How should I pray to have a better relationship with God?
First, continue to pray and not be discouraged, no matter how difficult the situation. God knows your circumstances and will not forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He loves you and will help you.
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Prayer is one of the greatest privileges God has afforded his children. Prayer is the vehicle by which we may commune with our Heavenly Father through the merit of His Son Jesus Christ in order to gain spiritual strength and wisdom. In fact, prayer is not only a privilege, but a necessity, commanded as indispensable to our Christian growth.
In the Scriptures various types of prayer are brought to our attention. Foremost among these are prayers of thanksgiving and adoration (Psalm 100). Prayers for God’s mercy are also appropriate. The Scriptures urge all Christians to seek Divine forgiveness for their sins through the medium of prayer. The Apostle Paul speaks of this as going “boldly unto the throne of grace,” there to obtain mercy and find grace to help in every time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
How should we pray? We should pray with reverence. We should always ask that God’s will be done and not our own, even though His will may be contrary to our heart’s desire. Additionally, the petitioner must be willing to grow and accept change in his life if God wills it.
In every case, God’s answers to prayers are directly dependent upon the heart attitude of the petitioner and, most importantly, God’s will in relation to the circumstances. Therefore, connection and communication with God grow in proportion to the petitioner’s dedication to God’s will.
The Apostle Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). There is a reason he makes that statement. Prayer is the Christian’s lifeline. No matter how hard the Christian tries, he is beset with sin from his own fallen flesh, from the world’s allurements, and from Satan. The Christian is incapable of withstanding these attacks on his own. The only way he can stand firm against them is to go to the Lord in full submission, asking for His strength.
The Apostle tells in Romans 12:12 to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful [instant] in prayer.” What a blessed privilege to be able to lift up our hearts and minds to God at any time and in any place! Believers who come to Him never weary God. Jesus illustrated this point when he told his disciples the parable of a persistent widow, who was answered because she refused to give up. Likewise, we should pray and not give up (Luke 18:1-8)
However, are our prayers always answered? “You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss” (James 4:3). Prayers offered in harmony with the scriptural condition that we are abiding in Christ (John 15:4) are always answered, even if the answer is “no” or is long delayed. The Christian should strive to learn what God’s will is for him, rather than tell God what his preferences are. Such prayers are “asking amiss.” He should pray for development of character so that he will grow in Christ-likeness and not seek his own will, but seek to do the will of God.
Every trial of faith and patience is an occasion for prayer. Every failure is an occasion for prayer for forgiveness as well as for blessing that the lesson may be deeply impressed upon us so that in the next similar experience we may lay hold upon the “grace to help” (Hebrews 4:16) promised.
Every victory we have over our self-wills is an occasion for prayer that we stay humble and watchful for the next attack by Satan. We should also pray for opportunities to serve the Lord and for grace to use these opportunities wisely.
We can also pray to be more like God’s dear Son, Jesus, who never sought to do his own will, but always sought to do the will of his Father. You will begin to grow when you pray continually, asking for forgiveness and mercy, for strength against the wiles of Satan and the allurements of the world, for guidance in life’s affairs, and for thankfulness in all matters, even hard experiences, since these experiences are allowed by God for the Christian’s spiritual development.
Jesus told his disciples that as long as they abided in him and his words were abiding in them, they could ask in prayer for whatever they desired and it would be granted (John 15:7). To abide in Christ means that his thoughts become our thoughts, and his plans our plans. If our wills have been wholly surrendered to God, through Christ, we will have no will of our own, hence our prayers will not be requests for what we want, but only for those things which are in harmony with the will of God.
Prayer is the Christian’s spiritual food and lifeline to God. We receive spiritual strength and peace when we connect with God through prayer.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your [spiritual] requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
To learn more about prayer listen to, “Will Prayer Change Your Life?”