Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. [1 Peter 5:7 (TLB)]

For the Lord is watching his children, listening to their prayers. [1 Peter 3:12a (TLB)]

beachEvery Thursday, my next-door neighbor has a standing two-hour appointment at the beach with a friend who lives about an hour north of here. Although marked on her calendar like a Bible study, committee meeting, doctor’s appointment, or book club, there’s nothing purposeful or especially important about their meeting. As she explained, the two simply meet to “catch up.” Unlike my neighbor, I’m more of a “let’s get down to business” than “let’s chat” type and, when I call or meet with someone, there’s usually a specific purpose for the contact. A few days ago, however, an old friend from our home town called for no reason other than to “catch up.” Neither of us had any important news; we just shared a little of what is going on in our lives. While the conversation accomplished nothing (and took me from my work), it was a much-appreciated blessing.

My friend’s call also caused me to reconsider the way I approach prayer. My daily prayer time tends to be structured and purpose-driven rather than as unplanned and spontaneous as a casual conversation with an old friend. Treating prayer a bit like a meeting with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I have my prayer list and an order of business; praise, thanks, confession, and intercession before finishing up with any of my personal concerns. While I may give thanks or offer a spur-of-the moment prayer during the day, I don’t “catch up” with God the way my neighbor does with her friend at the beach.

Prayer doesn’t require an appointment, objective, or plan; simply put, prayer is no more than talking to and fellowshipping with God. Today, I took a break from my work, sat out on the lanai, and caught up with God the way my neighbor does with her friend. As we spoke about some recent guests, I thanked God for the amazing way He brought us together nearly 50 years ago and shared my concerns about their health. We talked about the grands which led to prayers about the eldest one’s travel plans, her younger brother’s college applications, and a third one’s SATs. After we chatted about a devotion I’d been writing, I received some helpful insights that brought my scattered thoughts to a conclusion. I hadn’t really thought of any of those things as significant enough for prayer and it was only by doing some “catching up” with God that I found they were!

Maybe there is someone with whom you haven’t spoken in a while; if so, give them a call and do some catching up. While you’re at it, spend some quiet time with God and “catch up” with Him. Granted, as the one who orchestrates our lives, God knows everything that’s happening to us but that doesn’t mean He isn’t interested in catching up with us about the seemingly inconsequential matters anyway. We are told to give God all of our worries and cares, not just the ones we deem essential or of great consequence. We’re God’s children and there is nothing about a child’s life that a loving parent finds trivial or unimportant. If it’s important to us, it’s important to Him.

Prayer is simply talking to God like a friend and should be the easiest thing we do each day. [Joyce Meyer]

For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God. [Saint Teresa of Avila]

And in the same way—by our faith—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will. [Romans 8:26-27 (TLB)]

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