How do you get to know someone? When it comes down to it, it’s simple: you talk with and spend time with that person. Your relationship with God is no different. If you want to get to know God, what He loves and what His desires and passions are, you need to spend time with Him. Prayer is one of the ways you can do this.
“I love the Lord because He hears my prayers and answers them. Because He bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!” Psalm 116:1-2 (TLB)
Praying is simply having a conversation with God. It’s telling Him what’s going on in your life. It’s asking Him for your needs, yes, but it’s also a time when you can praise Him for who He is. He wants to be first in your life, and He wants you to worship Him in the good times and in the bad.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
God speaks through His Word, the Bible. So the more you pray and read His Word, the deeper your relationship with Him will be.
Praying can often be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it or if you haven’t done it in a while. A simple guide to help shape your prayers can be remembered by the word ACTS.
This means to worship God for who He is rather than for what He does. In adoration you verbalize your worship, praise, honor, and exaltation of God. Many of the Psalms help to focus on the attributes of God, such as His loving kindness, His mercy, His majesty and others. Adoration is expressing your love for Him through your words.
As you begin your prayer with a worshipful adoration of God, the Holy Spirit will often reveal any sin in your life that needs to be confessed. To confess means to “agree with.” In other words, you agree with God concerning your sin — that it is, in fact, sin. You also agree with God that the blood of Jesus Christ has paid for that sin. This leads you to ask Him for His forgiveness, and thank Him that He has made you clean.
Giving thanks expresses faith, and faith pleases God. In saying, “Thank You,” you are expressing your gratefulness and appreciation for what God does. Thanksgiving is also saying, “God, I trust You.” It is the opposite of whining and becoming bitter when things don’t work out the way you want them to.
Supplication means asking God for your needs and desires. He is the Creator of the universe, and He wants you to ask Him what’s on your heart, however minor it might seem. Anything that concerns you concerns God. That includes difficult areas in your personal life, or the needs of others.
When you pray, get ready for God to speak. Listen to Him as the Holy Spirit speaks to you through the Bible, or even in the quiet stillness of your heart. A clear answer might not come right away or in the way you’d expect, but He is listening, and He does answer. The more you pray and spend time with Him in His Word, the more you will get to know who He is.<
“Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.” John 16:24