Beach + Ocean

Rediscovering Prayer

There’s a pastor in Santa Cruz named Danny, with straight, blond hair down to his shoulders, who totes around a surfboard and spends hours in the surf. He says, when God speaks him, God calls him “dude.”

Dude, this is what I’ve got next for you.

I like the idea that God speaks to us in ways we understand.

Beach + Ocean

When Anthony and I felt God calling us to move to Los Angeles, do you know what He told us? I never heard the word: “Go.” Not in a whisper. Not in a shout. Not audibly at all.

God speaks to us in ways we understand.

One night, I was praying, hard. Beside me, Anthony was praying his own prayer. Then I got this moving picture in my mind.

In my favorite films, The Lord of the Rings, Frodo tells Galadriel: “Then I know what I must do. It’s just: I’m afraid to do it.”


“Gandalf the Grey.”  Photo credit: Pierre Vinet

Then scene cut. 

Next slide.

Gandalf tells Frodo: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.

Days passed, and over and over, specific scenes from LotR would come to mind as I prayed.

Could it be that I just couldn’t stop thinking about my favorite movies? Perhaps.

But over time, the recollected scenes tied together. Out of the context of the original filmed story, now together in my mind, they formed a new narrative. And it followed a specific path, hinted at a course of action.

When God gives us a picture, or a thought in our mind’s eye, I’ve found He confirms it with something complementary and concrete.

A word from a friend.

A prayer by a pastor.

A verse in Scripture.

A sense of peace.

After years of youthful praying, God is showing me something new.

I don’t have to sound like David from Psalms when I pray. I don’t have to sound like Moses, or even repeat after Paul the Apostle.

I have to sound like me. Just be me. 

And when I’m just me, then He’s just Him.

And I think we come to understand each other.

Words: Ally Siwajian © 2014

Photos: Ally Siwajian, beach image; Pierre Vinet, Gandalf the Grey portrait


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