Welcome Aboard! Put on Your Seat Belt! The Plane’s About to Take Off!
About a week ago, I received a beautiful realization about God that changed my prayer life completely. (Yea, I know I have written a lot about prayer. It seems like every second post is on prayer. Can’t blame me though; I only pen down what I receive.) So, I was having my quiet time with the Lord and studying Paul’s first letter to Timothy when I came across a familiar text that ministered to me a lot different than it used to – 1 Timothy 2:1-2. Then, as I meditated on it, I began to inquire from God about why many people (including me), a lot of the time, find it difficult to maintain a lifestyle or habit of prayer. I mean, why does it look like an impossible feat to sustain a life of ‘continuing’ prayer (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17)? Do I have to go live with the hermits or monks to be able to maintain a constant prayer life? Do I need to turn off my internet connection, stop playing video games or watching movies and be done with all social media and most distractions? (I’ve done all these before at different times – one time for a whole month, another time for a whole year – each time under God’s instruction. I’ll tell you now, it ain’t fun.) As I pondered this question, God spoke to me, just according to His promise in one of my favourite scriptures since childhood:
Call me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.God, in Jeremiah 33:3
So, here’s how my little conversation with God went.
Me: Why do most Christians (including me), sometimes, see prayer as a demanding and laborious task?
God: Because people find it easy to see Me as their God, father, healer, saviour, etc. and sometimes, friend. But they find it challenging to really see me as who I am most of all – their best friend.
When I heard God’s answer, that just BLEW my mind! 😮
In-Flight Entertainment for You
Now, let’s try a quick test or game, if you will.
Activity 1: Take a moment and imagine God as God.
Wow! That task only took you one second to complete. Okay, next…
Activity 2: Imagine God to be a loving father.
Again, that was easy, right?
Activity 3: Now, imagine Him as a friend.
If my assessment is correct, activity 3 was easy, but not as easy as the first two because a friend is someone you can talk to on the same level as you. It’s not so easy to picture God as being on the same level as you are. So, to complete that activity, you most likely instead thought of God as someone who wants to be your friend, and who has the capacity to become your friend. And then you convinced yourself that that was what friendship with God meant, and so you ticked that task as done. ✅ In the next paragraph, I will prove to you that, in activity 3, you did not actually picture God as a friend. Read on. 💪
When I asked you to picture God as God, then as a father, you probably thought about those supernatural attributes which make God God, like creator, all-powerful, all-knowing, etc., and those ones which make Him a father, like caring for you, providing for you, holding you in His arms, etc. But when I asked you to think of Him as a friend, you most likely thought about His capacity or ability to take on the form of a friend, which is, of course, an attribute of His but not exactly how you would describe a friend. (If I’m completely wrong, please let me know in the comments section. 😉) To convince you further, take a moment now to think of me as a friend. If you thought about me in the exact same way as you thought about God a minute ago, then I am completely wrong about my assessment and I apologize for it. However, if you thought about me as a friend different from how you thought about God as a friend, then, boy, am I right! When you think of someone as a friend, some of the things that quickly come to mind are basic information a friend must know about you, followed by a few fun activities you can have with them. When you think of God as a friend, what are some of the fun activities that immediately come to your mind which you can do together with Him? I bet you definitely do not instantly think, prayer, because, in many instances, prayer ain’t fun, right?
This time, I want you to magine that you have a boss (or an employer) who is the wealthiest person in the world and you heard about an urgent need for pipe-borne water supply in a particular community in Somalia. Now, if you only have an employer-employee relationship with your boss, you probably will practice your lines in your head before going to present the case to him and ask for his help. You might even go the extent of researching the case further and typing out a proposal so that every point you make is solid and convincing. However, if you had a friendly relationship with that same boss, you would not need to worry at all how to say what you want to say or how informal you might sound because you know you can flow very easily with him/her and you both understand each other. You can even decide to pitch the idea to them over lunch or an informal dinner. So, if you had that kind of friendly relationship with God, who is, Himself, the owner of wealth, then when you come before Him in prayer, you wouldn’t worry about how your words might sound in His ears. You wouldn’t bother thinking up fancy words or striking vocabulary to use to appeal to Him. Also, you would always want to have a chat with Him, just as you always want to chat with a friend.
Now, I am still only talking about having an image of God as a friend, but what God really aches for is to go all the way into your best-friends zone. I’m not sure there’s really a Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek word for ‘best friend,’ otherwise, I’m sure the Bible would not be shy to use it in some of the instances it described the relationship between God and some people. Now, come with me and let’s take a look at some of those in the next paragraph.
