We spoke the last couple of sessions on what God is like. We studied His character, and we studied some of HIs names.
But knowing God through His Word is only the beginning. Knowing what God is like through the Word, is the foundation to a relationship, but we must actually build a structure on the foundation.
But knowing God must go beyond the intellectual realm. We need to get to get to know Him personally, as a friend, as a Father, face to face in prayer. He is a person, a being we can know, who we can go to and talk to and rely upon.
I want to give some ideas in approaching Him that I have learned and practiced effectively through my years of seeking Him.
Knowing God Through Prayer
It takes time to develop a relationship with God just as it does with a person you want to know better. To get to know someone better, you will need to purposely get together with them, do things together, talk with one another.
Your prayer life will have to become more than a prayer list of things you want Him to do and people and situations you desire Him to bless and help.
Begin to spend time in prayer and praise just being with Him. It helps to put on some music that draws you near Him and focus on Him. You can talk to Him as you would to your best friend. But you don’t even need to talk; just be with Him.
Another key is to practice His presence every moment of every day. Treat Him always as though He is with you – as He says He is. This may be hard at first because you can’t see or feel Him, but it can become the core of your life.
Attitudes to come to God in
Come expecting Him to be a rewarder (Hebrews 11:6). This is a prerequisite; he who comes to God must believe… not only that He is but that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He is a rewarder of you. The pursuit of God is worth any time and effort you put into it. If you don’t believe this, you won’t take the time and effort to seek Him.
Come with righteousness consciousness.
Isaiah 54:14 (AMP) – You shall establish yourself in righteousness: you shall be far from even the thought of oppression or destruction, for you shall not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Righteousness is being in right standing with God (which we are). Being established is being rooted and grounded. So becoming rooted and grounded in righteousness is becoming rooted and grounded in the reality that you are in right standing with the God of the Universe! Come to know beyond doubt that GOD IS FOR YOU! He says He is.
Romans 8:31-34 (AMP) – What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?] Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?
Realize that you are welcome in His presence every day on every occasion. Because of what He has done and what He is like, you are invited to come into His presence; you can draw near boldly at every time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (AMP) – Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him]. or we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
If you don’t get near enough to God to let Him help you because you feel slightly guilty or inadequate or sin conscious, how can you ever receive His help to overcome the very things that make you feel unworthy in His presence?
You must take His point of view and accept your acceptance in Christ and come to know beyond any doubt you are welcome with Him. You can come to Him and talk to Him about anything.
Romans 5:1-2 (AMP) – Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.
Don’t come degrading yourself. You are a new creation, His workmanship, and you have no business degrading God’s creation.
Don’t concentrate on your faith or lack of it; don’t focus on your sins and shortcomings; concentrate on Him, His love, His mercy, His provision and promises and on His desire to do good things for you.
Come with expectancy
Actually expect God to be there with you listening to your prayers, desiring to answer you, to be towards you as He says He is, to act towards you as you see Jesus act in the New Testament. This is the faith that will release God’s power into your life and situation.
Matthew 6:6-8 (NIV) – But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Matthew 6:6 – Pray to the Father who is unseen. HE IS there in the secret place! See Him actually with you listening to you.
Matthew 6:7 – He hears without complicated or religious words or perfect prayers. Talk to Him as a friend.
Matthew 6:8 – He knows what you need before you ask, and it isn’t up to you to say it just right.
John 6:37 – He will not cast you out when you come. He actually likes you. He likes to spend time with you.
1 Peter 3:12 – He delights in your prayers.
Romans 10:12 – He is rich unto all who call upon Him. He has plenty of what you need and is willing to give it to you!
Hebrews 10:22 – Draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.
In summary, know beyond doubt that He hears you when you pray, that He actually delights in your prayers, that He will and does answer you. Simply, put faith in these things He has said.
Then you will get results. Your life will change. You will come to know God more closely and begin to have deeper fellowship than you ever thought possible. He can become more real even than the natural world around you.
What to do with your mind when you come
Psalm 103:1 – Bless the Lord oh my soul… Make it do it. Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Romans 12:1 – Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable (it is something you can do with your mind and will) service (worship).
1 John 5:14-15 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
See Him listening and answering your requests at the time of prayer. You can leave knowing you have the answer when you know His will as shown in His word!
He may be a great and glorious God, but He knows how many hairs are on your head and actually cares about the smallest details of your life.
Put God’s own words back into His mouth. (2 Chronicles 20:6-12). Say about yourself and towards yourself the things that He has said in His Word.
What to do with your body when you come
Romans 12:1 – Present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. This is your reasonable worship. Make your body hold still and concentrate on the Lord alone.
Find a comfortable position. If your knees ache or body parts fall asleep, you will not be concentrating on God.
The Bible speaks of standing, kneeling, lying prostrate, lying on your bed, dancing, raising your hands, clapping, shouting, and playing instruments – so the body position is not as important and your heart and mind and words.
What to say when you come to God.
Just speak from your heart and tell God what He means to you and what is going on with you. Treat Him as if He cares and listens as He has said He does; treat Him as if He were your good friend listening as you talk over things happening in your life.
Listen to anointed, scriptural worship music; sing and think about the words as you sing them. This is a great key to entering His presence. Psalm 100 says to come before Him with singing.
While reading the Bible, keep a notebook of words and expressions that say what you would like to say to God and use them in prayer and worship. This increases your praise and worship vocabulary. It works best when you not just quoting them but have made them your own words that come from your heart.
Learn from the word about prayer not from how others around you are praying. People can pray in the weirdest ways that they have heard someone else do, but it is many times far from the truth in the word.