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    Q&A – What Are Some Ways I Can Try to Get Closer to the Lord When I Pray?

    Question:

    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?

    Answer:

    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.

    Want more ways to get closer to the Lord? Try fasting, meditation & journaling and preparing your heart to hear God!

    Written by Jenn Arman

    Do you feel like you have a close, personal relationship with God?

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    Jenn Arman
    Jenn Arman is a youth pastor, freelance writer and blogger. She was born in San Diego, California and raised 2 hours north east in the Inland Empire where she lives with her husband David and their cats. Jenn desires to bring glory to God and a healthy dose of reality to Christians through both writing and preaching. Visit jenniferarman.com for more on her work. You can also connect with her on www.facebook.com/JenniferArman.Writer and https://twitter.com/JennArman

    26 COMMENTS

    1. Wow Nicole you have a very good way of expressing God’s word in a loving,hopeful,inspired way. I love how you don’t use condemenation when explaining things and you leave room for us to think for ourselves and make decsions without feeling guilted or forced into it. I can honestly say i want to be just like you and your contributors very good job God is using you for something great and thank so much for your time after reading your blog i feel refreshed kinda like i went to a spiritual spa and my walk with God is back on track thank you for leading close with christ 😀

    2. I used to think I wasn’t doing enough. I felt real guilty, but I’m not quite sure why. I was wondering why i didn’t shout like some people in church. Then my mom told me, “we all praise in are own way. There is no reason to feel guilty because God knows your heart.” That made me feel just like this article…. REFRESHED! Thanks Nicole you are very inspiring!

      • Many times guilt is our conscience condeming us for something bad but at times guilt is an untruthful emotion that creeps up with misunderstanding or worry- IF YOU FEEL GUILT AND DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY ask God! It could be an eye-opening revelation of a secret sin or it could be false guilt- for examples:
        1) In the movie “Tangled” the evil mother keeps Rapunzel locked up in the tower and when Rapunzel asks to see the stars/lanterns, the mother yells at her NO NEVER ASK AGAIN!(Rapunzel feels guilty for asking event hough she did nothign wrong- you will understand better if you watch the movie! :))
        2) a more real-life example: your church friend asks why you aren’t coming to church and she makes you feel guilty for not coming- but the reason you haven’t been coming is because you can’t get a ride

    3. Something that my church pastors have spoken a lot about over the past few years is that the devil has tricked us into making our “secret place time” a “quiet time”. The Bible says that when we pray, SAY, “Our father in heaven…” The words were not, “When you pray, think the words, ‘Our father in heaven…'” I believe that to get closer to the Lord, you must pray the words (out-loud) and that you should STUDY and not just “read” the Bible. If Jesus is the Word, like the Bible tells us, and we want to be closer to Jesus, we must study the Word! 🙂

    4. Hi Nicole! This is a lovely article. I’ve been having a hard time grasping the whole idea of God waiting for us in heaven. My Grandma recently died and I keep thinking about heaven and God listening to our prayers. I’ve been almost doubtful. But I don’t want to be doubtful!!! It’s so frustrating! Could you help guide me in the right direction please!
      ~Love Fia <3

      • My advice is to frequently look up scriptures describing Heaven so you can be reminded, and to read this book called “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo. It’s so sweet, it’s about a little boy’s journey to Heaven.

        • I read “Heaven is for Real” over summer break (in June) and recommended it to my friends! I already felt really close to the Lord and everything, but the book still changed me. Now my best friend is reading it, too! It is really good. 🙂

        • Hey I bought the audio recording of Heaven is for real from wal-mart. I listened to it on my family’s car ride to the Grand Canyon. It makes(as the the title sort of hints to) Heaven seem so much more real and of a reality than it had ever been like before to me. You’ll feel like heaven is a close to you as you house, or even closer. So be ready lol! That book changed my look on God and the world.

        • I read Heaven is For Real outloud to my mom and sister and it made Heaven SO REAL! Very inspring and the little boy is adorable! 😉

    5. I really adore this article. God has blessed me greatly. I’ll never forget the time when I started to doubt that. I have such a great relationship with God, yet I doubted it. None the less, I still had some hope in me that he did love me. So I asked him to send me a sign of his love, so that I may be in peace. Not just any sign though. I was kind of specific lol. It was a cloudy day that day…supposed to rain. I asked God polietly, if he loved me…he’d make it sunny. That day, i couldn’t believe my eyes…right before the storm was going to hit…it turned into a beautiful day and got sunny. My doubt vanished in the blink of an eye! =D So yes, I do agree with you here. It helps to know first hand that you are loved at all times ^_^ and praying will only strengthen that love~ <3

    6. I pray to God every night to ask for forgiveness for mistakes I’ve made, to thank him for the things he gave me and others (I say specific things as well as general things), and to ask him for the things I’d like (like please help me focus on my studying so I can do good on this test, etc.). And I believe in God and everything, but I don’t think I actually ever heard him in my head or anything, like there isn’t any direct communication. That’s okay, right?

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