prayer I was familiar with.
Its not so much about me saying the right words, using the right formula, or asking for things, etc.
Its about Jesus and I working together towards His purpose for me.
More often than not, the thing that changes is not my circumstances, by my perspective.

So how about you?
Do you talk with Jesus (not just to or at)?
Do you have ways that work for you, that you could share with us?

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2 Responses

  1. Yes,
    my ways of talking to Jesus are similar to yours.
    I journal my talking too, this helps me to concentrate.
    also when I journal it is easier to explain the thought/prayer process to my husband when I want to share it with him.
    Sometimes when I pray I visualise myself kneeling at the foot of the cross, giving my struggle to Jesus or confessing my sin. (If there is a real cross where I am, I would kneel there)
    I find that mostly I cannot talk about the ways I pray or the ways Jesus teaches me because people seem to think it is screwy.. So thanks for sharing….

  2. I am too sporatic in my times of journaling – mainly because I do not “nail” down a time each day. Typically, my time with the Lord in a formal way, that is reading, listening and writing is in the mornings, but variant distractions easily curb me out of it at times. I am grateful for the times that I have actually written things down because years later when I read them I am amazed at God’s grace and love to me when I remember the things written there. Its almost like a scrapbook of royal visits with the King – they are precious times together.

    What I value also, is times of prayer with others. I find this is a very tough thing for many to do. But if we could just unfocus on saying the right thing and just allow ourselves to share what God plants through ourselves with each other – it is a beautiful communion amongst brothers and sisters in Christ. I find I concentrate less on what to say next to rather responding and meditating on what is shared. Then there is communion amongst the group and not a bunch of individual prayers.

    I am trying to be more pro-active in taking opportunities when either decisions need to be made, news of any sort is shared, or when I see someone in need, to be bold enough to ask “hey, can we pray together about this?”

    This I believe unites the body of Christ together with its head!

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