You have asked Jesus into your heart and are starting your life as a Christian or re-dedicated yourself by making promises to God that you will change. During your time of that “spiritual high” you may have said something like “you want to get to know Him deeper” and maybe even repeated and meant the words you verbalized during worship. So what's happening when you try to get connected to God in your prayer closet? Why are you not able to discipline yourself to have regular prayer time and why is it that once you get it pretty regular, you cannot even connect? You keep feeling unworthy.
In the past, my prayers were memorized. When I prayed I asked God for stuff. I didn't know how to pray or what to say. I knew the Lord's Prayer and thought that I needed to be formal with God. I went as far as thinking that if I prayed using specific words, it would make a difference in the way God was hearing me. I’m not kidding; this is what I thought (Religion makes everything literal).
"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. Matthew 6:7
I could not talk to God in a conversational way. No matter how I prayed, I felt like I was just not getting through to Him. I had feelings of shame, guilt, and condemnation. Everyday I felt like an unworthy sinner even though I asked God to forgive me of my sins each time I would pray. There were several times when I felt like less of a sinner, but the feelings of shame would come right back. This went on for many years; I’m talking about from when I could remember as a child to only about 5 years ago (remember I grew up in a Christian home)
Understanding that we CANNOT DO IT oN OUR OWN
In order for us to have an internet connection, we need to pay our bills. Jesus has fully paid our internet connection bills to God for a lifetime of connectivaty. There is a zero balance.
Religion fogged my understanding of Jesus. I though that If I prayed certain amount of times per day and read my Bible, went to church, I was "good to go" as a Christian. But why was I still feeling like a sinner and why couldn't I have the connection with God? It was because I didn’t understand who I was in Christ. We are righteous when we "believe" in Jesus (faith) and we are no longer sinners but free from guilt, shame, and condemnation. We have full access to God through Jesus. If we can’t get past the sin, we can’t move on. We will continue to feel unworthy until we BELIEVE in God’s word:
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
We are SAVED by believing in Jesus and not by what we do (doing Christian things) or not do (not sinning). God is holy so we cannot connect with him unless we are holy. We become holy through Jesus: Jesus is the mediator that connects us to God. It's like the internet company that connects us and the internet world.
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10
We are no longer condemned when we repent of our sins and believe the truth about Jesus; we become ONE with Christ. Once I understood this concept, I started to connect with God.
Experiencing high speed connectivity
I started to have a daily connection with God. I accepted that through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God could see me beyond my sin, shame, and guilt. My prayer life shifted. I began to spend more time with God because I finally could talk to Him without feeling like a hopeless sinner.
I began to worship Him as God.
I thanked Him for all the things He was doing and has done in my life.
I had conversations with Him, telling Him my hurt and pain.
I asked Him for what I needed.
When we spend time with God, we learn His character and begin to resemble Him. We have His heart in us. We no longer look to please ourselves but see what God sees. This is when we begin to function at our highest capacity, living out the purpose we were created for.
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3
What prayer does:
Prayer takes away the callus from our hearts. When you spend time in prayer, you come out with so much love. You just want to hug and kiss everyone. It's evident when someone has been with the Lord. They have so much love to share. Jesus prayed all night and preached during the day. Masses of people followed Him. In order to be life giving, we must spend time in prayer. How can you give something that you don’t have? Talking to God is therapy for us but also release the character of God through us. Once we have been with the Lord we can share Him with others also.
Fast food versus a healthy alternative
Planned out and time consuming prayer is healthy spiritual food for our soul. How often do we prepare a healthy sit down dinner versus eating fast food on the go? In our family, we try to eat a healthy sit down dinner. It does take planning and time to prepare it, but we prefer it over fast drive through food and it's better for us.
I know that God will not judge us for the way we pray. When I was younger, fast food didn’t affect me in a negative way. But now it makes me tired and fat. Also, eating on the go doesn’t bring me as much satisfaction as a sit down meal. It’s the same with our prayer life. There were times when my prayer life consisted of praying only in church or in my car and that was fine for that season. Today, that would not be enough for me. We need to find our own niche for prayer and at what season it would work for us. Since we know what's good for us; we can strive for that.
God has forgiven us; we ask once and ought to BELIEVE that we are forgiven. God doesn’t remember our sins and neither should we. Let's not allow the enemy to keep reminding us of sins that we have been forgiven of. Let’s forbit the enemy to block our connection with God in prayer. I pray for each one of you to continue growing in knowledge and in truth. That you would move passed the sin in your life and come to “know” your creator in your prayer closet. So that you would always have the highest connectivity because you have already been forgiven.
As always, if there is anything you need prayer or have questions, It would be my pleasure to serve you. Contact me here