Like any deep and lasting friendship, your relationship with Jesus will be strengthened by
frequent honest, open communication. That’s really what prayer is all about: communicating heart-to-heart with the Lord.
But just how do you communicate with the Lord? Believe it or not, it’s quite simple.
To get started, try sitting down in a quiet spot and picture Jesus there next to you. Then talk to Him just like you would to a good friend. You can talk to Him aloud or in your mind. The exact words you say aren’t what matter-just tell Him what’s on your heart.
Actually, you can pray anywhere, at anytime. You don’t have to be either sitting or standing. You don’t have to be in a church, a religious building, or any special place. Prayer connects your heart with God’s heart, regardless of your surroundings.
Many people associate prayer with asking God for things. But that’s only a part of prayer. Of course He wants you to tell Him your needs, but He also wants you to just spend time with Him telling Him about how things are going in your life. Tell the Lord how much you love Him and how thankful you are for all the good things He sends your way. Tell Him all about your dreams and desires, problems and questions, and He will give you strength, inspiration, reassurance and answers you need.
Jesus is at your beck and call-just a prayer away-and He’s always happy to lend an ear and a helping hand. He’s interested in you and what you’re going through, and He’s happy to hear and answer your requests.
But there’s more to prayer than that.
Jesus also wants to communicate with you, to talk to you. He wants to give you personal words of love and encouragement, and He wants to help you with your problems. He has all the answers, but how can He give them to you if you don’t listen? You need to learn to recognize His voice when He speaks to your spirit and puts thoughts in your mind.
Jesus will also speak to you through His written Word, the Bible, but to get the most out of it you need to pray and listen to Him as you read. Then He can explain how what you’re reading applies to you and today’s world. He will fill in gaps and provide added detail to the often rather general answers in His Word. But again, the key is listening.
Whether it’s your turn to listen or your turn to talk, you can communicate with the Lord at the speed of thought! It’s not like communicating by letter, where you write to someone via the postal system and then have to wait days or weeks to receive their reply.-Or even like sending e-mail via the Internet, where you can get an answer back from the other side of the world in minutes. Your prayers actually reach His ear before they leave your mouth,(Isaiah 65:24) and you can get immediate answers. He may not always be able to give you a complete answer or bring about the final result you desire right away, but at the least He will tell you that He’s heard your prayer and He’s working on it. That assurance alone can give you peace of mind and help problems that seem like mountains melt away. And as you later bring the matter again in prayer before Him, He will continue to work on your behalf and show you what you can do to help work His will in the matter and bring it to a happy, fruitful conclusion.