How strong is your relationship with God? How often do you talk to God? – Well, talking to God, spending time with him, and understanding him will help you grow in your relationship with God. In this post, we will be discovering the ways prayer can help you grow in your relationship with God, what the Bible says about it too and discover the meaning behind the story of Samuel, who heard God calling him while he was asleep. We will also look at the three important steps in prayer; asking for forgiveness, presenting your requests and being thankful.
Prayer is a very important part of being a Christian. Through prayer, we can strengthen our relationship with God and his life in us. “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” – 1 John 2:6. This verse in 1 John tells us that if we are going to live with the Lord as our Heavenly Father, we should live in the same way that Jesus lived. To do this, we must talk to him and understand his nature, that divine nature which we have in us.
Many people, including me, sometimes think that prayer is a bit of a daunting task. But we need to remember that in 1 Thessalonians when we are asked to”Pray without ceasing”; this prayer is just chatting with God. Despite this, having a chat with the one true God, “who abolished death” and was “brought back to life” is still not something that we should take lightly. As Chris Tomlin says in one of his most famous songs about ‘Our God’, “there’s no one like you.”
Effective and worthwhile prayer, can be broken down into three parts.
1. Ask for forgiveness
Many of us, myself included, have on occassions only turned to prayer when in a time of need. But asking for forgiveness must be the first stage in prayer, as we are all guilty of sin. You should never ask the Lord for something you need or want, before asking for forgiveness. When you do this, you are acknowledging that you are not perfect and asking him to forgive you of your sins, before going to him to ask for what you want. We often forget this stage and just say ‘I want it now Lord!’.
2. Talk to God
This is the point in the prayer in which you can have the casual chat with the Lord. Don’t over complicate it; remember Jesus is 100% man, he understands. Without using complicated language, keeping it simple, ask him for what you want his advice on and help with. By developing a pattern of regular prayer, you will be able to understand more of what he is saying to you.
3. Thank the Lord
Finally, to finish off, thank the Lord for all he has done. If you wish, this can also be incorporated into the start of the prayer. Having asked for forgiveness and requested something of him, thank him for blessing you and for answering your prayer in advance of any change. Remember to “cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you”.
The importance of talking to God, is made prominent by the story of Samuel in the Bible. Samuel is an example of someone, who heard the Lord call him – three times during his sleep. It was only after Samuel went to Eli for the third time, that “Eli realized that the Lord was calling to the boy”. Eli replied to Samuel, by telling him to return to sleep and the next time the Lord called to talk to him, he should ask God to speak to him. Samuel did this and as a result understood the important plans the Lord had for his life. This was made possible by Eli, who prayed regularly and knew it was the Lord calling Samuel in his sleep.
“Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” – Ephesians 3:20
To strengthen your relationship with The Lord, you need to have an expectant and receptive heart. If you believe what he tells you, God will do immeasurably more in your life!
If you have enjoyed reading this post, please do subscribe for more, hit the like button below and comment your views on the topics covered. To re-read a previous two part post, that was written by us here at RCG, on prayer in everyday life, click here. Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for another post and next Sunday, for a second exciting post on prayer. Follow us on twitter to hear about our new posts before anyone else!