What is the essential ingredient of a healthy relationship? Two-way conversation. Having frequent dialogs with each other, sharing the big and small things of your life, and most importantly, listening to the other person. Can you imagine any of your relationships without conversation?
The more you talk with someone and the more you really listen, the stronger your relationship will be. In the same way, we need to engage God in frequent two-way conversation in order to build a strong relationship.
Prayer is our conversation with God
I used to be really intimidated by prayer. I heard so many beautiful prayers at church, ancient and poetic, but those words wouldn’t come to me on my own. I heard others pray and their words always sounded perfect, so fluid and asking for just what the occasion or group needed. How was I supposed to do this?
It wasn’t until I understood this concept of conversation that I began to feel comfortable in prayer. Prayer is not about the words or how we say them, it’s about entering into that conversation and sharing our lives with God.
Sure, there are some beautiful prayers we can use and different techniques to connect with God in prayer, but the essence is to have a conversation. That conversation is how we build a relationship with God and allow Him to enter into our lives.
Prayer doesn’t need any special formula, only that you care about building relationship
When you’re building a relationship with someone, you invest in conversation to get to know them and share your lives with each other. The same is true in prayer. Below are three crucial components you need in your prayers.
3 Crucial Components You Need In Your Prayers:
1) Relationships are built on frequency of conversation
How often do you talk to your friends, your spouse, your parents, your children? The more frequently you talk to them, the closer you are – am I right? When we go days, weeks, months without talking to someone, we’re just not as close. I’m still close friends with my childhood best friend, but we don’t live in the same city and sometimes go months without talking. We know the big things going on in each others’ lives and pick back up quickly when we do talk, but we don’t that that day-to-day knowledge and intimacy we once had.
The same is true with God. The more you talk with Him, the closer you’ll be with Him. Prayer isn’t just for Sunday mornings or bedtime, it’s for all the time. Pray when you wake, pray when as you drive around town, pray before you get out of your car at work, pray over your children as they play, pray as you face decisions and concerns throughout the day, pray when you feel the stress and worry creeping into your heart.
2) Good conversation is always two-sided
Ever talk with someone who monopolizes the conversation and makes it all about them? I think we’ve all been in those, but they’re not enjoyable or productive conversations. A good conversation is always a two-sided discussion. An exchange of pleasantries and inquiry about how each other is doing. A compliment to the other person, something to make them feel good or boost them up. Questions and discussion about the other person’s life. A conversation about your own. Maybe an ask about something needed.
God wants this same kind of conversation with us. So, maybe open with a compliment, acknowledge something amazing you’ve noticed that God created – a beautiful sunrise, an awe-inspiring moment – or thank Him for His creation or blessings in your life. Then, instead of just making a list of demands and requests, also ask Him for guidance and direction. Make the conversation more two-sided by asking Him to enter into the discussion.
3) Listening is perhaps the most important part of conversation
If we don’t take the time to listen in conversation, then we’re just talking at someone – and they’re not likely to continue the relationship for very long. God wants us to listen for Him too. We need to believe in prayer and believe that He will engage us in the conversation. Believing in each other – that’s a key part of relationship, too. God may not speak with an audible voice and may not speak during your specific prayer time, but we need to be looking and listening for His responses.
How are you praying today? Do you have these crucial components built into your prayer conversations or could your conversations use a little improvement? Try imagining that God is sitting in the room with you and talk to him. Start a conversation, share your heart, and then listen – really listen – for his response.
Want more ideas on how to grow your prayer life and engage in deeper conversations with God? Subscribe below and I’ll send you a free printable set of Pray Deep prayer cards, outlining more than 20 different prayer methods.
Below are some books about prayer you may also find helpful (I’ve read many of these and the others are on my wish list). These are affiliate links, but please know that I only recommend books and products I stand behind.
This post is part of the “A Better Change” series. For more information on this series and to find related posts, click here: A Better Change Series – Overview