When I pray, do I have a special language I use when speaking with God?
The next question is, does God have a special way He communicates with me? Oh—you say, He talks to you?
Talks, Walks, Comes Alongside (that is churchy talk) Urges, Nudges, Whispers, Covers, Hovers, Shepherds, Blesses, Surrounds, Leads, Delivers, Rescues, Rebukes, …Me.
Dallas Willard, author, professor of philosophy, says, being close to God means communicating with him and developing a conversational relationship with him.
Anna, the prophetess, in Luke’s Gospel knew God so well that she recognized the sent savior as an infant child.
36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38
In this birth narrative, we have some well known names and some lesser known, but key to our understanding of how we can recognize God.
Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah get first billing— then Simeon, described as righteous and devout, praises God in a special song. Immediately identifying the Christ child upon seeing him.
Anna is a side bar in this drama and she teaches us how to respond to life, respond to Christ and witness to others. She does this all in advanced age.
Her life was centered on prayer and fasting.
How was her prayer life different than mine, or was it? I know that her fasting separates her life from mine. I will work on that.
I want to strive for a Plife. As in Iphone. Itunes. Ieverything.
P—as in prayer. Anna had a Plife.
“Why is it,” comedian Lily Tomlin asks, “That when we speak to God we are said to be praying but when God speaks to us we are said to be schizophrenic?”
We are meant to be in conversation withGod. Anna knew this. She expressed her thanks to God and then “spoke” to her circle of friends about what she had recognized.
To ponder: Am I ready to be in a conversation with God?