When we are in a relationship with someone, communication is vital. Relationships break down when communication is strained, not clear, or not enough.
This is how we get to know someone, share our ideas, thoughts, dreams, feelings, desires, and hear theirs. Relationships then grow and become more intimate and powerful. Communication allows us to collaborate and partner with others to solve my problem, their problem, or one we face together. Communication also allows us to clearly express our expectations and boundaries with the other person and learn theirs. When conflict occurs with another person, communication is the key ingredient to allow us to engage with the other person and resolve the conflict in healthy ways for both parties.
Prayer is the word we use to describe that direct verbal and thought sharing communication pathway we have with our Heavenly Father, God.
It is as simple as having a discussion with God which connects our inner self(spirit) to Him, and also listens to what He communicates back to our inner self.
Prayer has several core components:
- Confession (visit this link for more specific info on this key component) – first I need to confess my sins, both known and unknown so sin is not in the way of my relating with God, because He is holy. This puts me into close and direct relationship with God and the Holy Spirit is on the throne of my life.
- Adoration or Worship – perceiving God accurately as the King of the Universe…. My Savior and Lord of my life that sacrificed everything for my eternal salvation. This puts into proper perspective who God is, who I am, and what He has done for me and has promised to do to me and through me. this refocusing of my lenses is vital to prayer life and spiritual maturity.
- Thanksgiving – simply, thanking God for whatever your heart is moved to thank Him. He has provided so much i can get lulled to sleep and take much for granted, get complacent, or get prideful that i got it on my own.
Requests – this is where we ask God for specific things.
Openness – this is where I ask God to rouse my heart and open my eyes to the things He wants to show me and how He plans to grow me. Also, to help me get out of the Holy Spirit’s way, and instead follow the Holy Spirit’s teaching, leading, and prompting in my life so I can develop the mind of Christ and function internally and externally in ways that please and glorify God.
Closing – In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN. For it is as a result of Jesus’ death, that we are able to enjoy our own “priesthood” and represent ourselves directly to God. This is in contrast to the old Hebrew and now Catholic faiths that need someone else to bridge the gap between us and God. Jesus is the bridge helpping us across the gap to talk directly to God the Father!
You might be wondering, OK, talking to God makes sense if i want to grow a relationship with Him, but does He really answer my prayer? Because I have prayed for things many times and my request was not granted.
When I pray and make requests of God, God answers only in two ways:
“Yes, that is just what I was thinking and planning so I will grant that request.”
“No”, but not just NO. “no, because I have something better!” – since God loves me more than I love me, knows me better than i know me, understands my needs more than I do, knows the future better than I do, has a better plan to grow me than I do, has a better track record than I do, ….. i could go on. He knows the thing i asked for or wanted wasn’t the best for me right now, and to save me from that wrong choice, or to bless me even more, He provided something different that is better for my overall growth, maturity, fulfillment, and achieving my God-given-potential.
Just like a I am not going to grant all the wishes of my children even though they might really want them, have great reasons why their wish is good and beneficial, and have their heart set on them. I want the best for their overall growth and development, so I will so no to some of their requests because I have a better option for them.
Another example is a coach of a basketball team. No player really wants to condition and run a lot. players want to play, score, and win. When a player asks if he can skip that part of practice, a good coach says, “No, i have a better way for you to become a successful basketball player.”
The classroom is another example of a the teacher saying no to the students requests to not have homework or tests, because the teacher knows that homework and tests, although not enjoyable initially, really do help the student’s academic and psychological maturity for the long run.
We Also Must Listen
For any relationship to be healthy and grow, 2 way communication is a must. If we are doing all the talking, and never spend time being quiet and listening, we are going to miss out on a lot. Our relationship with God works the same way. Plus, he has more incredible insights, instructions, soothings, future revelations, etc, than anyone could dream of telling us. Spend time talking, but try to spend even more time listening. It is hard at first, because He isn’t human and He communicates differently than we are used to or expect. Once you develop spiritual antennae that tunes into His frequency, your life will never be the same and your excitement to spend more time with Him and be quiet will surprise you.
So pray early and often, without ceasing, and see how your relationship with God will grow, your perspective of life will be more accurate, and you will understand His answers to your prayers more clearly.
by HIS grace,
The Lighthouse Network Team