We talk about prayer as conversations with God. Sometimes we wish that we could hear both sides of the conversation, instead of just our own. One way that we can understand these conversations a little better is to read the accounts of others. There are a few of these conversations in the Old Testament. And, assuming that prayer is talking with God and that Jesus is God, every time there is a conversation between Jesus and one of the disciples, or the Pharisees, or some person that Jesus is healing, we have a picture of prayer.
So, for example, if you are looking for something to read while sitting in your chair ready to read something from the Bible, consider one of these conversations:
- Moses had several conversations with God. They start in Exodus (See, for example, the burning bush story in Exodus 3-4) and are also found in Leviticus and Numbers. Does the way Moses talks with God change across the forty years they talk? How much do they disagree with each other? How much do they agree?
- The woman at the well in John 4 has several conversational turns with Jesus. What do they show about how he listens to her heart’s longing? How willing is he to listen to her questions and respond?
- The disciples, Martha, Mary and the crowds in John 11. The whole chapter is conversations. How does Jesus interact with all these different people? How does he respond differently to different comments? Do his comments reflect an awareness of different personalities?
- In John 7, Jesus talks with groups of people who are debating with him. Use an online Bible that lets you look at cross references and footnotes. How many times are the answers Jesus gives based on Old Testament verses? If he uses the Bible to answer questions then, might that still be true?