Yesterday, it was suggested that the first step in making your relationship with Jesus more personal was to study the Scriptures. Today comes step two: making your relationship personal through prayer.
Studying is great for accumulating knowledge and building understanding, but it isn’t enough.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5).
If we want to continue getting wisdom (the ability to apply knowledge personally), we must pray to God and ask for it!
Why, though? Isn’t studying the Bible enough?
The answer to that question is NO.
Please understand, I am not saying that God will give us some knowledge that is not found in scripture, but he will give us better understanding and wisdom on how that knowledge applies to us. The most intelligent person on the planet is still not even on the same playing field as God is. God knows and understands infinitely more than us. For like the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9).
Praying for wisdom goes hand-in-hand with studying God’s word. The more you know about Jesus, the more personal your relationship will become with Him. The more you understand about Jesus—His motives, His teachings, His life—the closer you will grow to Him.
While praying for wisdom is all well and good, there are more reasons to make it personal through prayer. We are to be in constant contact with God. Pray without Ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:17).
Going through difficulties with someone makes the relationship closer.
When you have a problem with something, who do you turn to? Who do you tell it to? A friend, right? Whether it is your spouse or a friend you’ve known for a while, telling someone your troubles, problems, and concerns always seems to make things better. This is especially when you have someone who understands what you’re going through.
Why are so many people willing to tell their troubles to a friend, but not to God?
Shouldn’t God be the first one we turn to with our problems and cares? After all, he’s the only one who can actually do anything for every problem we have!
Constant contact makes for a closer relationship.
Imagine you met someone one time fifteen years ago, and then never heard from them again. Then out of the blue one day, that person came up to you and said, “Remember me? I’m John, your really close friend!” Odds are pretty good that you would not agree with his assessment of your friendship. After all, a friend—a really good friend—is one who you get to know, and who you talk to on a regular basis.
The same thing is true with God. The more you talk to him (and listen to what he says to you through his word), the better friend you will have. As the old saying goes, “To have a friend, you must first be a friend.”
Are you willing to say to God, “I’m sorry for not keeping in touch better”? Why not start today to build up that relationship with Him. Be in constant conversation with God.