Meet Rita Burgett, another friend who Diane recently met while on a plane. Rita and her husband live at Eagle Mountain Lake in Fort Worth. He started a business creating software for the senior housing industry, and they have operated the company as a Christian business for the last seventeen years. Her husband retired a few years ago, but she still enjoys working.
She has two grown stepchildren and a great Chihuahua/terrier rescue dog who is apparently teaching her to do tricks! Besides that, Rita also has a strong, dynamic prayer life, which is what we chatted with her about for today’s interview.
4word: Why do you think a strong prayer life is so important?
Rita: I can’t imagine having any real quality of life without God as my partner. As a young adult I came to completely depend on God due to a family crisis. My parents divorced, went bankrupt and moved away, leaving me physically and financially alone. At that crucial point in my life I knew I didn’t have the necessary resources or skills to become successful.
As a strategy, I turned to God. I asked him to be my provider, mentor and life coach. I learned not to make any important decision without consulting Him first. I sought His guidance on virtually everything. As a result, He took me “under His wing” and throughout the last thirty years He has led me into a fulfilling relationship with Him, turned me into a healthy person and helped me achieve what I consider to be a happy and successful life.
4word: Diane mentioned that you “talk” with God. I’m guessing that’s a reference to your prayer life. What is unique about the way that you pray?
Rita: I smile when people ask me about my “quiet time,” and I think maybe God smiles too thinking that my quiet time is anything but quiet! Often times I will pray in the traditional sense, especially when I am praying for others, but the majority of time that I talk with God, it is usually discussing ways to get my act together and that almost always ends up being anything but quiet!
I talk with God conversationally, almost subconsciously, during most of the day as many women do, but I talk with him directly, with purpose and out loud, usually in the mornings or as my schedule allows. I get a cup of coffee and sit in a chair in my home office. I place another chair opposite of me for Him. I then proceed to tell Him about anything and everything going on in my life, especially those things bothering me, personal and business (whether I think He already knows about them or not).
I tell Him the things I would (or wouldn’t!) tell my husband, a really great girl friend, sister, a therapist or a trusted confidante. And it’s not uncommon that I end up gesturing with my free hand and spilling my coffee!
4word: When/why did you first begin to pray this way?
Rita: I started talking with God conversationally as a child but with purpose about thirty years ago. I talk out loud to Him because I get better results that way. I found that when I talk to God in my head, my thoughts are too random, and we seldom end up having a real conversation. Talking out loud makes me slow down, form complete sentences, and actually make sense in what I’m saying.
Also, when I talk out loud, which again, slows me down, I find that it gives Him a chance to interject His thoughts into mine. As I am talking to Him, quite often a new thought or idea will present itself, giving me a different way of looking at my situation.
4word: How has this unique way of praying changed your relationship with the Lord?
Rita: I can’t imagine life without His presence or guidance. Scientists say that you can prove the existence of something you can’t see if you can test that thing and get tangible, consistent and reliable results. I have talked this way with God for more than thirty years and gotten tangible, consistent and reliable results. His presence is more than theory to me; it is proven.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being “we only talk in dire circumstances” and 10 being “I’m in constant conversation with God”), how would you rate your prayer life? Do you tend to pray out loud, in your head, by writing in a journal, something else we haven’t thought of? Share with us in the comments.