Time for Prayer: Pursuing Intimacy
Katrina helps us think about how prayer is an incredible way for us to grow in our relationship with Jesus. Why not grab a coffee, have a read of today's post, and then spend some time talking to our Heavenly Father in prayer. x
Although Christmas itself is usually a really busy time, soon after the festivities are finished we tend to hit a lull. For me, that time is usually filled with watching TV and eating my body weight in leftover cheese and Quality Street. The magic has disappeared, that excitement of celebration and the closeness we felt to Jesus seems to have burned off so quickly. We feel disappointed and deflated.
The feeling of nearness to Jesus is called intimacy. It is a deep knowledge and closeness, founded on trust. Intimacy is established when we start being real with God and share our hearts with Him through prayer.
It is one thing to say you want to know God better but how high on your priorities list is it? Intimacy with God is characterised by desperation to be in his presence, he should not be a priority but the priority in our lives this holiday season.
‘ONE THING I ASK FROM THE LORD, THIS ONLY DO I SEEK:
THAT I MAY DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE,
TO GAZE ON THE BEAUTY OF THE LORD
AND TO SEEK HIM IN HIS TEMPLE.’ PSALM 27:4
If you desire intimacy with God, then pursue it! We can develop our intimacy with God by investing wisely in time in prayer.
‘PRAY WITHOUT CEASING’ 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 (ESV)
You might be thinking that Paul is being just a little unrealistic here. But praying continually means drawing God into every day, every situation and every movement, whatever that looks like for you.
Prayer doesn’t always mean sitting in silence. Sometimes I go for a run or walk and talk to God or doodle some favourite bible verses. Other times I will send a message to someone and ask him or her for prayer requests before dedicating time to pray for them.
Alternatively you could choose a Bible verse or Psalm to meditate on and pray through. It can be prayer diaries, lists, diagrams or praying with someone else too! All of these things are drawing you closer to God and pursing an intimate relationship with him. Invite him into your everyday comings and goings (Pslam 139:1-5).
Persevering with Intimacy
The idea that intimacy with God through prayer should be more important and desirable than anything else can actually be quite uncomfortable. God has opened an invitation to enjoy intimacy with him through Jesus, but its likely an invitation our flesh would prefer to brush to the side or decline entirely. Particularly during difficult times, it can feel like God is asking too much of us. Maybe you just can’t get to a point of feeling that closeness you crave.
In whatever situation you find yourself I want to encourage you to persevere in prayer.
‘BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO PERSEVERES UNDER TRIAL BECAUSE, HAVING STOOD THE TEST, THAT PERSON WILL RECEIVE THE CROWN OF LIFE THAT THE LORD HAS PROMISED TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.’ JAMES 1:12
When we pray, God hears more than we say, answers more than we ask and gives more than we can imagine. Intimacy with God often occurs in the places we trust him most. Once we meet him, fully trusting, in that place, we are flooded with inexpressible joy and peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).
Let’s do it differently this year. Instead of a season of staring pointlessly at a screen that culminates in deflation and a floundering prayer life, we should work together to pray in desire, pursuit and perseverance of intimacy with God.
Katrina is a Sports student at studying at Durham University. Although often missing her wonderful Cambridge home, Katrina has found Durham to be a hard place not to fall in love with. Katrina is passionate about watching girls grow with the assurance and knowledge that they are valuable and crazily loved daughters of God.