I stumbled across this and it’s too good not to share. The reference is at the end. I did a little editing so it makes sense out of it’s original context but the meaning is intact.
Imagine that our Good, Good Father appears visibly among us this evening. How would we speak to him? Or to make it more personal, let us say that he is willing to meet us in our living room. As many of us as could, would go over there and gather around him, just as the crowds did around Jesus—Mary loved to sit there at his feet.
Now, as we walk into the room, we know that God is the all-powerful Creator of the whole vast universe. We know that the mighty angels, sinless as they are, stand overwhelmed with awe and wonder at the majesty and glory of our God. Yet, though that all be true, if we are afraid to go in, then God has failed to convince us of the truth about himself. And Jesus has failed to convince us, not just with his words, but with what he has demonstrated to be true when he was here, that God is infinitely powerful, but equally gracious, and there is no need to be afraid. How could we turn down what he has paid such a price to reveal?
God is seated there and we are gathered around him. What should we say? Should we be the first to speak? Once we have started speaking, would we talk all the time? Or would we let God speak for a while? Normally, when we pray we do all the talking, don’t we? And then we say Amen, and go about our business, or go to sleep. It would be like meeting in the room with our Heavenly Father, and talking to him incessantly for several minutes, and then saying, “Amen, thank you very much,” and then going home. It wouldn’t make sense, would it? It certainly wouldn’t be conversation as with a friend.
Supposing we should have the inestimable privilege of talking there freely with God the Father for a whole hour; would it be appropriate at the end for someone among us to arise and say, “This has been such a special occasion, don’t you think we ought to close this meeting with a word of prayer?” Or would it be correct to understand that talking, conversing, having conversation with our God as with a Friend for that whole hour actually is real prayer, and we have been praying the whole hour long?
Conversation means at least two people speaking. But how do we converse with God when we can’t see him just now, because of the present emergency? We all understand that emergency and why in mercy he does not reveal himself visibly to us at this moment. And so, the Bible is called the Word of God—God speaking to us. If we wish to hear God speak, except in most extraordinary occasions, God speaks to us through the Bible. We speak to him in prayer.
Truly, as someone has said, “We commune with God through the study of the Scriptures.” I certainly find prayer much more meaningful while reading the Bible. Have you ever had the experience of talking to God while reading certain parts of the Scriptures? Have you ever found yourself talking out loud, “That’s magnificent!”? Who are you talking to? But that’s real conversation. We read, we listen in that way. And then we talk back to God.
Graham Maxwell. Excerpt from the audio series, Conversations About God, #15, “Talking to God as a Friend” recorded May, 1984, Loma Linda, California.