Words of
Encouragement & Hope
Submitted by Diana Kline

Have you talked
with God lately?

“When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.”
William Temple, The former Archbishop of Canterbury.

I grew up in small-town Nebraska in a family of seven. We lived in a
3-bedroom, 1 bathroom home and made ends meet. Church was not a major part of our lives. Sometimes we went to services and Sunday school, but beyond the time we spent in church, there wasn’t much talk about God or with God.

I do remember saying a prayer before a meal sometimes:
“God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.”

And at bedtime, we sometimes said the following:
“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
(As a young child, I remember worrying about the “If I should die before I wake” part!)

Beyond this – my prayer life was basically non-existent. After graduating from high school, I was selected to travel to Germany as an exchange student. Three months into my exchange year, I received a call from our Methodist minister with the sad news that my 17-year-old sister had died in a small plane crash. As I boarded my plane in Frankfort to fly home for her funeral, I remember asking God to get me back to Nebraska safely. 

A year later, during my first year in college, my grandparents died in
a car-train accident. I remember asking God to help me get through another horrific loss.

After finishing college, I became a teacher, got married, had two children, got divorced and then remarried and moved to Salt Lake City. My faith journey took an upward turn when I began attending a small Methodist church in our suburb.  During the sermons, I was sure that Pastor Steve was talking directly to me. Pastor Steve, his wife and two sons were talented musicians and performed songs that I was also sure were meant for me. I participated in Bible studies, became involved in missions for the homeless, read the Bible more often and studied a number of books.

Through it all, I continued to struggle with prayer – how to, when to, what are the right words? Does God really hear me? A friend recommended the book Hotline to Heaven by Frances Hunter.  

I learned that prayer is just talking with God, communicating with Him to create a relationship with Him. It is an opportunity to spend time with Him. It is something I can do anytime, anywhere. God doesn’t care how I put my words together; it’s only the condition of my heart that counts with Him. He just wants me to “call” because He is my friend. 
I also learned that when it comes to prayer, it’s important to keep it real, keep it simple and keep it going. My prayers often begin with
“Hi, God. It’s me again.” And the conversation moves forward. For
me, it’s wonderful to know that my best Friend is always there, ready to listen and to respond. A Friend who will provide direction and comfort and fill my soul with peace.

Have you talked with God lately?
According to Frances Hunter –
“God is waiting patiently for your call.

And if you get on that Hotline to Heaven , you will find that the line is never busy.