Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29: 12(NIV)
You may be asking yourself right now, “how can I connect with God through prayer?” You feel indifferent every time you pray. It is like your prayers float off into thin air, or they don’t go past the ceiling.
Well, there are times when we feel no connection with God. Prayer becomes challenging, and we feel like God is distant. We struggle to discern God’s voice from the enemy’s or our own voice. Other times we fear that we are not praying correctly or enough.
It could be that you are planning to quit praying because your prayer life has become burdensome. But listen, God wants to connect with you; he longs to have an intimate relationship with you. And praying is one of the ways that you can build that intimacy.
Now, before we talk about connecting with God through prayer, let us look at a few benefits of prayer.
Benefits of Prayer
Life can be overwhelming. We have so many things to do in a single day that it is easy for one to become anxious. Connecting with God through prayer will help you relax as it releases anxiety from your body.
The word of God encourages us to be anxious for nothing. Instead of being anxious, we are encouraged to pray, make supplications, and give thanks to God (Philippians 4:6-7). Worrying doesn’t take your problem away if anything it only magnifies it. So it is pointless to worry and better to pray.
Helps Us to Set Our Minds on Heavenly Things
We are supposed to set our minds on the things above. But if we are, to be honest, most of us struggle to do that. We often get caught up with the things of this world because they seem more real than heavenly things.
But our focus should not be on temporary things for the things of this world are wasting away. (1 John 2:17) Prayer helps us to set our minds on heavenly things because when we pray, we focus on the creator and not the creation.
A prayer is an act of surrender. When you pray, you’re actually surrendering whatever is stressing you to God. You will leave your prayer closet, knowing that the creator of heaven and earth has your back. And this will cause your confidence to build up.
When God answers prayers, our confidence is built, and we are encouraged to keep on trusting in him.
Enables us to Get Solutions to Our Problems
It is hard to find someone that you can share your deepest fears and doubts with. Most people will make fun of your problems, or they will gossip about you. But God cares about us, and he is ready and willing to listen to our frustrations. He doesn’t stop there, God also gives us solutions to our problems.
Gives you the strength to avoid temptations
We cannot fight the temptations of this world without God. It’s through prayer that we are able to ask God to strengthen us in our inner being. Our spirit connects with God’s spirit when we pray, and he gives us the strength to overcome temptations.
Now let us answer the question: how can I connect with God through prayer?
Please don’t pretend to be something that you’re not when praying. For example, you don’t have to pretend you’re confident or happy when, in reality, you’re crushing on the inside. God knows what is in your heart. He is ready to listen and help you overcome whatever challenge you’re facing. But you need to be real when you go before his presence.
Acting phony before God will cause you not to open up to him fully. Trying to impress Him will cause you not to connect with God either. David was not afraid of telling God what he felt (Psalm 32).
He prayed when he was angry, fearful, happy, and thankful. When we are real in our prayers, we connect with God in ways that we can never imagine. Let your prayers be straight from the heart.
Confess and Repent
Could it be that you’re struggling to connect with God because there is sin in your life? Is there something you are doing that is not pleasing to God? Well if you desire to connect with God through prayer, you need to confess your sins. Ask God to help you overcome temptations that may cause you to go back to that sin.
Now it is good to confess your sins. But you need to also change your ways, and that is what repentance is all about. Avoid situations that will cause you to go back to sin. Stay away from people who influence you to live a sinful life as much as you can. Try to create boundaries with them if they are your family.
Sin causes us to misjudge God. Instead of seeing God as a loving father, we see him as a harsh and demanding God. Sin will also open up doors for the enemy to come and steal from you. (1 Peter 5:8)
Practice the presence of God
To connect with God through prayer, we need to be intentional about it. So how about practicing the presence of God each time we go into our prayer closets? Instead of seeing God as a distant God being how about, we start seeing him here with us. Believe that God is there with you, listening to your prayers.
Practicing the presence of God will help you to connect with God on a deeper level. It will also cause you to go into God’s presence with boldness. Instead of wondering whether your prayers are going past the ceiling, you will know that he is listening to you.
