Do you ever hear people talking about their prayer lives and feel at a loss? They might say things like, ‘God told me” or “God confirmed” something, and you sit and wonder why you don’t hear from God that way.
I often felt this way before my relationship with Jesus began to flourish. I sensed there was something missing in my relationship with God – but the prayers I did say seemed to go unanswered; I had no idea what I could do differently.
Maybe you are currently stuck in this type of cycle; you pray but don’t seem to hear back from God. I want to encourage you, first, by assuring you God sees everything you are feeling and does hear all of your prayers.
Proverbs 5:21 reminds us, “For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He watches all his paths.”
Second, people say the key to maintaining a healthy relationship is healthy communication. Our relationship with God is not exempt from this statement; in order for our relationship with Jesus to grow, we have to consistently communicate with Him. But what is different about this relationship – as opposed to human connections – with Jesus, we can and should focus more on what He can do for the relationship rather than dwelling on our shortcomings.
By this I mean, your prayer life might be suffering because you are viewing it as any other relationship, thinking that when you stay out of touch for a while, God gets offended or sick of the excuses and gives up on you. If that is the case, you are unaware of the fullness of God’s endless love and mercy – but, on a more practical note, you are also failing to realize the profound possibilities of all you can ask from God.
If you are unaware of what is keeping you from developing a deeper connection with God – and most of us are – you can ask Him!
There are all types of forces working to distract us from communicating well with our Creator –shame, pride and distraction are just a few. It is crucial to identify these barriers in order to overcome them – but did you ever stop to consider that even the barriers to communication with God can be solved by God?
If you are unaware of what is keeping you from developing a deeper connection with God – and most of us are – you can ask Him! The Psalmist did this very thing in Psalm 139:23-24, saying, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Many of us struggle to “go deeper” with God because we are afraid to fully put our trust in Him. We love to control our circumstances and our very nature makes us question if we can have full faith in God and His plans. But, amazingly, even our faith is not entirely up to us.
Yes, we must ultimately choose to give our lives to Jesus, but God will take even the smallest act of faith and submission and will multiply it. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
And what’s more, you can ask God to give you more faith! The disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 17:5, “Lord, increase our faith!”
Whatever is holding you back from experiencing the fullness of God, know this is not a problem you have to solve on your own. Remember you are dealing with the Creator of the universe, who is desperate to grow closer to you, and who will help you every single step of the way, no matter how small or large your obstacle may seem.
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16)