What My Friend Bess Lorence Taught Me About Prayer.

3 Ways Prayer Connects us to God's Heart.

This post is in memoriam of my friend, Bess Lorence.
Gone, but never forgotten. A woman after God’s own heart.

When someone wants to connect with another person they talk. It’s that simple communication style that brings about the greatest benefit. Prayer is no different. We usually think of prayer as asking God for something than it is simple communication. My goal is to change that through this blog post.

My family and I were headed to Iowa for my cousin’s wedding and a family reunion when my phone rang with shocking news. My friend, Bess Lorence, had passed away suddenly. Just four months prior her husband, Ed Lorence, had died. Both were such blessings in my life.

There are few people who have taught me the importance and power of prayer, than Bess. She was a woman who lived on her knees talking with God. She didn’t give trivial platitudes to God in prayer, she had conversations with him.

I have lost count how many times she said, “Jason, I’m praying for you and Kari, that God would bless you and your marriage.” Numerous times she would pray over me if I was sick, needed encouragement or simply wanted someone to give me a word of wisdom. This was who she was, a woman who communed with her God and stood in the gap in prayer for others.

I want to share with you what Bess Lorence taught me about prayer and why you should give it a try.

Prayer connects us with God’s heart.

Growing up in a Christian home as a PK (Pastor’s Kid), I heard all about prayer and why it was important. I’ve seen the results of using this as a communication vehicle to connect with God. But all to often I gave prayers that were more self-centered than upward focused.

If we want to connect with the heart of God, prayer is how we get there. If you’re not religious, give it a try, you just may find God in the process. Prayer is not about getting our way, wants or desires. It’s about connecting with God’s heart and seeking what he wants and desires.

So what does prayer do? 3 things.

  • God invites us to know him.
  • Because Prayer moves God’s heart.
  • Prayer invites God to work in our heart.

Prayer is deeper than meditation.

So many times people think of prayer as something mystical or something to be feared. I believe that’s why we see so many simple prayers written out for us, because we don’t know how to pray.

Think of the last devotional or meditation book you’ve read. You’ll find that we’re to meditate of the prayers and scriptures. But meditation is not praying. Meditation is deep thinking and quieting our spirit and soul to hear the voice of God.

Prayer, on the other hand, is speaking out loud to God. We actually use our voice to communicate. Yes, there are those silent prayers, and yes God can read the thoughts and intents of our heart. However, the best prayers are spoken. In-fact when I pray, I usually speak so that I can hear what it is I”m trying to communicate.

Try using your voice to communicate your prayers to God. It’s one of the best ways to know what it is that truly is in our heart. Our spoken prayers are like an incense to the throne room of God.

Prayer gives us hope for tomorrow.

When I pray, I’m not praying about my troubles, fears or discomforts. I’m not asking God to take away something that can bring fulfillment later, even if it’s painful. I heard it put this way recently; I don’t want to be healed, I want to be sanctified.

We may not know the answers to our prayers today, or even tomorrow. God may not bring healing to the person we’re wanting to be saved from death. Truth to tell, we prayed that God would heal Ed Lorence, but his healing didn’t come how we expected; the Lord took him home to heaven. Bess understood that Ed’s ministry on this earth was done, though saddened at her husband’s passing. Bess understood God’s answer.

Prayer still give us hope for tomorrow. Why?

  • We put God first when we pray, by asking for his will to be done.
  • God desires for us to pray his heart and his will, not ours.
  • God will always deliver the answer when our prayers line up with his will.

We may not understand his will, but we pray his will be done. Prayer is not a slot machine. You can’t put in the proverbial quarter and win the lotto or get your quick McDonald’s answer from God.

My 84 year old friend, Bess, understood that prayer is communication with God. That it allows us to understand his heart and to know his ways. But like a conversation among friends it takes quieting our voice and listening to God speak.

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