Our Lenten study group was discussing prayer one evening, and folks told how they prayed and what they included in their daily prayers. Several people stated that they simply share their concerns with God but one woman had trouble with the idea of sharing her personal concerns in prayer. “I like basketball,” she said, “but I don’t think God cares one whit who wins the game this weekend.” My reply can only be explained as inspired by the Spirit, for I said, “Yes, but God cares very much about the fact that you care who wins the game. Basketball is a concern of your life, and God is concerned with your life.”

I remember when my niece was a teenager and I would visit her. We’d sit and talk, and she would discuss popular music, hairstyles, clothes, makeup and similar topics. None of these things interested me directly in the least but I enjoyed sitting and listening. I love my niece; she is an important part of my life. Even though I didn’t care about the topics personally, I understood that they were important to her. I was interested in hearing about these things because they were part of my niece’s life. I was thankful that my niece included me in her life by sharing her concerns.

God wants us to share our lives with him — that’s part of love and it is necessary for relationship building. We ask God to share our lives by expressing our concerns, interests, hopes, dreams.

“But,” some may interject, “God already knows these things.” Yes, He does, but speaking to God of them is an invitation for Him to enter an area of my life.

In one conversation with my niece she told me about her boyfriend. She had been dating this boy for several months and I knew that it was getting serious. I had heard comments from her parents and I saw her demeanor change when he was around or when she mentioned his name. However I had never asked her direct questions about the relationship because I respected her boundaries. This day she opened up and spoke of her feelings, told me directly of her love for him and her growing belief that he was the one for her. And I was thrilled! Even though I had witnessed the growth of the relationship and I could guess that an engagement was imminent, I was extremely grateful when she opened up and shared with me. The important thing was not the knowledge I gained about the boyfriend but rather her act of sharing. She opened herself and invited me to see her inner life, her emotions and her dreams.

I don’t believe it is anthropomorphic to think that God also is pleased when we share parts of our lives of which He is already knowledgeable. The opening up and exposing makes the difference between an impersonal relationship and a personal relationship. And our God of love most definitely wants a personal relationship with each of us.

So tell God about the basketball game, or the drive to work or any other thing on your mind, whether lofty or mundane. Share! Invite Him in! It’s an essential part of a prayer life.

copyright 2009 by the author