My Grandparents have been Sunday School teachers for decades now. For generations, they have taught elementary school children Bible stories, baked snacks for their classes, and carried around pockets full of quarters for anyone who gets the right answer. I couldn’t tell you how many kids have come up through their class but I guarantee you that each and every one could tell you what the phone number to Heaven is.
This little snippet of teaching is one that my Grandpa has used for years. Let me explain. On one Sunday or another, my Grandpa would march in to church with a big box full of phones. Remember he’s been doing this for years now, so this box is full of rotary phones, brick cell phones, phones with the curly-q chords, there’s even one of those with the ear piece that you pick up and the horn you talk into. Anyway, my grandparents wheel this trunk full of phones into their classroom and make sure that every kid gets one as they wander in. When I was a kid, it was obvious that these were phones but I have to wonder what kids think now when they see those chorded relics. They probably just say, “Thanks but I’ve got my own phone in my pocket.”
Once each kid has a phone, my Grandpa proceeds to ask the class if anyone knows what the phone number to Heaven is. Naturally, everyone is caught off guard and somebody is bound to inform the crazy old man up front that in fact, you cannot place a phone call to Heaven.
“But you can!” My Grandpa insists. “The phone number is right there in the Bible! The phone number to Heaven is Jeremiah 33:3. ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”
Of course, the kids realize you can’t actually dial this number but the verse has the words “call” and “answer” in it so the point is sufficiently made. My Grandpa will have the kids repeat the verse a few times and then, with phones up to their ears, he teaches them this song:
“A little talk with Jesus makes it right, alright.
A little talk with Jesus makes it right, alright.
In trials of every kind, praise God I always find,
A little talk with Jesus makes it right, ALL right.”
My Grandpa started doing this when my parents were kids and hasn’t stopped since. He teaches this lesson because the phone number to Heaven is one that you can’t ever forget. He’s faced those “trials of every kind” and knows that a talk with Jesus does make things right.
This isn’t just a lesson for kids though. We need to hear it too.
We need to be reminded that God will always pick up the phone when we call. He will never ignore us, never put us on hold, never avoid our calls. His word is clear that He desires to answer us if we would only call on Him.
But with God, you don’t even have to take the time to dial. He’s there, as near as your next breath, waiting to talk. With you.
The idea of prayer gets complicated sometimes, twisted into something that has to be fancy and rehearsed but I love the idea of thinking of it like a phone call.
Annabelle trying to talk on her toy phone.
With two kids, I don’t have a ton of time to talk on the phone so when I do, it’s usually while I’m doing something else. I’ll talk on the phone while I wash dishes, wipe noses, cook dinner, whatever. I just incorporate it into my everyday life.
That’s how prayer can be too. You can pray while you’re working in the yard, taking a shower, putting your kids to bed. You can pray when the world is spinning as fast as it can or when all is peaceful and quiet, because all it is, is a little talk with the One who knows you best.
Relax in the idea that God is waiting by the phone, eager to hear your voice and waiting to let you hear His. Let prayer become a part of your day in a way that’s as seamless and as constant as a phone call. Take the time to actually talk to Jesus about whatever is on your heart. Nothing is too trivial and nothing is too big. The point of the prayer is not the topic of conversation but the conversation itself because it’s through that conversation that you are building a relationship with, a dependence on, and a knowledge of the Lord.
Through conversation, you learn what His voice sounds like. And that’s when He will show great and unsearchable things. Things like His plan for you, His deep love for you, or His heart for this world.
Talking to Jesus makes everything better, just a like a phone call to your mom when you’re homesick is balm to your heart.
So don’t over think it, don’t avoid it, just talk to Jesus. Call Him up and see what’s going on. Fill Him in on the desires of your heart or that great thing that just happened that you’re so grateful for. He gave you His number and He’s waiting by the phone.