“Lord, teach us to pray…”
Luke 11:1b (NASB)
Series Focus: “Back to the Basics”
Picture someone whom you know well and can confide in. How did you develop your relationship with that person? Reflect on conversations held, time spent, and activities enjoyed together. Both of you engaged in building the relationship. Over time, trust, respect, affection, and intimacy thrived. The investment you each made along the way directly affects the fruit the friendship experiences now.
Imagine if you failed to nurture the growth of the camaraderie. Would the union reach the same level or hold the same value? Probably not. Relationships require work, commitment, compassion, and sincerity. Sure, every friendship endures seasons of lack—for many reasons. However, when built on a foundation of honest engagement, attentive hearts, and transparent communication, they will flourish.
God created us to be included and engaged in intimate relationships. In Genesis 2:18, God recognized it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone. Therefore, He created Eve to be a companion to Adam. Joshua followed Moses. David befriended Jonathan. Jesus called twelve disciples to walk with Him. Paul partnered with Barnabas, John Mark, and Silas. Finally, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with us—even in us—who believe, so we are never alone.
Ultimately, God created each of us to fellowship with Him! He desires a relationship with us, and has made the way for us to know Him and spend eternity with Him. In response, how do we invest in a relationship with an unseen God right now? It’s back to the basics: we study the scriptures, worship Him, and pray.
Studying the scriptures is pretty self-explanatory. Yet, how do we worship and pray to build our relationship with God? Let’s turn to Jesus’ instruction in the great Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB), Jesus said:
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’”
This prayer provides the structure to build an intimate relationship with Almighty God. Within the prayer, we see these elements: Worship—”Holy is Your name.” Surrender—”Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” Requests—”Give us this day our daily bread,” and “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Repentance—”forgive us our debts.” And Love—”as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Growing close to anyone requires time, surrender, honesty, repentance and love. It’s no different with our faithful God. He created us to crave a relationship with Him. When we deprive ourselves of time with Him, we starve ourselves of the rich benefits of walking with the one, true, living God. When we disengage from fellowship with Him, we remove ourselves from enjoying intimacy with Him.
Our Lord bids us, “Come!” He directs us throughout scripture to pray continually, seek Him always, and never give up. Prayer is a foundational action we must engage in to build and strengthen our relationship with God. We encourage you to spend time with Him in prayer; to worship Him in the beauty of His holiness; to surrender to Him in repentance; and to fellowship with Him intimately as you increase in your knowledge of Him.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Genesis 2:18; Deuteronomy 34:9; 1 Samuel 18:1; Matthew 4:19; Acts; John 14:16-17, 23, 17:17-26; Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4, 18:1; Isaiah 55:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18