How to Approach God in Prayer_

How to Approach God in Prayer

Prayer is one of the most important aspects of the Christian life. God’s #1 priority is to have a relationship with us. God created humans for relationship with Him.

Most people will tell you that communication is essential in every relationship. To have a healthy relationship, we need healthy communication. It can be difficult to communicate with God because we can’t see Him with our eyes. We can’t have face-to-face conversations with God. But, we can communicate with God through prayer.

I know that approaching God can feel overwhelming and even scary at times. In this post, I’ll explain how we should approach God in prayer. 

Understand who God is

We approach people differently based on who they are, and our relationship with them. We approach the cashier at the grocery store differently than we approach our best friend. And we approach our boss differently than our spouse.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus’s first words show us who God is: Our Father. We should approach God as a father figure. The Father is strong, but also loving.

This can be a challenge because none of us have a perfect human father. Some fathers are better than others, but every human makes mistakes. God is our perfect Father. He has all of the qualities of a great father figure, and none of the downfalls.

When we approach God as our Father, we can see Him as our protector, our provider, our counselor, and our comforter.

We can also get a better understanding of who God is through reading the Bible. We’ll never understand everything about God, but one of the purposes of the Bible is to show us who God is.

Psalm 91:2

Here are a few Bible verses about who God is: 

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”
Psalm 18:2 NLT
"I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”
Psalm 91:2 NIV
So He said to them, When you pray, say:
"Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven."
Luke 11:2 NKJV
"This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom."
Isaiah 28:29 ESV

We should approach God with thanksgiving

One of the first things we should do when we approach God is to show thanksgiving and gratitude. If you’re not sure what to pray, or how to pray, thanksgiving is the best option.

We can be thankful even when our circumstances aren’t perfect. You might have a handful of “perfect” days in your lifetime. Our life is never going to be perfect. That doesn’t mean we can’t be grateful.

We can be grateful every day  — on our best days and our worst days. We can always find something to be grateful for. If you can’t, you can simply express thankfulness to God for who He is. I’ve found that practicing gratitude and being thankful in prayer improves my mood, draws me closer to God, and helps me appreciate what I have.

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
Psalm 100:4 NKJV

We should approach God with confidence

You’ll probably hear a lot of people say that we should approach God with humility and meekness. While this is true, we should be confident when we approach God.

You need to understand that humility and meekness is not weakness

Biblical meekness is not weakness at all. Rather, meekness refers to exercising God’s strength under His control. You actually can’t demonstrate meekness unless you have strength, because the word means that you can demonstrate power without unnecessary harshness.

My favorite explanation of humility is this: True humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of yourself less.

We shouldn’t approach God as if we’re worthless slaves and He is our master. Instead, we should approach God with confidence, knowing that He loves us more than we could imagine.

“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.”
Ephesians 3:12 NLT
"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 NIV

The New Testament offers much different instructions on approaching God. In the Old Testament, the priests would approach God with great fear. It was common for priests to drop dead when they were in God’s presence. 

This is because it was before Jesus provided atonement for our sins. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, so priests would need to pay the price for sins committed. Thankfully, we live in a New Covenant world, and our sin has been paid in full through the death of Jesus.

We can now approach God with confidence because we are in Christ.

Hebrews 4:16

We should bring our needs to God

Asking for things in prayer is often misunderstood, but it’s an important aspect of prayer that we can’t ignore. It’s God’s desire to provide for us and answer us when we ask. When we bring our needs to God in prayer, we can, and should, expect an answer. 

That doesn’t mean we can ask for whatever we please and get upset if we don’t get it. God is our provider, but He isn’t a vending machine. We can’t insert a prayer for $100,000 and come home to a big stack of cash sitting by our front door.

God is more interested in having a relationship with us. As our Father, it brings God pleasure to answer when we ask for something. If you want something— whether it’s a new job, physical healing, a new pair of shoes — we should ask God for things.

Jesus said that God knows what we need. He wants us to ask Him in prayer because it builds our relationship. When we ask God for something and He answers, it builds our trust and faith in Him.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
Mark 10:51 NIV
"Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure."
James 4:2-3 NLT
"Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
Mark 11:24 NKJV

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