True prayer, according to the Bible, is a dialogue. If we ever think of it as a monologue, it ceases to be true prayer.
Look at the contrasting statements in the opening verses of Psalms 13 and 14—
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? (13:1)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (14:1)
We can have a dialogue with God—even asking questions of the Almighty—or we can monologue to ourselves.
The dialoguer asks a lot of questions (five of them in the first two verses of chapter 13) and anticipates that God will answer. In fact, David wrote in an earlier psalm, “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).
God’s answers are expected, as the dialoguer stops asking questions of God and begins to express his trust in God’s love, as he rejoices in God’s salvation, and sings about God’s goodness (13:5-6). Clearly, this trust, rejoicing, and singing come from assurances received in his dialogue with God.
The monologuer asks no questions of God, but makes definitive conclusions that he himself concocted. He talks to himself, making himself the final authority! The result is inevitable: “There they are, overwhelmed with dread” (14:5).
Jesus told a similar account of a man whom Jesus said, “prayed about himself” (see Luke 18:9-14). That word “about” is probably better translated “to.” That’s right: this man was so sure of himself that he now monologued to himself and thought he was praying. But Jesus said this about the monologuer: He went home without God taking notice of his prayer.
May we always be dialoguers in prayer, and never monologuers.
God wants to talk with you, even hearing and answering your many questions. Be sure you allow Him time to speak with you, as you anticipate His loving reply.
I will be continuing our series on prayer next Sunday, and I would love to have you join me!
June 20, 2022 at 6:01 am
[…] This speaks to me of an intimacy of relationship. Simeon didn’t view his conversation with God as a monologue but as a dialogue. I think that far too often we view our Bible reading time as God simply speaking to us, and our […]
August 30, 2022 at 6:01 am
[…] is never designed to be a monologue—with us just speaking to God—nor is Bible reading designed to be a monologue—with just God speaking to us. Both prayer and Bible reading are used by the Holy Spirit to keep a […]