Updated: Jun 4
Is it foolish to talk to God?
There’s definitely a stigma when it comes to having a conversation with the big guy. To many people it seems foolish, embarrassing to even mention it. Even I feel the risk in saying these things in public. I cringe sometimes even when I talk to other Christians about talking to God, as I wait for the upturned eyebrows and the drawn out “Okaaayyyyyyy???
Here’s the thing though, it’s not foolish to try something that works. There’s so much information out there about how God wants to hear from us regularly and how he responds. It is foolish, however, to miss out on such a life changing activity by giving in to the pressures of bad, misused or hidden information. It’s not exactly kind to snub someone who loves you either, and it’s definitely not wise to deny connection to a source of information that goes far beyond the human collective.
God always answers with love
It’s happened many times between God and I, on my part that is… fist pounding, brow bending, choice-word-infused lecturing from my persona to his. I’ve had so many questions about who he is and why he does what he does. And for people like me who feel the world running backward, it didn’t help to not have answers. So therefore, In the past, I’ve often spoken to God in ways that would make almost any human fire at least a few choice phrases in return.
And how did he answer? With love, always. My previous, occasionally disrespectful way of speaking, it's not a communication style that I or God would recommend. But he does allow room for mistakes, and that’s part of where the love comes in.
When spoken to poorly and angrily, as long as it was out of pure ignorance, but accompanied by my general openness to self improvement, God forgave it. In return he answered the way I try with my little girl when she throws a fit. As a patient father he waits until I calm down, then fills my relatively tiny, human computer (brain) with the information I need to avoid the next child-like outburst. And if it does come again, he sets his boundaries and does everything he can for me. He understands that as long as we’re human, we’re children.
That’s only one end of the spectrum. There are plenty of times I speak to God with respect and love on my own part, especially lately. I’ve had enough continual lessons from him to learn that I can stay calm and still get what I need. I've also learned that many of the things I've been angry with him about were simply things I misunderstood, and unfairly held against him. From those compassionate interactions, to the heated moments, and anything in between, he also answers with love. He’s got a steady, even keel and like his son, he sets an excellent example of behavior.
When he responds It’s not just about sending down information. Many times things change in my life after talking to God, always in positive, forward movement.
How to talk to God
This part is the easiest, once you get past the stigmas and potential judgement. It tends to often be a private thing anyway, so find an unoccupied space or just hunker down inside your own head.
Let ‘er rip, or let it whip (depending on your generation of pop cultural lingo). If you already know how to speak, sign, think or communicate in any other way, all you do is say something like, “Hey God…” before you fill in the rest with what’s on your mind. As long as you aim your thoughts upward and address him first, the connection will be instantly made and the floor will be your’s in his eyes and ears.
Keep it clean
I’ll be honest. In my life I do sometimes use words that, back in earlier days, may have caused many of us to end up with a bar of soap in our mouths. But these days, out of respect, I keep it clean with God.
I can’t tell you the technical details of how spiritual communication works, but what I can say is this; any time I’ve screwed up and thrown some four-letter-type words into the mix while talking to God, I’ve been firmly told to stop.
I have a theory. When any anger comes around and ugly behavior ensues, it creates holes in the outer, protective layers of our spiritual presence. Those voids give way into the human experience for negative ideas and entities to come through. Quite simply put, nasty words open nasty doors. When God opens his heart up to us, he doesn’t need any of those dark doors opened along the path of communication. He’s had enough of those doors already (when Lucifer used covert, back-door, ugly communication to convince a large score of angels to turn on God.).
In any case, it’s good practice to show the respect of not being disrespectful toward someone who’s trying to help us.
Don’t just talk to God once in a while. Don’t just pray for something once. For one, God loves to hear from any of us, even if we’re convinced otherwise. For another, I can't tell you the reasons, but prayer is often strengthened by consistency.
Be fluid in what you request
When asking for what I think I need, I keep in mind it’s not always what needs to happen. Therefore I try to generalize what I ask for to some extent. It keeps me from forming potentially pitfall-infested expectations. Instead of “God, we need a house with a five car garage and a Koi pond.” I’ll say something like “God, put us where you need us, somewhere safe and as comfortable as possible.”
I realize there’s an entire, universal picture of what needs to happen for everyone’s benefit. No human has the ability to manage an earth and sky full of life and strategy. The big guy does, however, and I’m sure it’s a taxing job (see Being a Conduit). So I leave him room and respect to adjust my requests to suit everyone’s needs. And yet even then, he somehow comes through in some significant way for me and those I pray for.
It's also a matter of what I want and how it's not always what I need. I have to remember that I don't always know what's best for me, when God does. I may need a lesson that requires being in situations I wouldn't elect to be in.
How to listen to God
Unlike the part about talking to God, listening takes a little more practice. That’s the bad news if you’re looking for immediate satisfaction. The good news is that answers do often come instantly. Sometimes they take a while though, my theory being that, for one, an instant for God feels like a long time for us. The second part is that I’m sure it sometimes takes work, a bit of time and the arrangement of resources to help us with what we need.
So for me when answers to prayers come in my version of an instant, it’s pretty much always when it involves receiving information in the form of wisdom. Wisdom is already abundant and easily available. It’s usually when I need something that’s not yet ready, like a new life change, something that needs to be orchestrated, that’s when I have to be patient and wait for a strategy to unfold. It also takes time if the question requires a lesson. Let me give you a few examples:
1. If I need to understand why God does something questionable (only questionable to me due to my lack of information), usually I ask and get an immediate answer, if it’s something I can easily understand.
