Four ways to grow your relationship with God
Discover the simple steps that will help fix your quiet times.
Being a Christian is about being friends with God through Jesus. It's a real relationship just like the one you have with your best friend. Now in all relationships we like to talk and listen to each other, and the same is true with God (that's what reading the Bible and praying are all about!).
When you pray you tell God about all the things you want to talk to him about. You can tell him about how you feel, what makes you happy, what makes you sad. You can ask for help for yourself or someone else. He is always there and always wanting to hear from you. And best of all, he understands exactly what you are saying.
When we read the bible, we are listening to what God has to say to us (exept it is written down like in a letter). He has made sure he has told us everything we need to know in order to be the best of friends with him.
So when you pray and read, you are really having a good old conversation with God. But what about if you have trouble getting started or motivated to read the Bible and pray? If that sounds like you, there are some really good things you can do to help:
1. Ask God to help you
He is there and wants you to talk to Him. Ask Him to help you get motivated, and he will make sure you do.
2. Read and pray with other people
If you go to a church, you might be able to find an older, wiser Christian to talk to. They may even be able to meet with you to read and pray, perhaps once a week. Or maybe you can meet with a friend at school, youth group or somewhere else. If you make a regular commitment to meet each week, it will soon become a habit.
3. Find a good Bible Reading guide
There's plenty of good BIble reading plans available online or check out Dave Mier's ultimate list of Bible reading plans. The point is, these resources should give you a suggestion of what to read, and help you reflect on each passage.
4. Get started and stick with it
If you don't want to wait, you could simply start reading through the New Testament, beginning with Matthew. Read a few verses at a time and ask yourself, 'what is going on in this passage?' and 'what can I learn about Jesus, God or myself from this?'.
One final thing: routine is your friend! Maybe you can read and pray every time you wake up, or you go to bed, or on the way to school, or lunchtime in the library. If you do it every day for a while, the habit will form.
With thanks to the Q&A team at christianity.org.au