How can I have a close relationship with God? (Prayer)
To have a close relationship with God, to walk with God, you have to start with Jesus Christ. If you try to communicate with God on your own, in your own strength, it won’t work. You cannot go through “Mother Mary”, a dead saint, or some dead forefather to God. The dead have no contact with the living. They cannot help you from the other side. Don’t let the devil deceive you. God has made it clear that once people are dead, they will face judgment (Hebrew 9:27), and then, whoever dies, will either live eternally with God in heaven or without God’s glory in hell. Jesus is the only Mediator between God and us (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus is our High Priest who intercedes (prays) “24/7” (24 hours, 7 days a week) for those who come to God through Him (Hebrews 7:25). There is no other way to come to God but through the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7).
Once you have this vision that Jesus is always there for you, always praying for you, and that He is for you (Romans 8:31,33), because of his sacrifice for you at the cross 2000 years ago, then life becomes a joy. You will find courage to face opposition and rejection and suffering, because you know the most powerful Person in the universe is on your side (Matthew 28:18-20). You should not think of prayer and talking to God as only doing your duty. It should be as natural as breathing. Prayer should flow spontaneously out of you. God knows everything about you. He knows you much better than you know yourself (Matthew 6:6-8). To walk closely with God means to be honest with God about your weaknesses and sins. Share your thoughts, feelings and secrets with Him. Admit your weaknesses and sins to Him and He will help and forgive you. It will not help to live a lie and try to hide your sin. The Bible says, “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). God knows you through and through and his aim is for you to live a victorious life over sin (1 John 5:1-5). You may not have instant victory over every sin in your life, but as you share your fears and failures with God, He will help you and strengthen you to become more and more like Jesus in love and holiness.
God has given us his church for support as well. If our burdens become too big, God wants us to share them with our fellow Christians. That’s why James 5:16 says: “confess your sins to one another so that you will be healed.” As we humble ourselves before God, He will lift us up in greater victory over sin. One thing is certain: God resists the proud (See James 4:5-8)! Pride in your life will definitely create distance between you and God. If we try to live life independently of God, we will not grow with God and God will resist us. That is why the book of Proverbs says: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18 NKJV).To stay close to God is to stay on your knees and ask for his help, his strength, wisdom and forgiveness as we live life with all the challenges we face every day. Jesus was tempted in every way when He lived on this planet and that is why He can help us face any and every difficulty in life (Hebrews 4:14-16). Because He never sinned when He lived on this earth, He is able to help us in our time of need and distress.
Another thing that will help us to walk closely with God is to know God’s will as it is revealed in the Bible. The better we know the Bible, the better we will know what God expects of us and we will therefore walk closely with Him. God speaks to us through his Spirit, through his words, revealed in the Bible. When we open it and read the words of God, paying close attention to the meaning of his words in the contexts in which they were given, we will be encouraged and directed and enlightened about God’s will and plans for our lives.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing