Prayer Keys – Key #1 – “It’s About the Relationship”
It seems like in today’s world we have relegated prayer simply a formal, meaningless public ritual. In other more personal times, it has become a short, lifeless, utterance of a few awkward words, in situations where we feel helpless and don’t know what else to do. I really don’t believe that was how it was meant to be, either in the past, or now.
So what should prayer be then? There are a lot of different aspects to personal, genuine prayer. Prayer, in it’s most simple terms, is having a conversation with God. That doesn’t sound too complicated, right? That’s because it isn’t complicated. It isn’t scary. It isn’t weird. And it isn’t that difficult.How often do you have a conversation with someone that you don’t know? Not very often. How often do you have a conversation with those that you are only somewhat acquainted with? Not often, but more often that those you don’t know at all. How often do you have conversations with those you are in a close relationship with, such as friends, family, etc.? The answer, of course, is much more often. I choose to spend a lot of time talking with my friends, my family and my spouse. Why? Because I enjoy spending time with them!
If we are going to have good, healthy prayer life, it has to start with our relationship with God. Granted, He already knows us intimately. He knows everything we do and think. From our side, however, we don’t always know God very well. It is through cultivating a relationship with Him that we get closer to Him and more comfortable talking with Him. As a matter of fact, at some point, when our relationship with God gets closer and more intimate, we will actually develop a desire to spend time talking with Him. When God created man in the garden of Eden, He walked and talked with Adam and Eve everyday. That has been God’s desire for us from the beginning. After man’s fall in the garden, where he chose to rebel against his creator, that close relationship was destroyed. Years later, when God sent His son Jesus to be born here on earth, that intimate relationship between God and man was restored. Sadly today, most of us who call ourselves Christians have failed to recognize our need to restore that intimate relationship with our creator, that He has always wanted to have with us.
So the first key to developing a good prayer life is to focus on your relationship with God. Next time you decide to pray, try just talking to God like you talk to your friend. Not only that, but also take a minute or two to listen; He just might have something to say. Remember, conversations are a two-way street.