The Bible talks about God’s future kingdom on earth, an exciting time when sorrow disappears and gladness and joy take its place. When considering prayer, the interesting phrase the Bible uses is ‘… the dwelling place of God is with man’. God wants to be with us!
God’s kingdom is not too far away. While we wait for it we can still develop a really good relationship with God through prayer. King David of Jerusalem (of David and Goliath fame) built such a strong relationship with God that he was described as ‘a man after God’s own heart’. David experienced much in life and got through it with a great deal of praying. He prayed about his fears, needs, anxieties, doubts, despair, joy, and wonderment. He prayed about it all! This built one of the best ever relationships with God.
God was always with David. He may not have answered all his prayers in the way David wanted, but like a parent with their child, God responded in the way that would help David most in the long term. This helped to develop David’s personality, making it more like God’s.
If the Bible is God’s communication with us, prayer is our communication with God. As with all relationships, this needs to be a two-way thing. He is our father, and we should talk to Him. Like with David, God won’t always answer our prayers in the way we want, but He always listens and always has our best interests at heart. He wants us to grow more like Him and His son Jesus. Ultimately He wants to save us. We grow and become more godly through prayer.
There is no single way to pray and it can be difficult to begin with but keep trying. Some people write down their prayers: others pray in groups. David set some to music. Jesus teaches the Lord’s prayer, a great example of how to pray. Here is a good beginner’s structure.
P – pray
A – ask (for God’s guidance)
S – sorry (for the things you’ve done wrong)
T – thank you (praise God for His amazing blessings!)
A – Amen (it’s in your hands now Lord, and may your will be done)
This helps to achieve a balance, a personal prayer but focused more on giving glory to God.
So, here’s a challenge for this week – say at least one prayer a day and see your relationship with God grow.