Much conflict can be traced back to a simple source: miscommunication. Communication is essential for the health and growth of any relationship. You start drifting apart when you stop communicating. The same is true in your relationship with God. You must stay in touch with Him if you want to grow closer to Him and gain a greater sense of His will for your life. This is what prayer is all about.
It is a sad fact that American Christians spend little time in prayer. Many claim they don’t need to set aside time for it because they pray while doing other things, such as driving or taking a shower. There’s nothing wrong with praying at these times, but let me ask you: could a marriage or close friendship be sustained by conversations or comments while doing other things? Of course not! Neither can your relationship with God.
Prayer is essential for spiritual growth. You must set aside time to communicate with God on a regular basis. He will bless these times by granting you closer intimacy with Him and deeper insight into His will. The Holy Spirit will also use them to make you more prayerful and spiritual. You can pray every day – here’s how:
Decide Why to Pray
You must honestly answer the question, “Why am I praying?” Is it because you know that you should and feel guilty if you don’t? Is it because you want to manipulate God and convince Him to do what you want? There is only one legitimate motive for prayer – because you love and trust God.
Decide When to Pray
Identify the time of day when you are at your best and devote it to prayer. Find a time when you are focused and attentive, but also peaceful and still. It should be a time that is free from all distractions and interruptions. It should also be a time that is consistent so you can develop the habit of prayer.
Decide How to Pray
There are many different ways to pray, and all are acceptable to God if you love and trust Him. You can take different postures such as sitting, standing, or kneeling. You can use different mediums such as talking aloud, thinking silently, or writing. Find a way that most helps you express your thoughts and feelings.
Decide What to Pray About
Here are three guidelines: First, pray about what’s going on in your life. Let God know what’s happening that day, or week, or month. Second, pray about what’s important to you. Talk to Him about yourself, your family, your friends, your finances, your career, and your future. Third, pray about what’s important to Him. He cares about people and problems around the world, so ask if there’s anything He’d like you to pray about.
Decide to Be Prayerful
Praying means to present your concerns and requests to God; being prayerful means to be aware of and available to the Holy Spirit. This requires an ongoing readiness to hear from and respond to Him. He cultivates a prayerful disposition within us as we set aside time to pray on a regular basis.
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