How can you pray for relationship with God?
Relationship always involves a strong desire to be with. A relationship will fade if we have no continuing interest in spending time with the other, or connect with the other. Even when our time together might be limited, we have feelings for the other which sustain the relationship. The closer the relationship, the stronger those feelings. In a marriage relationship, I might not see my spouse as much as I’d like, but I know that my job or my care for our children or time shopping - whatever I do when we are apart - is all done because of our relationship, to further the goals of our life together and our mission together. Intimacy in the bedroom is an important, but small part of the relationship’s bond. If the other intimacy and connections are there, then the bedroom time is wondrous. If the relationship of the heart is not connecting us when we are apart, intimacy in the bedroom can become quite problematic.
Words, gestures and rituals express and give shape to the relationship of the heart. “I love you.” “Thank you.” “You are wonderful.” “I need you.” “I’m sorry.” A smile, an embrace, a gesture of vulnerability, a self-revealing story, a gift full of meaning, doing something together. Our song, our favorite place, a special reading, a special menu, a tradition we’ve developed. These are just a few examples of the hundreds of ways a relationship develops and grows.
How could prayer be a relationship with God, if it only remains a lifting of our minds to God? We need very special times of intimacy with God, but that time needs to be prepared for and built up to. To enrich our relationship with God, engages our hearts. That involves finding intimacy with God in the midst of our everyday busy lives, much like we do with the other important relationships of our lives. Perhaps as we pay more attention to what gives life and intimacy to these relationships, we might grow in the affective side of our relationship with God.
If this tip stirs a desire for that kind of relationship with God, one place to begin is to let God tell me about how much God loves me. The God who says, “You are precious in my eyes and I love you.” [ Isaiah 43:4] If I’m open to God’s expressions of affection toward me, that can open my heart to stir up affection in the form of grateful response. Love needs only a spark to get started. It takes ongoing care to keep the fire from going out. With special care, it can become a long lasting, warm and comforting, life-long relationship.
There are records of God’s character in the Bible. I think it is good for us to meditate and pray.
1 John 4: 8, Psalm 18:30, Ephesians 2: 4-5, Isaiah 40:28, Hebrews 13: 8
I think prayer itself is a way of relationship with the Lord.
I think the Lord’s Prayer is a really good prayer.