Dear God: Can I talk later when I need your help?

“Father in Heaven! When the thought of thee wakes in our hearts let it not awaken like a frightened bird that flies about in dismay, but like a child waking from its sleep with a heavenly smile.”

— Soren Kierkegaard

I do not think failure! I can’t think failure! I don’t think failure! I can’t comprehend failure! I…

That was my alarm, booming with the words of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. These confessions have stayed with me since the days of little beginnings. “Aaaaarrgggh! Why haven’t I changed this thing”, I wondered as I dismissed the alarm. It was always too loud, enough to wake me from the deepest sleep, the more reason it will never be changed and I would always have to wonder.

5am; it was time to pray.

I yawned and turned on the bed. It was my first week back home. I had a life that was going pretty well, all my family members as much as I knew were all doing fine, I had no worries…

“Well, there’s nothing to pray about then.” I said to myself and turned back to sleep.

“So, prayer for you is only about when you need something?” I heard.

“Well, I am fine. What’s there to pray about again?” I wondered.

“You do not always have to do the talking, I talk also, you know.

I sat up. This was something I had never really thought of.

“How would you feel if you went on a date repeatedly with your friend and she spoke all through without letting you speak at all?”

“I would feel bad and let her know how she made me feel.” I was in for another life lesson.

“How about if the only thing your friend does every time you hangout is to talk about her problems and worries, not even giving you a chance to express whatever you have to say.”

“I would probably start avoiding her” I smiled. This friend was me.

“This is what you have been doing mostly when coming to me. Communication is never complete without a feedback from the receiver. More so, prayer is not only about pouring out your requests. It’s fellowship.

“Is this why I found it easier to ‘pray’ in school? I was always praying about my worries. Now, that they are all gone, I seem not to have anything to pray about.” It was all getting clearer.

“You see…”

“What then is prayer?” I asked.

“Prayer is Fellowship. Think of this like a married couple who are very much in love. With every means possible, they communicate with each other. Do they only talk when they need each other’s help? That would be ridiculous. Everything for them would be a basis for discussion. Even when they are not together, they find means of keeping in touch. Sometimes, they go on scheduled dates to places to explore and enjoy more. They do not need to wait till the time of the physical dates before they talk, the dates are just another way of enhancing their relationship. And sometimes, they do not even need to talk; even silence could be a signal.”


“Prayer is not about ticking off a to-do list. Prayer is not also only about telling me what you need. That’s religion. When you gist with your friends, there is really no rule to how, when and where you communicate, you just express yourselves. That’s it. I want you to have a relationship with ME and not just view ME as a resource. Show appreciation, love and respect, talk about how you feel, pray for others…more so, listen. I speak too, you know? He asked.

“Yes, you do.” I replied.

“When you begin to see ME as a part of your daily life, communication becomes easier and prayer becomes enjoyable. No pressure, no time restrictions, no location preferences. The more you explore, the more you realize there is to be explored.”

“Is this what people who say they spend long hours praying have been enjoying?”

“Absolutely! Check the time.”

“Wow, It’s ten minutes past six!”

“More than one hour of you and I talking like friends, that’s prayer. Note this, there would be distractions too… every other thing trying to fight for your attention and the flesh trying to get in the way. Just always remember that it’s a constant fight. Sometimes you fall, don’t stay there. Rise and continue.”

“Thank you Lord…” I began.

“Do you have something to pray about now?”

“I smiled as I continued in thanks.

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? (1Kings 19:13 KJV)



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