by Sandy Kirby Quandt
In Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer, Jeannine Blackmer takes stories from the book of Matthew that tell of Jesus’ encounters with the people around him and imagines what those interactions may have been like. In doing so, she hopes to give the reader a new perspective on prayer.
Within the pages of her book, Jeannine covers the stories of the leper, centurion, scribe, disciples, the paralytic, the ruler, the woman with a bleeding disease, two blind men, John the Baptist, Peter, the Canaanite woman, a father, and the rich young man.
Each chapter begins from the character’s viewpoint and includes their encounter with Jesus. Following the telling of the story the author describes her own personal response to the story, offers several scripture verses for reflection, and ends with a section for the reader to record their observations on what they’ve just read.
While reading the chapter on the disciples during the storm on the Sea of Galilee, I wrote my name into the story and sat right alongside the disciples as the storm raged and the waves threatened to overtake them. I looked at the story and wrote my story of situations where chaos replaced calm; and fear replaced faith.
In the midst of the storm while Jesus slept in their boat, the disciples, and I, cried out, “Save us LORD, for we are about to drown!” At our cry Jesus woke, asked why our faith was so weak that we were afraid, and then told the wind and sea to be still.
As Jeannine states in her book, fear is a struggle for her — and for me, perhaps for you also. Even though we know Jesus can change circumstances in a moment, we’re afraid he won’t. It is at those times we, like the disciples, need to cry out to Jesus and plead in prayer for him to save us; for we are about to drown. At that point we can rest assured in his calm presence knowing he hears, and will act according to his purpose.
I’d encourage you to do the same thing. Find your favorite scripture or story from the Bible and write your name in it. By writing your name in the stories, does it give you a new perspective on how to talk to Jesus on a more personal level?
Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?
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I wish you well.
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