HOW TO START TALKING TO GOD
Sunday Discipleship Classes: 9:45 AM
Sunday Morning Worship: 10:45 AM
Sunday Evening: 6:00 (Adults, Teens and Children)
Wednesday Night: 7:00 (Adults, Teens and Children)
On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Our greatest desire as a Christian fellowship is to help everyone discover the joy of knowing our Creator through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Let us know if there is any way we can help you find God's wonderful plan for your life. Alvin J. Vander Griend wrote an excellent booklet that explains this. Our prayer is that God will speak to you through the following words:
If you want to talk to God, here’s some good news. God wants you to talk to him, and he wants to talk to you. In fact, he wants more than just talking. He wants a relationship, a relationship of the kind that can come only by talking and listening.
God wants a love relationship with you. That’s what talking to him is really all about. It’s about building a love relationship with him. Talk with God that builds a love relationship is what the Bible calls prayer; or, to put it another way, prayer is the talking part of a love relationship with God.
Talking to God and building a love relationship with him is important. Relationships are important, and love relationships are the most important relationships. A love relationship with God is the most important love relationship anyone can have in life.
So how do we get started in such a relationship? In some ways it’s like the start of any new relationship. To start a relationship, you simply start talking to each other. You share things about yourself. You listen. You express ideas. You react. And as you get to know each other, the relationship grows.
Relating to God is like that. It involves both talking and listening. There is communication back and forth as you get to know each other. For God, you see, is a person. Not human, as we are human, but still a person. He does not have a body and he is not visible but he is a very real person. (Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, did become human when he was born on earth, but he never sinned.) God thinks, feels, wills, sees, hears, acts, and loves. All of these are qualities of being a person. Because God is a person, he can both speak to us and hear us when we speak to him.
Getting to know God is like getting to know another human being, but it’s also different. Because he is invisible, we can’t read his face or watch his reactions to know if he is listening. We simply have to trust that he hears us, as he has said he does. We also have to hear God differently. We hear him through the Bible, which is his Word, and we hear him through his Spirit, who speaks in our hearts. These differences don’t change the basic relational dynamics of talking and listening to God. It is just as real as talking to another human person, whom we can see and hear. It is just different.
There’s also a second kind of difference. When you start talking to God, you are really restarting a broken relationship. If you have ever had to restart a broken relationship, you know that you have to begin by dealing with the past. You have to deal with the offenses that broke the relationship in the first place. That’s the way it is when we start, or restart, a relationship with God. We begin by dealing with things we have done to offend him.
Here’s what I mean. The Bible tells us that God is our Father. He’s been involved in our lives all along, whether we have acknowledged him or not. The Bible says, “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). It says that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). God has protected us. He has established standards for our lives. All of these things he as done as a good and loving Father for our good.
If we haven’t acknowledged him, worshiped him, thanked him, trusted him, and submitted to him, God is offended. And rightly so. What earthly father wouldn’t be offended if he had given himself for his children and they had never even acknowledged him or his gifts? We have to deal with this kind of offense to the Father when we start talking to him. But take heart; he has made it easy for us.
Starting to talk to God
If you’re really serious about starting a
relationship with God, here’s what to do.
First, tell God you want a relationship with him. You don’t just want to get something from God. You want to get to know him personally. You want him as your friend.
God is truly worth knowing. For he is the most wonderful person of all. God is faithful, good, loving, kind, generous, trustworthy, merciful, honest, fair, and always true to his own.
Where else can you find a person like that? One biblical writer expresses his delight in God by saying, “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).
Second, tell God you are sorry for not loving him, trusting him, thanking him, and obeying him. Confessing to God in this manner may seem a hard and unpleasant thing to do. Let me assure you it is not. It is hard to do this with other people because we never know how they will respond. They may turn a deaf ear, refuse to forgive, or stick our confession down our throats. It’s not that way with God. He never responds in an improper way. If we are sincere in our confession, he will never turn a deaf ear, will never refuse to forgive, and will never stick it down our throats.
Personally, I confess to God regularly—whenever I am aware of anything I have done wrong. God always meets me more than halfway. He is always ready to forgive and to embrace me. I find confession to be the most freeing of prayers. When I confess, the load of guilt I feel about a sin is immediately lifted. The offense is removed forever, and my relationship with God is completely restored. You can’t beat that as a way of dealing with a sin.
