Many people struggle when it comes to talking with God. There’s a lot of misinformation about God, and the funny part is, there really shouldn’t be. Of all the major religions, Christianity has some of the clearest and most specific guidelines on how to pray to God.
So how do we miss it?
We avoid God for years, then send up a quick “Help me!” when our car breaks down on the highway. We blame God for the death of a loved one, then pray He’ll bless our efforts to start that new company we’ve dreamed of. We believe what wounded or misguided people tell us about God instead of going directly to the source to find out what He has to say about Himself.
In short, we abuse our relationship with God on a regular basis, then wonder why He doesn’t “show up” when we call!
If communicating with God is so important, then there must be a better way!
Fortunately, there is. Here are 5 easy steps, based on the Bible, to help you pray to God in a way that works:
1. Make a Quality Decision
You are an intelligent human being, intricately designed. Such complexity is the work of a Master Designer: God.
Does life on earth evolve? Yes. But as with all things, we should not take science (or religion) to the extreme. Basing man's ultimate beginnings on an ape simply because we share certain "animalistic" characteristics is not a wise conclusion!
If we are no more than biological outgrowths of an instinct-based species, then there is no reason to honor God as Creator, nor is there any overarching plan for this life except the survival of the fittest. But if we accept that there is a greater order and purpose to our world, then the Bible makes sense.
True, trusting prayer begins with a quality decision. Place your faith in the Bible's claims and in what God says about Himself, believing that what you do not understand now will become clearer as you walk and talk and learn from Him.
2. Believe in What God Says About Himself
The Bible has countless proofs to substantiate its claims. History, archaeology, and yes, even science, confirm not only the existence of Jesus, but also the validity of nearly every story recorded.
If the Bible is reliable and verifiable, then what God says about Himself – and you – can be trusted. Here are 6 key points God makes:
- God is a pre-existing, divine Creator who sustains the world and everyone in it.
- Creation reflects the glory of God in all its beauty and variety.
- God made man and woman in his image, which means our creative intelligence is derived from a wise, all-knowing deity who is like us.
- God is a relational being who loves His creation and desires to have a Father-son (or Father-daughter) relationship with each of us, simply because He made us.
- Any anger God harbored against mankind has been removed, because Jesus, God’s Son, lived the holy life we could not, satisfying God’s biblical commandments for obedience. Forever.
- God is not the author of sin, suffering, or pain. The evil things we encounter in this life are the result of a shared mutual enemy: Satan. God is good, and acts in consistency with His own moral laws and character which guide and govern the universe. The crop He planted is good. But our enemy has sown weeds that often interfere with our progress.
3. Believe in What God Says About You
- You are loved (John 3:16).
- You are made in His image and therefore have innate value (Genesis 1:26-27.)
- Satan, your mutual enemy, separates you from God (Genesis 3:1.)
- Jesus became the “black sheep” of God’s family, taking the punishment for sin on His own body, so you could live (1 Peter 2:24.)
- You have the ability to hear from God yourself (John 10:27.) You have the freedom to connect with God directly, without a need for any priest except the One He provides: Jesus. (See Hebrews 4:14-16.)
- God wants to hear from you (Psalm 34:15.)
4. Start Talking to God
- Ask God’s forgiveness for walking away from your relationship with Him, instead of connecting with Him by faith as Father and Creator.
- Be honest with God. Own up to any wrong behaviors you are aware of, and take responsibility for the ways you have violated His “Golden Rule” of loving Him and others.
- Admit that your unbelief and sinful nature can only be cured by believing that Jesus paid for your shortcomings on the cross. Ask Jesus to cleanse you by the supernatural application of His blood.
- Thank Him, accepting by faith that salvation, healing, and deliverance come through Christ’s name. Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit.
5. Make Talking with God a Daily Habit
Set aside time daily to talk with God, just like you would in any relationship. Spend part of your time talking to Him (in prayer, thanksgiving, or praise), and part of the time listening to Him. (You listen to God by reading the Bible, your “owner’s manual,” to learn more about who He is and who you are).
Many people take a pen and notebook along when they talk to God. (I do!) Write down, draw, or journal your thoughts about scriptures you are reading and the related thoughts you are hearing in your heart. Be open to the quiet leading of the Holy Spirit that you might not notice in your busier times.
Ask God to go with you throughout your day. His presence will give you peace! (Exodus 33:14).
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com. This article first appeared in adapted form in LivingBetter50 magazine as "5 Steps to Help You Connect with God."