Prayer – at its simplest form – is talking to God.
When you really break it down, prayer is communication. And communication is a crucial element in any intimate relationship…including a relationship with God.
On May 22, 2004 I made a commitment to enter into the intimate marriage relationship with Heather. Imagine if I made that commitment that day and followed that up with NEVER talking to her. You would think I was crazy. The relationship would never work.
But so many times people do that with God. We pray a prayer, get dunked in baptistries, or make a one-time commitment to enter into an intimate relationship with God and then never talk to him after making that commitment. And we wonder why we are not close to God.
For you to have consistency in your relationship with God, it is crucial for you to have a consistent, intimate prayer life with God.
A consistent, intimate prayer life with God will…
- KEEP YOU CLOSE TO GOD. It’s a proven fact that you are closest to the ones that you talk to the most. The same principle applies to God.
- KEEP YOU FOCUSED ON A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, NOT RELIGION. If you do not have any intimate communication with God, he tends to get regulated to a church building and certain days of the week. He becomes a duty. This religious approach is why so many people go to church every week but their lives never change.
- HELP YOU REALIZE THE URGENCY OF SPENDING TIME WITH GOD. Many times people do not spend time with God because there is no urgency to do so. Getting to work, school, or practice on time is urgent. After all, if you miss prayer time, there is no immediate consequence. You don’t get fired. You don’t get kicked off the team. You don’t have to repeat a class. You don’t get written up. But if you don’t realize the urgency of spending time with God, you will suffer a consequence eventually – you will not develop intimacy with God.
Here are five things that will help you have a better prayer life…
- CARVE OUT SPECIFIC TIME IN YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE TO PRAY. Find a time that works with your schedule. I recommend either right when you wake up or right before you go to sleep. Be consistent with that time.
- PRAY “TWITTER” PRAYERS. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray continually”. Other versions say “pray without ceasing”, “pray all the time”, and “never stop praying”. Twitter limits you to updates that are 140 characters of fewer. Pray throughout the day short prayers to stay connected throughout the day. Think texting with God throughout the day.
- GET ALONE TO PRAY. Jesus consistently got alone to connect with God. Prayer is a private thing.
- BE CREATIVE WITH PRAYER. Pray the Bible. Find prayers in Scripture and pray those. Pray through worship music. Pray through journaling.
- BE OPEN, HONEST, AND REAL. GOD CAN HANDLE IT. Share your heart with God. If you’re mad, tell him. If you’re frustrated, tell him. If you’re doubting, tell him. If you’re full of joy, tell him. Wherever you are, be open, honest, and real. God can handle it.