Relationship 101: Communicate often and be humble enough to admit when you are wrong
Sounds easy enough, but a common source of problems in marriage is a lack of communication. We get busy and distracted with the cares of everyday living and can find ourselves neglecting one of our most important relationships.
Our relationship with God is no different!
A thriving relationship with God also requires frequent communication and a humility to admit to—or confess our sins—when we are wrong.
We know what communication looks like in marriage. We have an image in our mind of a conversation over dinner, on a walk, or over a glass of wine.
Communication with Almighty God is not as easy to imagine, but it is every bit as real.
Experts say there are four types of communication: verbal, non-verbal, written, and visual.
We get the first three in prayer, but the fourth one? How do we communicate with the invisible God? How does he communicate with us?
Communication is a two-way street, and we know from the Bible that God does indeed speak to us.
Through his creation:
The heavens declare the glories of God,
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Through his word:
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
God reveals his character and his will through his creation and through scripture
God is the master communicator, but what about us? We often don’t know what to say to God.
We can take comfort in our need for coaching in how to pray. Jesus taught people how to pray in the Sermon on The Mount. That must mean that people before us had the same questions that we do about prayer!
There are many beautiful prayers in the Bible. You can borrow the words of some godly people who have gone before us.
- The Prayer of Moses, Exodus 33:12-15
- The Prayer of Daniel, Daniel 9:1-19
- The Prayer of Hannah, I Samuel 2:1-10
- Flip through the Psalms. You’ll find several!
- Jeremiah (like David, a straight-shooter in his prayers), Jeremiah 20:7-8
Bottomline, prayer is talking to God. It’s not just thoughts, but it’s thoughts or words or song directed toward God the Father, Jesus the Son or the Holy Spirit.
How mind-boggling is it that the God of the universe, the one seated on the throne who will reign forever and ever is the one who says in Hebrews 4:15-16,
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
He invites us to come and pour out our hearts to him!
Speaking of a High Priest, what about confession? Confession is part two of the thriving relationship!
Confession is like looking in the mirror. We see/acknowledge what is already there. It takes humility and perhaps courage to face who we truly are before God.
When we confess sin, God isn’t suddenly surprised to hear about a selfish motive or thought or action, and those closest to us also know the real story of us!
Denying or ignoring our sin does not make it not real. It just makes us like someone walking around with spinach in our teeth. Everyone but us sees it clearly.
If we don’t confess because we don’t want to face the reality of our sin, we don’t make room for the Holy Spirit to do the inner work of changing us. When we remember God’s kindness and the fact that Jesus already paid the penalty for the sin we’re confessing, we can go boldly before the throne.
I have found at times that I also need to confess to another believer about a temptation. There is something supernatural about confessing our sins to another person. It’s as if confession fully disarms the enemy and the strength of the temptation becomes so diluted that within a short period of time, it loses its power over us.
There is no condemnation in Christ and there is freedom in confession and repentance!
Is there anything hindering your prayer life?
Ask God for help!
Ask him to show you any sin. He is gentle and kind and can be trusted with such a sensitive request.
Is my prayer life fresh?
If I’m in a rut, what can I do to change things up? Try something new!
- Pray scripture and replace pronouns for specific names for people you are praying for.
- If you don’t typically journal, try journaling (even typing your prayers).
- Take a prayer walk
- Find a private place and pray out loud
- Pray over headlines in the news
- Borrow prayers from some of the greats in the Bible
In the coming weeks, we’ll be looking at other spiritual disciplines such as worship, fasting, silence, service and others that help “give us ears to hear.”
We’d love to hear how you keep your prayer life fresh! On Thursdays at 11am PST, join us in our Facebook group where we will be taking a closer look at reducing the noise in our life so that we might hear and enjoy Jesus!