In the Wednesday’s post, I shared what I believe are the three major things we can proactively do to cultivate our relationship with God. I explained that they are things that we should do often, and if we do them the way God wants us to do them, no one but us and God will even know that we’re doing it. In that segment, I focused on reading our Bible, but this time I wanted to encourage you to pray consistently. Think about it. How can we build a relationship with someone if we don’t talk to them? Prayer doesn’t have to always involve us asking for something. We could simply praise and worship God with our words. We could thank him for what he has given us. And yes, we could plead with him on behalf of ourselves or someone else. But I believe the most powerful prayers are ones done in isolation, with no distractions, providing the perfect atmosphere for an open dialogue between you and God. In Matthew chapter 6, verses 5 through 8 Jesus says this about prayer:
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Isn’t it encouraging to know that God knows what we need before we even ask? If you kneel to pray and don’t know what to say, I encourage you to just sit silently in his presence and listen with your spiritual ears. You may hear God revealing something to you. Many people believe that prayer is one way communication from us to God. Though I believe that is the way the majority of our prayers happen, I think that he speaks to us as well, if we take the time to be quiet, to be patient and to listen.
Prayer is essential to the health of any Christian walk. The Bible tells us to pray constantly – or without ceasing. We should be in conversation with God as often as possible. That is one of the best ways to maintain a strong relationship with him. In the Bible we read about times when God tells others, “I never knew you”. This is after they’ve cast out demons and performed amazing miracles in his name. I encourage you to make sure that God knows you by talking to him often. And when you come to him with something heavy on your heart; so heavy that you don’t even know how to express yourself, remember that Romans 8:26 says:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
So, I encourage you to pray often even when you don’t know what to say. If you find prayer difficult, start small. Pray in private for only a few minutes. If you make it a habit, over time, I think you’ll even look forward to time alone with God.