So how do we talk to God? Perhaps for most people there’s a very simple answer to that. We just talk to Him. But what if I changed the question from how do we talk to God, to in what way does God appreciate us talking to Him? As I’ve been reading through the Gospels, having just finished up the Gospel of Matthew, one of the things that I was most struck by was the way people communicated to Jesus. Let’s look at some verses in Matthew.
Matthew 8:2-3 “And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
Matthew 8:5-10 “And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, 6 and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” 7 Jesus *said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel”
Matthew 8:19 “Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
Matthew 9:18-19 “While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and began to follow him, and so did His disciples.”
Matthew 9:27-30 “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus *said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They *said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened.”
Matthew 11:25 “At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.”
Matthew 17:14-15 “When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.”
Matthew 19:16 “And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?”
Matthew 20:30 “And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32 And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33 They *said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him”
Reverence and humility
In a lot of these interactions the thing I found myself most struck by is the reverence in these people’s communication to Jesus. The centurion saying he wasn’t worthy of Jesus walking under his roof. All of the people consistently referring to Him as Lord or teacher. You had some that fell face down before even speaking a word to Him. Jesus himself in speaking of God said “Father, Lord of the heavens and earth”.
Another thing that struck me was the humility. You had one man who said, “if you are willing, you can make me clean”. Such a stark contrast from all this talk you hear of people saying “I decree and declare” this and that. Who are we to decree and declare anything? The gentleman who was face to face with Jesus was humble enough to recognize that whatever happens with whatever we may desire is all based on whatever God wills. Jesus himself even acknowledged that when he stated in Matthew 26:39, “”My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Also worth mentioning, Jesus had his face to the ground too, perhaps further showing the importance of reverence.
I think in this age of Christian culture seeming to primarily emphasize sentimentality with God, the importance of reverence and humility gets really lost. This is not to say emotion is not valuable in communication with God. Three of the verses I listed from Matthew showed people crying out to Jesus, “have mercy!”. Judging by the fact that those people got their requests granted in those instances, that would seem to indicate God appreciates emotion expressed when talking to Him.
So I’m certainly not suggesting to completely rid ourselves of expressing deep emotion as it concerns talking to God and connecting with Him. I’m suggesting that perhaps when we also humbly (perhaps face to the ground if one is physically able) come before God in acknowledging His will being most important above all things, and communicate with more reverence to Him as the Lord of heaven and earth, we develop an even deeper connection with Him.
Peace to all those who are in Christ.