I’ve said before that prayer does not make you a Christ-follower. But, if you are a Christ-follower, prayer makes you an increasingly better one, because it makes you more and more like Jesus. Prayer enables you to see and hear him more clearly and thereby treasure him more dearly.

I say treasure because the more time we spend together with him, the less he looks like the Lawmaker, Judge and Punisher that we thought defined him.

It’s not merely that God loves. It’s that our God is Love itself.

The one who doesn’t love has yet to know God, for God is love. The light of God’s love shined within us when he sent his matchless Son into the world so that we might live through him. This is love. He loved us long before we loved him.[1]

“God is love” is the only statement in the entire Bible that tells us who he is, instead of telling us things about him. And, yes, I know I’ve said that before, but I’ll say it again and again, because the church, more than anything else, desperately needs to change its perception of God. That he is love is not just another perceptive add-on. It’s a total perceptive replacement.

Prayer is intimate conversation and interaction with Love. We speak to and with Love, and Love speaks with us.

When we have that kind of relationship with a person here on earth, we say we’re best friends. We let our best friend in through all our barriers to know our deepest thoughts, fears, desires, experiences and disappointments. We’re free to be ourselves with our best friend, to let him or her know us as we really are, instead of who we dress up to be at work or school or even at home. And we experience the same from our friend, revealing as much of himself to us as he knows about himself and entrusting us with his secrets.

Prayer is sharing our heart with Love, singing or through tears of joy or sorrow. And when the tears squirt from our eyes in rage, we don’t hide them. We look through our tears into our friend’s eyes and let him see past them at the raw wound in our heart or mind.

Prayer is a two-way dialogue with God. We speak to him, and he responds to and interacts with us. We’re not reading to him a prayer somebody wrote. We’re relating to him, spontaneously and unguardedly.

Prayer is reaching out to God like a child reaches up to be held by his father or mother. It’s wanting to be close, needing to be close, whether we’re pacing back and forth in anger or snuggling up against the steady, calming beat of his heart.

Prayer is not a Sunday thing or a home group thing or a Bible study thing. It’s not formal or scripted. Prayer doesn’t interrupt the activities in our life. The activities in our life interrupt our ongoing conversation with God.

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[1] 1 John 4:8-10 TPT.