Conversational Prayer

August 25, 1996
Brother John Raymond

	"Prayer is a conversation with God," said St. Augustine. (On Ps.
 85, 7) Other saints have echoed this statement, including the Doctor
 of the Church on Prayer__St. Teresa of Avila. Brother Craig is his
 new book, "Conversational Prayer" (Queenship Publishing, 1996)
 defines it as "that form of prayer in which we simply talk with or
 chat with Jesus." He writes that this conversation can be both
 natural and informal.
	One help to this form of prayer is to realize that God is really
 interested in what we do__He is interested in us. Sometimes we think
 that the only things we can talk to God about are religious ones. So
 when we run out of religious things to say our conversation comes to
 an end. Brother Craig says, "The key to having a very good
 conversation is to realize that Jesus is interested in everything
 that is important to us." Brother refers to something in the life of
 the French actress, Gabrielle Bosis, who lived in the earlier part
 of this century. Gabrielle heard the voice of Jesus in her heart. In
 her diary she wrote that Jesus said to her one day, "Is it so
 difficult to talk with Me? Everything that interests you, every
 little detail of your life, tell Me about it. I'll listen with such
 attention and joy. If you only knew. Tell others to talk with Me as
 they would with an intimate friend who knows all the secrets of
 their hearts."
	God loves us so much that He has prepared a place for us in
 Heaven, to be with Him for all eternity. He desires intimate
 communion with us. As we look around and meet other people we come
 to learn that God loves variety. No two people are identically
 alike. God wants to have a relationship with each person, a
 relationship that is unique because each person is unique. Our
 conversation can be about our interests. That is usually what
 friends like to talk about__their common interests. Perhaps someone
 likes jokes. Did you ever think of telling Jesus a joke? It's true
 He already knows the punch-line before you tell Him but He'd still
 like to hear it. He knows a few good jokes, too!
	What we think are distractions can be turned into conversation. A
 distraction is when our mind wanders during prayer. Now if we take
 this wandering thought and make it part of our conversation we turn
 a distraction into a prayer. Once a man told me he was having
 difficulty praying. Apparently there were certain prayers that he
 wanted to pray but his mind was on a certain issue that was pressing
 upon Him at the time. I simply suggested that he discuss this issue
 with Jesus instead of trying to force himself to pray something
 else. If it's important to us it's important to Jesus. We
 need to drill this into our heads!
	I remember long ago seeing a movie in which a man could see his
 angel. Nobody else could see the angel at his side. The man talked
 to his angel as one would to anyone else. In the same way if we
 picture Jesus at our side throughout the day we can bring Him into
 our daily activities. We can talk to Him about what we are doing.
 Many children have no problem talking to imaginary friends. Somehow
 we lose that simplicity as adults. But, of course, with Jesus we are
 talking about a REAL friend.
	For those interested in Brother Craig Driscoll's book on
 "Conversational Prayer" (suggested donation $1.95 + $1.25 postage.)
 It can be ordered from The Monks of Adoration, 2241 Englewood Road,
 Englewood, FL 34223.