2. If I need to know how to overcome something that’s been plaguing me for any length of time, something will show up in my life shortly after I ask. A good example is when I asked God to help me understand why my prayers in helping my daughter were not as effective as my partner’s. Within a short time, days, I sort of fell into some classes, sermons and experiences that directly addressed that. It took weeks, but when the time was over I had my answers, as well as a new set of tools to help strengthen my prayers. A description of that moment can be found in my article, Sing From The Center of the Prison.
3. A short while before my little girl was born, before my partner, Grace became pregnant, I had become angry about a repeated issue caused by someone else. During that moment, I spoke to God about it and was quite upset with him. I’d not yet understood why we humans were working so hard to tear each other apart. I didn't understand why God was letting these things happen.
I’d spent a lot of time in considerable turmoil, both as an adult and a child. I’ve worked incredibly hard to self-improve and clean up my own poor behavior. That night I was upset, I brought those things up to God. I repeated to him that I wanted him to show me what all of it was worth.
A few days later, I looked at my partner and it hit me, “she’s pregnant”. It was later on when I realized, my daughter was part of my answer. She was an undeniable example of what it’s all worth. This writing, the chance to give out what I’ve learned to help others, that’s another part of my answer. And for all of that to happen, we had to be carefully led through poverty, chronic illness and a slew of other major challenges to at least be able to raise a child and fund this work. These things are the start of at least two more articles, but for now I’ll just say God, Jesus and others had to execute years of serious strategy just to get this far.
What Exactly happens when God speaks back?
I don’t hear voices in my ears in the same way I would hear a human speaking to me. Maybe it’s possible, but it doesn’t happen in my experience. It’s a bit hard to put into words what happens when I hear form God. It’s like getting a download of information, then using my own words internally to break it down into human language.
I think the words are just some form of habit or comfort. That’s because sometimes I can keep myself from letting words enter the process. When that happens, I just understand the wisdom that’s being infused and immediately start using it without any involvement from human language.
When you start listening, I strongly suggest caution about a few things, like:
Our own words can sometimes become too much. Try to keep your understanding simple and as wordless as possible, so that you get the download without over interpreting or skewing the actual data. Basically, just try to relax, listen and take it in.
If the info is truly coming from a divine source, it will NEVER include instruction about negatively impacting your own or someone else’s life. Pressure to steal, sabotage, kill (anyone including yourself), or harm anyone in any way will never come from God, Jesus, angels or the like. Only evil promotes such action, even if the humans engaged with it aren't aware of that. The rest is about the system God built… it involves forgiveness, compassion, education and, as Jesus himself has said, inclusiveness. Anything else is myth and misuse of information, also the subject of another article.
Listening to God takes practice
Personally, I had to sift, sort, wade and wander through all kinds of messages and moments. It was absolutely worth it and has improved my life by leaps and bounds, but it wasn't terribly easy to overcome the potential “Crazy” label. Even if I didn’t have others judging me, I would often judge myself.
In a perfect world, I think we would all have a natural, easy time of communicating with the divine. But, hopefully it’s obvious enough, this world is severely broken. Humans, as a whole, spend more time satisfying their own sense of justice and completion than we ever do on preparing ourselves for a place of total fellowship and peace.
Our visions of material gain, influence and peer judgement, they cloud our sense of connection to each other, and to a spiritual existence. Therefore, one of the first things I had to practice was letting go of the worry about how I would look while speaking to God, either in the mirror or in the window.
The next thing I had to do was talk to God, then test the results in two ways:
If I got immediate information about how to handle a situation, or how to handle myself in new, positive ways, I had to test the information by using it. It almost always turned out that, if I did what I was told, things improved for myself and those who surround me.
If I’d made a request for something to change, I had to remain open for results and be patient. It also worked best when I was grateful for results, even if they weren’t exactly the way I would plan them.
As with anything, practice means practice. Trying it a few times, then quitting will leave you with nothing but misinformation, judgement and disappointment. Keep going. Keep practicing and do it regularly. It’s likely unrealistic to suggest newcomers do this at least once a day. But what is realistic is the scenario I went through...
I started with speaking with God every once in a while, maybe once every week or so. As time went on and I realized this isn’t just crazy talk, I started to see more and more advantages to plugging in and regularly speaking with God, so I gradually added more and more time. .
Admittedly, at first it was a bit of a struggle to discern between my own inner voice, what society pumps into our lives and what I get from God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It is however, one of those situations where building the skill brings reward that far outweighs the work. And there’s even better news. Even at a beginner’s pace, the benefits can immediately roll in.
I now talk to God every day, often multiple times each day. That’s not because someone tells me to or because I was scared into it. It’s because, as I got to see more and more results, in turn I got to know God. I found out the guy really cares about me and the rest of us. God really wants what’s best for me, really wants me to succeed and most importantly, really loves me. I found that I also love him. He's shown me love through my daughter, my partner and many unfolding situations where he's blessed us. As with any relationship, if you want those special others to stay connected, if you want that connection to strengthen, it’s simple… you talk.
...Somehow, in this darkness I felt hope like no human had ever given me. I’d not asked for divine help and yet, just after Grace’s prayer for me, in came a sudden flow of concern for me, from my heavenly father, that was so present it was almost touchable...
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