Third, accept the gracious offer God makes to you. There is not a better offer in all the world. It’s really unbelievable—and yet it’s real.
God offers you forgiveness. He is willing to remove from your record all your offenses and failures of the past. It’s like starting over with him. Past sin is wiped out. He counts these offenses as having been paid for—wiped off the chart—through the death of his Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. Freed from sin, you are looked upon by God as sinless, that is, as if you had never sinned. In 1 John 1:9 the Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
God offers you a new life. The Bible calls this gift of new life by various names: eternal life, abundant life, salvation. It means life at its finest beginning on earth and continuing in heaven. The quality is excellent because, from this point forward, we live in a love relationship with God. The length is certain too, because God is eternal, and once a relationship with him is forged, it will never be broken.
The new life you receive comes from your new relationship with God. You are strengthened by his grace, guided by his wisdom, enlightened by his knowledge, lifted by his love, filled with his Spirit, and protected by his angels. He is your God. He will always be on your side. Nothing will separate you from his love.
Fourth, promise to serve God to the best of your ability. God wants you to serve him for two reasons: for his sake and for your sake.
God wants you to serve him for his sake because he wants to be acknowledged for who he is, and because he is building a worldwide kingdom of life and peace. God wants your worship, and he wants your help. In building his kingdom, he is destroying Satan’s kingdom of darkness. Serving him means making his kingdom a priority and standing with him against all the attempts of the devil to set up his own kingdom.
God wants you to serve him for your own sake too. No way of life is more fulfilling and fruitful than serving God. The Bible says, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [spiritual blessings] will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Fifth, ask God for his help again and again. God has a storehouse full of wonderful blessings for you. But they do not come automatically. You must ask for them. Jesus said that the Father in heaven would “give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11). Those who don’t ask, don’t receive. To spiritually weak and lacking Christians a biblical writer said, “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).
Mostly what you need to ask for are spiritual blessings like grace, wisdom, guidance, love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, virtue, and self-control. Ask to be godly, Christlike, and Spirit-filled. Ask God to help you pray, to study the Bible and to share your faith with others. These are the kinds of things he most wants you to have, most wants you to ask for, and is ready to give.
Ask God to bless other people also—those around you—beginning with your spouse, children, parents, and friends. You can be a source of incredible blessing to them by means of your prayers. Your prayers will release God’s power and grace into their lives. They will receive blessings from God that they wouldn’t have received if you hadn’t asked. The Bible says that “the prayer of a righteous [person] is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
In summary, here are the five ways to start talking to God.
If you’re ready, start now by praying the following prayer. Make these words your own:
Father, I believe that you are a real person who thinks, feels, wills, and loves. I very much want to get to know you and have a relationship with you. I’m sorry for all the wrong things I have done that have offended you. I confess that I haven’t loved you, trusted you, thanked you, or obeyed you as I should have. I accept your generous offer of forgiveness, which is available to me because Jesus paid the penalty for my sins on the cross. I accept the new life you give me now through your Holy Spirit. I promise to serve you always, worshiping you, obeying you, and building your kingdom. Help me to live for you. I need your grace, your wisdom, your guidance, and your protection. Thank-you for this new love relationship you have given me. I promise to continue talking with you regularly and to live out of the strength of this new relationship.
If you have prayed this prayer and really meant it, you are now a friend of God. You have started a love relationship with him. We rejoice with you. Nothing is more important in life. Nothing is more fulfilling.
To strengthen this new relationship . . .
Review this page several times in the next few weeks.
Repeat the prayer, or something like it, regularly. Current sin needs to be confessed anew. Forgiveness for that sin is freshly offered and freshly accepted. Your promise to serve should be renewed as new challenges and new opportunities arise. And you need to ask God for his help every day.
Spend much time talking to God. That’s the way the relationship will grow. As the relationship grows, so will the blessing. We encourage you to join us for prayer on Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM.
Tell someone else about your new relationship. This will help reinforce it for you and will give that person a chance to do what you have done.
Join with other believers regularly in worship and in service that builds God’s kingdom. We would love for you to join us on Sunday mornings at 9:45 AM and 10:45 AM.