Biblical Characters Considered Friends of God
The first human friend of God was Adam. From Genesis 3:8-9, it is immediately clear that God had regular visits with Adam, probably even long before He created Eve. God definitely wanted to be more than God to Adam. Consider this passage from the Bible:
What is man, that you remember him, and a son of man that you visit him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You have clothed him in honour and in glory.Psalm 8:4-5 (Aramaic version)
If you regard someone as your friend, wouldn’t you want to visit them as often as you could? It is such an honour to have the Creator of the entire universe wanting to be your friend and visit with you. What glory! What about Abraham? He was called a friend of God (see James 2:23). And God referred to David as a man after His own heart – 1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22. That’s pretty deep. He might as well have called David His best friend. There are many other such instances with other people in the Bible which time would fail me to mention. And to help us understand this desire He had for us to be friends with Him, God sent us Jesus to tell us unequivocally: I want to be your friend, so I’m just going to call you ‘friend’ from now on – John 15:15 (me paraphrase). He said the reason He calls us friends is so as to reveal His secrets to us. Truly, it is often difficult for people to reveal their secrets to anyone other than a friend, and sometimes, only a best friend will know the deepest secrets of someone. And God reveals His deep secrets to us through His Spirit (see Jeremiah 33:3; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16). Even a child finds it challenging to reveal their secrets to their parents, or for the parents to reveal theirs to their children. But when we are best friends with God, like Jesus seriously wants us to become, then we can have deep conversations with Him, full of trust and deep revelations. God even said in Genesis 18:17, “Shall I hide my plan from Abraham [My friend]?” And the same God would like to be your friend, your best friend. Wouldn’t you like for God to not do anything in your family (or in the world) without letting you know first? I mean, if He was that way with Abraham, why can’t He be that way with you and me? After all, we are Abraham’s children by promise (Galatians 3:29), and the blessings of Abraham are ours as well (Galatians 3:14).
Deploying the Landing Gears
Now, let us try to land this plane…
This single lesson is what has revolutionized my prayer life. And as I was basking in that illumination, I heard God tell me to write it down for others to be blessed by it as well. It is now extremely easy for me to pray, knowing that I am only hanging out with my best friend. For someone to be considered my best friend, I must really enjoy their company. In the same way, if God is my best friend, then it must be that I really enjoy His company. I must look forward to our meetings as I do my meeting with a best friend.
Further, if prayer is simply having a conversation with God, then it means that I must also allow Him to speak because a conversation is a two-way interaction. I can have that conversation with Him during a short or long break at the school or office. I can talk to Him while eating or chatting or playing with other friends. I can talk to Him any and every time, not just when I need His help.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I shall have slated times of prayer during which I will have more solemn conversations with God, but I shall have other casual, unscheduled visits with Him as well, and the results from the two should be the same because He is one and the same person. The reason I shall have slated times for solemn prayer is just that, as a human, I am a creature of habit, and I feel a lot more organized having scheduled prayer times than not. But the reason I shall also have unscheduled times for quick prayers is that I just want to always hang out with my best friend and tell Him how my day is going. Additionally, that way, I can maintain God’s command to pray always (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17). I can be playing a video game and chatting with Him about the same game I am playing (who says He doesn’t want to hear about it?). I can be chatting on social media and talking with Him at the same time (we do this all the time – chatting with a friend face-to-face [physical] while, at the same time, chatting with another friend online [virtual].) Since I know He loves to be worshipped with songs, I will sing to Him as often as I can because I want to make my best friend happy by doing for Him the things He loves – see what Jesus says in John 15:14. I will love, honour and cherish Him, and try to be there for Him, to the best of my ability. (All He asks is for us to give Him our best, not more.) This truly has made my prayer life a lot more fun and easier than it used to be. I have even begun to go for what I call ‘prayer walks.’ I reckoned that if I could go for an evening stroll with a friend, I sure could do that with God. So I go with my phone and my headset, so people don’t think I am going crazy when they pass by and hear me talking and smiling to myself. 😂
Hooray! We made it! 🤜🤛
Finally, a popular quote goes,
When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse of the same is inevitable.Myles Munroe
This was why I have taken the time to publish a separate post that defines exactly what I mean by the word, ‘best friend.’ Everyone has their roles to play in your life. Some take on more roles than others. God is not trying to replace your friends and best friends (although, some of them need to go for sure). Instead, He is just trying to get you to see Him in the same light. I know someone would say, That’s a dangerous teaching. People could abuse it. Well, it’s just like saying that since people would abuse grace, we should not teach the doctrine of grace. But I tell you, if you abuse someone, then, probably, they were not really a friend in the first place. It’s as simple as that. You would not deliberately hurt your friend, much less your best friend. And even if by some off chance you did, you would be broken afterwards and ask them to forgive you, and you would promise to never repeat it again. Now, that is where the doctrine of grace comes in. God is in a risky business. He knew that humans will hurt Him, but He still chose to enter into a covenant relationship with them. And He continues to do so. He decided He would forgive them, long before they even committed such trespass or asked for forgiveness. Therefore, the only sin that will not be forgiven is the one that you’re not repentant of while still in this world. So, in essence, what I am saying is that, if you love God as a best friend, you will not take undue advantage of His grace but you will take due advantage of His mercy when you do need your sins forgiven.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.Hebrews 4:16
I commend you to the grace of our best friend Jesus Christ❣️
Do you hear God speaking to you today through this lesson? Please, leave a comment or question; your comment/question might be a blessing to someone. You could also contact us through our contact page.
I was around 5 when, I am strongly convinced, I first heard the distinct voice of God. But, not until I was 11 (2002) did I have a personal encounter with Him. I was in my room that night, about to pray before bed, when I saw a revelation of how filthy my heart was. I didn't argue with God that I was too young to have such amount of filth ('cause I believed I was a 'good boy,' by human standards, at least). I simply cried uncontrollably in brokenness of heart - "The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God" (Psalm 51:17) - and He didn't.
Still crying uncontrollably, I left my room and went to the living room, where my parents were watching the nightly news on TV. After I managed to tell them about the revelation I saw, my sweet mum took me to her room and led me to Christ. I got saved that night. And 6 years later, I discovered my purpose and assignment on earth, which is raising up men and women to be godly, and teaching them the simplicity of Christianity. More than a decade later, I am still fulfilling that purpose to His glory. Hallelujah!