The best way to establish, develop, and maintain any relationship is through conversation. Relationships must be centered on trust. It is upon trust that intimacy is built. How do we establish trust and build intimacy? Through conversation.
Prayer is conversation with God. Through conversation we build a relationship with him.
If, upon meeting someone for the first time, the conversation ended after an exchanged “hello”, the relationship would not go beyond the introductory level. A relationship can’t continue to grow without extended conversation. The conversation needs to eventually move from the basics of getting to know each other, to sharing thoughts and feelings on a personal and emotional level. That’s the level of intimacy we can have with God the Father.
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. (Psalm 139:1-2)
He already knows the thoughts and feelings of our innermost places, but when we willingly share those with him in prayer, an intimate bond with him develops in our own hearts.
Another failed technique in relationship building is to dominate the conversation. It’s hard to be friends with a person who only talks about themselves – THEIR problems, THEIR successes, THEIR families, THEIR jobs, THEIR drama. God is so much more tolerant of the kind of conversation than a human friend would be. The thing is, WE are missing so many benefits of having a relationship with the Lord when we don’t stop to listen to what he has to say to us!
These handy acronyms offer a couple of ways to guide our conversation with God:
From Bible study leader, Priscilla Shirer:
P – Praise God for who he is and what he’s done.
R – Repent for any areas of your life where you’re resisting what God wants to do in you.
A – Ask for God’s help and guidance in your life or the lives of others.
Y – Yes! Confirm God’s truth and promises to you by praying His own words from Scripture.
Or similar to PRAY, practice ACTS:
A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication (Praying for the needs of others and yourself)
Get to know your Lord and Savior. Reading your Bible and prayer (conversation) are the best ways to grow in your relationship with him. He longs for you to willingly share every part of your life experience with him. We can do that through prayer.