Matthew 6: 6-7
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
The most rewarding relationship you'll ever develop is with God. If you don’t have a relationship with the Father than every other relationship in your life will suffer. God desires an intimate relationship with us. As Christians we want to continuously mature spiritually in our walk with the Lord. Being stagnant is not an option if you want to be a servant of God. Maturing in our faith requires study, prayer, and an open ear for God’s instruction. Life is demanding, but our prayer life must remain our main priority. You absolutely cannot ignore God, the moment you do you will feel lost and your growth as a Christian will be at a standstill.
Praying is an intimate conversation between you and your Creator. Jesus spoke of going into your room and closing the door to pray. I encourage you to carve out a space where you can dedicate time to prayer, studying the scriptures, and journaling that is solely yours.
Create a Prayer Space
God is available every second of every day. But, do you have a time that is reserved for only you and him? If not, it is time to get cozy with God. Your prayer space can be a corner of your bedroom, a spare room, or even a walk- in closet. Find a space that is comfortable and uncluttered and make it your own private sanctuary. All you need are a few essentials:
•A comfortable chair and a small table
•A good reading lamp
•A bible, spiritual literature, a notebook, journal, pens, and highlighters.
Lastly, enforce boundaries. The purpose of this is space is for you to have private time with the Lord.
When Should You Pray?
You should pray every second that you are blessed with breath in your body. Most likely that won’t happen, not because you don’t want to, but we are human and life gets in the way. I cringe as I write this, but it is the truth. Although, we should pray all day, try to dedicate an hour to prayer. If you're an early riser pray in the morning before your day gets started. If you're like me and have a young child that goes to bed fairly early, pray in the evening. If you're unable to do an hour, then do twenty minutes. God’s word is so enticing that ultimately you’ll find yourself spending more time praying and studying.
What to Pray About?
What is there not to pray about? Pray about everything and anything! God wants us to surrender it all to him. Nothing is too big for he is the Alpha and the Omega. He knows our needs before we even ask him. If we pray for instruction he will provide it, but we must be willing to eliminate the noise in our life and listen.
Do you only pray when you need something? If you do you are missing out on the full benefit of God’s grace. Pray when times are good and thank him. Pray when times are bad and thank him, because that is when our faith is built. Trials make us face who we are as Christians. Ask God to reveal the things that you need to change about yourself.
Study the Scriptures
My grandfather said, “The bible is the most interesting book you will ever read.” The bible is our blueprint on how to live. Everything we need to be successful in our walk with Christ is contained in those pages. Here are some ideas for studying scriptures:
•Choose a scripture, or pray for guidance on the scripture you should study.
•Create a notebook for each book of the bible. For example, have a notebook dedicated to Matthew, then another one for John, etc.
•Highlight passages and make notes on the scriptures you are studying.
•Write verses on index cards that you wish to memorize and read them daily.
•Use a recorder and record your thoughts on the passages you study.
Start a Prayer Journal
Write your thoughts, prayers, or anything that God has revealed to you in a journal. It is amazing to look back and see how God has worked in your life.
When we pray and study scripture we nourish ourselves spiritually. Don’t neglect the part of your life that matters most. Unless we have a relationship with him we will never fully serve him and fulfill our purpose. Allow God to be the intimate partner he was always intended to be. Step outside of the world for a moment, grab a cup of tea, and get comfortable with God.