A few weeks back, I was invited by some friends to teach them about the Bible. That in itself is pretty exciting. But this really got my heart going, because these friends are a family who came to America some three years ago as refugees from Burma. They belong to the Karen people, who have been the targets of severe persecution by the Burmese government. Many are professing Christians, but have never been taught anything about the Bible or Christianity. Their Christianity often consists in a firm conviction that Jesus is the savior, and Christianity is true, and little else.
I have wanted to teach some of these folks for about two and a half years, but had no opportunity. For one thing, few of them spoke English well enough to understand, and most of those professing Christianity were wrapped up in a form of belief that is heavily shaped by their culture, not scripture.
So when I was invited into a home to lead a Bible study, I was excited.
My excitement grew to the point of euphoria yesterday, when my interpreter, a 16-year-old Karen girl, told me she wanted someone to teach her how to pray. When's the last time anyone asked you that? Been few and far between for me.
So we chatted a little about what prayer is: talking and listening with God, like a conversation with a friend. Then I told her we could pray together, and I would pray a little first, and then she should pray, saying anything she wanted to tell God.
Here was her prayer:
"Hi God. I want to talk to you. Thank you for.... Thank you for.... Etc., etc., etc."
It was a great outpouring of thanks for an endless list of things. It was a total delight, and she has no idea how well she made my day, even my week.
How much better can it get than to sit down and say, "Hi God. I want to talk to you"? I am certain Jesus was doing back flips at that, and there was rejoicing and celebration before the throne.