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How to Begin Your Personal Relationship with God

How To Begin Your Personal Relationship With God

         Your heavenly Father, your Creator, is truly willing and eager to connect with you heart to heart. He wants you to be His and He wants to be yours. He is your heart’s true home. Like any relationship, it’s a two-way street. However, long ago, God accomplished His part to lay the foundation for this personal friendship with you. He is the one who has initiated this relationship and the Holy Spirit has already been at work to draw you to himself and to His son, Jesus Christ.

         When His first followers asked Jesus to teach them to connect with and talk to God, He shared a special prayer with them that provided them with simple and profound things to say to him. This prayer is known as The Lord’s Prayer and it still works today!

         Get into a quiet space, all alone or with a trusted friend or two who have already met Jesus, and then, in your heart of hearts relax and welcome God’s presence to come near to you. Take your time … this is about your relationship with the living God! It deserves your attention and focus. First, read through the prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13.

Our Father in heaven,

May your name be honored, 

May your kingdom come,

May your will be done,

As in heaven, so on earth. 

Give us today the bread we need now; 

And forgive us the things we owe, As we too have forgiven what was owed to us. 

Don’t bring us into the great trial, But rescue us from evil.[i]

You are the rightful ruler of heaven and earth,

Your power is supreme,

You alone deserve the highest praise.

         Next, mediate on each phrase of the above prayer and consider the thoughts in parentheses to help clarify what you are praying about.

  • Our Father in heaven (Your Creator lives in an invisible dimension nearby that interfaces with our visible world. He wants to be to you what a truly good Father is, no matter how broken, or strong, your relationship with your earthly father has been.)
  • May your name be honored (The name points to the nature of God that has been demeaned and mocked by us in the past and by so many people in our world. Feel sorry for this, as you are able. We want this to change in the days ahead.)
  • May your kingdom come, May your will be done, As in heaven, so on earth. (Ask now that the presence, ways and purposes of the Holy Spirit will sweep into your life and and that people in our world will experience the peace, joy, wisdom and love that is fully known and shared in highest heaven.
  • Give us today the bread we need now (God longs for you to trust him, each day and every hour, for all the practical things you need to sustain your life. Apologize to him for any ways you’ve been trying to make your life work in your own strength. He is a generous Provider and wants to be honored in this way.)
  • And forgive us the things we owe (In this, you are asking for forgiveness for all your sins and failures. This is possible because Jesus went to the cross and shed His blood as a “sacrifice lamb” and died. He died for us all; He died for you. He faced and triumphed over all the evils, of all the ages and of all humanity by dying on the cross. That evil and death were vanquished by this was confirmed by His resurrection from the dead on the third day. Thank God for His forgiveness of all of your sins.)
  • As we too have forgiven what was owed to us. (Make space in your heart for the free gift of God’s forgiveness in Jesus by letting go of all unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness toward anyone who has wronged you. Also, release any blame toward our good God for allowing bad things to occur in your past. These are toxins in your heart that will gradually destroy your life if they are not released to God. You are invited every day to bring all the pains of your life to the cross of Christ and place all injustices, large and small, into His capable hands. This doesn’t mean that was happened to you was right or okay. It also does not mean that you must have a trusted relationship with an abusive person. It simply means that you have put these matters into God’s hands so you can be free to enjoy His love, peace and joy.)
  • Don’t bring us into the great trial (Ask God to protect you and lead you away from engaging in situations that are outside the boundaries He sets for you. Ask him to keep you from trying to make life work in your own wisdom or strength.)
  • But rescue us from evil (Evil is real and there is a very real invisible adversary, the devil, who is seeking to assault and deceive you and the people around you. He tempts, lures, entices, lies and manipulates people and situations and attempts to sabotage your friendship with your heavenly Father, His Son and His Spirit. Do not fear, but simply ask God to equip you with wisdom, strength and power for this battle and to be your Captain in the spiritual battle between good and evil. It’s a good fight!)
  • You are the rightful ruler of heaven and earth, Your power is supreme, You alone deserve the highest praise. (You are closing your prayer with a good confession by which 1) you gladly acknowledge Jesus as the rightful Lord of your life. 2) you recognize that His power is greater than all other powers, both visible and invisible and 3) you have rejected all other “gods” (idols) and will reserve your deepest affections and highest compliments for who He is and what He has done.

         Feel free to go back through this prayer again and again until it becomes more relational and warm. It’s the prayer Jesus Himself taught us to use. Thank Him now for listening to your prayers—He has heard you and is glad that you trust Him. May He be with you now and always!

[i] Wright, N. T., The Kingdom New Testament, San Francisco, CA, HarperOne; Reprint edition (October 25, 2011)