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…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24)
Today we celebrate both the halfway mark and a turning point for each of us involved in A 30-Day Conversation. If you’ve stuck with the series thus far, please let me congratulate you on your accomplishment and thank you for your loyal commitment to deepening your relationship with the Father who created and is enamored to pieces with you, His Son who died and rose to release you from sin’s fatal grasp and grant you eternal life, and His Holy Spirit who – at your first invitation asking Him to do so – gladly serves as Guide and Comforter in your life.
Take a moment to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, then buckle up for Phase 2 of our journey together. The format for the remainder of the trip will involve some self-guided tours amid our traditional group meetings. Think of it as a means of dipping your toes into the waters of nurturing your conversation with God. By the end of this series, I pray that you will have waded just far enough into those waters to gain a thirst for conversation with God that only a full nose dive will quench.
The format looks like this: we will spend two days thinking about a single topic. The first topic, for example, focuses on ways that friendship with God affects our conversations with Him.  
Day 1 features our topic’s passage-of-focus followed by lyrics and a link to audio of a hymn or contemporary song of worship that is associated with the passage. Once you read and – if desired – listen to the material, your PRAYER conversation for that day should emanate from your own time of reflection; in other words, from ways in which the material speaks to your spirit and, if applicable, nudges you to speak to God.
Day 2 features the same format we’ve used in segments for the first half of the series.
Got it? Good! You are about to begin your first self-guided tour of our journey through A 30-Day Conversation. Have fun, and grow strong in Christ!
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Lyrics by Joseph M. Scriven, 1855
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.
See Paul Baloche’s performance of the hymn here.
Conclude Day 15 by reflecting on the above hymn and passage of focus – how do they speak to you personally? – then document your PRAYER conversation for today in light of your answers.
Praise and Thanksgiving:
            In your own words, who is God to you personally? What has He done for you specifically
in the past day or so – especially the little things – that surprised you or drew you
appreciation?
Repentance:
This one seems obvious, but consider making a deliberate commitment to go
beyond “I’m sorry” and make a sincere commitment to do your best through Christ
to lay these sins aside.
Adoration:
            Love Him. Worship Him. And don’t be afraid to do so with hymns or other songs of
worship…sometimes mere words may not seem adequate to you. That’s ok!
Yielding:
Is there something you need to turn over to God? A circumstance you can’t control?
            Complicated relationship? Your own will that’s struggling with His will?
Expectation:
What are your concerns, your hopes, your dreams for your church? Your family?
Friends? Not-so-much friends? Yourself?
Restoration:
            End your conversation with the firm knowledge that you are God’s and God is yours.
Affirm your trust in His all-powerful, never-ending presence in your life. Thank Him
again for what He’s done for you in the past and what He will do for you in the future
that’s in accordance with His will. This is an important and proactive demonstration of
your faith in Him.
Copyright 2017 Carole Anne Hallyburton. All rights reserved.