Prayer Is a Personal Matter
Because God has created us as unique individuals, simply knowing about prayer is not enough. He made us have an intimate and distinct relationship with Him. Therefore, He will teach us how to pray according to who He has made us be.
Yes, there are principles of prayer that apply to everyone, but God will lead you and me according to who we are and the season of life we are in. For instance, a young mother with several small children will not be able to devote the same amount of time to prayer as someone whose children are grown.
God has a personalized plan just for you. He delights in our uniqueness and wants us to be free to express our differences as we pray. In addition to our corporate gatherings, He enjoys spending time with each of us individually, just as we enjoy individual time alone with our friends.
Prayer Is Based on Relationship
I believe the key to effective prayer is approaching God as His friend.
When we don’t know God as a friend, we are reluctant to ask Him for anything because we don’t feel we’ve “earned it” with good behavior. Or if we do ask, we lack the confidence that He hears us and wants to help.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to approach God with reverence and respect for Who He is—remembering He is holy—but He doesn’t want us to be afraid of Him or feel like He is unapproachable.
When you and I see ourselves as close friends with God, we’re more eager to spend time talking to Him, eager to follow every instruction He gives us, and unafraid to ask for help with everything! You may be thinking that becoming friends with God seems like a difficult thing to do.
But if you are a follower of Jesus, you are already His friend. In John 15:15, Jesus says He calls us His friends because He has shared with us everything He has heard from the Father. Friendship is based on sharing—openly and honestly. We share with God through prayer.
A good relationship with God is not built by simply running to Him every time we are desperate for help. It’s based on mutual, regular times of sharing and fellowship.
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