Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. – Luke 24:15-16
In healthy relationships, there is a gradual increase of mutual knowledge and trust, a growing awareness of the other’s wishes, feelings and motivations in an atmosphere of caring and empathy. Do our prayers reflect these?
A non-relational approach to prayer might go like this: We pray, and God either does or does not grant our request. Even a request that we desperately desire may be rejected, without explanation. Maybe this is because if it does not conform to God’s plan which we are not privileged to know.This approach to prayer has neither open two-way communication nor a gradual increase of understanding.
This is sad, given God’s desire to relate to humankind. God walked with Adam in the garden. God conversed with Abraham (Genesis 18:22-33) and Moses (Exodus 3-4). God literally lived among his people – in the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 29:45) and in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14).
How can we make prayer more of a conversation? For a more substantive answer, I refer you to Ignatius Loyola, whose writings on conversational prayer have influenced thousands.
For a short answer, I suggest taking the revolutionary step and stop talking. Sit in silence, clear your mind of all thoughts and expectations of what prayer should be like, and listen.