Don’t practice the presence of God in your prayer closet alone. Do it as you go about your daily activities like cleaning the house. See God’s hands in every part of creation as you go about your daily routine. And think about God as you move from one activity to another in the course of the day.
Bubbling a bunch of words in your prayer closet is not an excellent way for you to connect with God. The best way for you to connect with God is through praying scriptures. See, God watches over his word. Meaning that when we pray scripture, we are assured in our hearts that he will listen to us and answer our prayers.
Praying scripture means praying, according to God’s will. So you’ll not be worried about being out of context in your prayers when you make praying scriptures a habit. Jesus could’ve used his divine authority to defeat the devil, but he used the word to resist him (Matthew 4:1-10).
The word of God helps us to defeat the attacks of the enemy. It also enables us to connect with our heavenly Father intimately and hence is an excellent weapon for prayer.
Listen to God
If you want to connect with someone on a deeper level, you do not just talk to them, you also listen to what they have to say. Now we all know that prayer is communicating with God, and communication is a two-way street. So just like any kind of communication, we need to take time to listen to what he is saying.
It is by listening to God that you can know what he wants from us and who he is. Don’t spend the whole prayer time talking; also take time to listen to God as he gives you direction.
Go to your prayer closet at times, just to listen to God without saying anything. You can start out by reading scripture. Then open your journal and just listen to him as you write down what he’s telling you. The more you listen to him, the deeper the connection you will get. And prayer will become something that you enjoy and look forward to doing.
We waste a lot of time trying to handle things on our own when all we can do is ask. Instead of trying to connect with God in your own strength, how about you ask Him. Stop stressing yourself and just open up to him. Ask the Holy Spirit for help, for he teaches us all things. You can ask this way, “Holy Spirit of God, how can I connect with God through prayer? I want to connect with him on a deeper level than this.”
The Holy Spirit will teach different ways that you can connect with God.
There are those times when you try to open your mouth and pray, but you just can’t find the right words. Then there are other times when we pray but feel a disconnection with God. We feel empty in our hearts, and prayer feels like such a burden to us.
It is good to spend time praising and worshipping God in such times. When we choose to magnify God despite how we feel we end up getting really connected with him. Praising God will cause you to forget your list of needs. And you’ll be able to enjoy the presence of God. When you focus on God, your heart will get closer to him. And this will lead to a complete transformation in your life.
Our flesh is always at war with our spirit. You may have a deep desire to connect with God, but your flesh will try to prevent you from enjoying that relationship. But remember you are a spirit being, so do not allow the flesh to lead you.
It is written in the Bible that, to be carnally minded is death (Romans 8:6-10). You need to crucify your flesh, and one of the ways that you can do that is through fasting. Most people think that fasting causes God to change his mind or to answer our prayers quickly. But that is simply not true because there is nothing we can do in our own strength to move God. God’s blessings are all by grace.
Our Father is a gracious God who gives us things freely through his son Jesus Christ. So fasting is not meant to cause him to do something for us, but it is for our own good. It enables us to crucify our own flesh and this, in turn, causes us to be in tune with God.
Be led by the Holy Spirit
We do not know how to pray perfect prayers in our own strength. But the good news is God has given us his Holy Spirit to help us pray. It is only the Holy Spirit of God that knows the mind of God and also knows our minds. So he knows what kind of prayers we should pray to connect deeply with our heavenly Father.
Stop using your own strength to connect with God and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Open your heart and mind and yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit in prayer. It’s by doing so that you’re able to surrender fully to him and to connect to the Spirit of God.
So it all adds up to this:
If you have been trying to find answers to this question “how can I connect with God through prayer” know that you’re not alone. We all struggle to build effective prayer lives. But just because we struggle, doesn’t mean that we can’t connect with our heavenly Father.
Prayer is a great weapon that our Father has given us to fight against the attacks of the enemy. It is also an excellent tool through which we are able to connect with our loving Father. God wants us to talk to us daily, that is why he tells us to pray without ceasing.
It is quite challenging to connect with God throughout the day. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, you can connect with God and enjoy his presence all day long. Connect with God through prayer by practicing his presence and by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you.