December 3, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XLII: A Conversational Connection

Conversation & Koinonia

I enjoy speaking with others. We are made to be social creatures in κοινωνία/koinonia with others and to be able to have conversation you need a relationship. Communication and fellowship are synonymous and to me, inseparable. This relationship cannot be faked either as it will quickly become obvious that people do not get along with one another because they are not talking to each other. So looking at it from a relational health standpoint, intimate relaxed conversation is a fruit of a productive κοινωνία/koinonia.

Think Before Speaking or Speak To Think?

To further break the idea of conversation down I need to look at myself and what motivates me to speak or not speak. I prefer to think or accumulate information before speaking. Contrary to commonly held beliefs about me, I do follow out my logic and accumulate as much information I can before sparking up a discussion or conversation. Speaking in order to think doesn’t work for me. It is audible clutter and I find it confusing. For me silence is an incubator for ideas but noise and idle chatter is a quagmire of confusion and often leads to either gossip or flapping of gums with no productive end.

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. Proverbs 18:2

Ordinary & Super Ordinary Conversation

We need to be comfortable with the people we speak to so we can be open and honest with them. Failure to have and open and honest relationship with other people inhibits life giving conversation. This is especially true in our relation/conversation with God. It is often the very fact that we have no relationship with God that we routinely believe we are talking to ourselves or believe we are speaking to no one when we call to the sky and feel empty. It is often the space and distance we have put between God and ourselves that causes the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Sometimes it is the very fact that we bring a third party into this in the form of intercessory pray....very presence of another person in Christ that brings God's presence to the forefront in conversational prayer. The Kingdom comes and resides wherever the rule of God reigns in peoples hearts.

Conversations with non-believers and believers alike are important. Important for the non-believer because it may be the only place they ever see or hear from Christ. Important for the believer because it supports us in our faith that is constantly being tested.

When we bring the aspect of conversation to prayer we are no longer talking about a one-on-one conversational style. When we pray for others in the presence of God we shift over to a group conversation setting and the dynamic changes at least from the human standpoint. When we pray for others we are directly speaking about our human counterpart in the conversation but we are addressing God. We are speaking to the King as an intercessor on behalf of the person we are praying for. This becomes especially true when we are praying for a non-believer as they have no direct access to the Father like us as believers do to the Father through Christ. As much as the secular world wants Christianity to be pluralistic and inclusive in this respect, it cannot and will not. God is not swayed by the demands of men. He has made it clear that Jesus is the intercessor.

"He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through him, because he always lives to make intercession for them" Hebrews 7:25

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Intercessory Prayer

Praying for others is a pattern all throughout Scripture. Jesus even did it for His own disciples in John 17:1-26 in His Great High Priestly Prayer. I feel I am following on the image of my Lord when I do the same. We are commanded to pray. We are called to follow. Without following someone spiritually or physically how can we possibly be expected to stay in conversation with them? A conversation requires a close proximity to Someone/someone either spiritually or physically. We need to try and keep up with Him.

Godly Conversation Gives Life

A Godly conversation is life or has the power of life. When we speak of our faith and of Christ and the Gospel we bring Life into the conversation. If God is the Life-giver and the source of the vital breath, then it stands to reason that to speak of Him brings life.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

When we pray for others in terms of calling them to Faith in the sinner’s type prayers we are exposing them to the opportunity of a relationship with Jesus and in so doing exposing them to eternal life. It is an eternal life that they were insulated from and could have never come to on their own. We are called to plant seeds and help in the harvest of lost souls. Conversation with them and conversation (prayer) with God on behalf of them (and us) is the first part of the link to making this happen.

Benefits of Conversation in A Relationship

When we stay on speaking terms with someone we keep a close and kindred connection with them. They stay close friends, acquaintances and close family. In the case of God the Father and Jesus it is sons and daughters of the Most High worthy of all our praise.

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:15-17

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...