Imagine not talking to a friend. We all have friends, some near, some far away. It would be strange if we did not want to communicate with them – or even visit them. If we don’t nourish a friendship then it will wither and die. Have you noticed that the better you know someone the more you have to say to them? So it is with our prayers. God wants to talk with us, He wants us to get to know Him, to share our problems with him, to share our joys with him, to hear our wants. But if we don’t speak with Him our relationship will eventually decline into dormancy. And like losing a human friend we will have lost something valuable but in the case of our Lord, something more valuable than any human friendship.
Somewhere quiet – away from the television, the radio, the mobile, the tablet, the family. Away from noise – on your own – it needs to be where you will not be disturbed and where there is no chance of being overheard – close the door. Easier said than done especially if there are others under the same roof.
No doubt the best time is first thing in the morning before the worries and pleasures of the day preoccupy us – but it is much more difficult for the owls amongst us than the larks. It is easier to get time on your own and it tends to be quiet (especially if everyone else is still in bed). It is a good start to and preparation for the day.
We talk to God through prayer, He talks to us through Bible study. When you pray, tell God how you feel about him while considering just who He is and what He has done both in general and in particular for you. Confess your sins – while thinking how He wants us to behave and where we have gone wrong. Thank Him for what He has done for us; particularly for Jesus as example and saviour. Ask Him for what we want. He will give us things that are good for us but not things which will harm us – and we cannot always tell the difference as we don’t have the same perspective that He does.
Pray for the Holy Spirit’s help before you start. Read a section of the Bible. Meditate on its meaning and what it teaches you about God. Consider how you can apply it to your life. You may find one of the many guides available helpful in this. It may be more helpful to work through one of the books of the Bible rather than jump around. This will help put things in context.
If, or rather when, you fail, do not be discouraged. Do not give up. Many have the same problem. It does get easier if you keep trying. And remember, irregular prayer and Bible study is far better than not at all. How well we succeed is a good measure (privately to ourselves) of how much we value our relationship with God.