I’m struggling when I try to get quiet and talk to God. I can’t seem to hear or understand what He wants for me. What are some ways I can try to get closer to the Lord when I pray?
Three things I highly recommend for getting closer to the Lord when you pray are repentance, silence and a favorite place.
Repentance is not just the act of asking God for forgiveness for your sins. Repentance means to change direction or to go the other way. If we think something is good or harmless, we’re probably going to do it. Sin is something that constantly stands in the way of being closer to the Lord and the act of repenting can help with that.
Start your prayers by asking for forgiveness for any sins in your life and then ask the Lord to change your thinking so that you don’t go back to those sins. My favorite repentance prayer in the Bible is Psalm 139:23-24.
Silence is a hard one for most of us. Sometimes we think that we have to keep talking in order for God to hear us but that isn’t true. If we are always doing the talking, how are we supposed to hear what God has to say? Matthew 6:7 says “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”
The Lord is polite. If you want to hear Him speak to you, sit silently and wait for Him. My favorite prayer to invite the Lord to speak while I stay silent is Samuel 3:10.
We can and should pray anywhere at any time, but it’s true that we feel more comfortable, happy, peaceful and open in places we enjoy. I encourage you to spend your regular prayer time with the Lord in a favorite place. Two things come to mind when I think about this: One is Winnie the Pooh (I’m a big fan). Pooh had what he called “a thoughtful spot” and he would go there when he needed to think or to rest. The second, is the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus often went to pray and where He was arrested before His crucifixion.
If Jesus had a favorite place to go and be with the Father, there’s no reason that we shouldn’t follow His example. If your sanctuary is your bedroom, pray there. If you love spending time outdoors going for walks, pray outdoors. Go to a favorite place and share it with the Lord.
Written by Jenn Arman