“I do not feel as close to the Lord as I once did. I know that I do not study and pray as I once did. I want to be close to God again. What can I do?” We have all felt this way! We have awakened to find ourselves adrift from God. We become concerned and begin searching. “What can I do to be close to the Lord again? What has caused me to drift? If I can find out why I have drifted away, maybe I can reverse the process and more easily find my way back to God. What can I do?”
When a brother or sister has shared this concern with me, I have noticed that it was almost always accompanied with this admission: “I know that I do not study and pray the way I once did.” Are we overlooking the obvious? I know that when I neglect Bible study and prayer I begin to slip spiritually. Is not the same true of your life?
The key to communion is communication! If I would be nearer to God, I must let Him talk to me and I must talk to Him. He talks to me through His Word. I talk to Him through prayer. The shortfall of personal study and prayer is not only an indication of drifting away from God, but a cause! We need to reverse the process, we can draw closer to God by being more consistent and intense in our personal devotional lives.
Our faith is strengthened by the study of God’s Word (Romans 10:17). God’s Word is able to build us up (Acts 20:32). The Word of God, stored in our hearts, can keep us from sin (Psalm 119:11). Bottom line: We need to study God’s Word every day! Every day! We need to be like the noble Bereans “who received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11).
How important is prayer to our daily walk with God? The Master taught that “men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). He further admonished, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is Weak” (Matthew 26:41). Our teachers have often reminded us that “our Savior was a praying Savior.” Praying Master – praying disciple! Like Him, every aspect of our lives should be (must be) bathed in prayer. Prayer is inviting God into our lives! “Pray Without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Don’t go it alone! Go to God! “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
“What can I do‘? How can I get closer to God?” Do not overlook the obvious! The key to relationship is relating! I must study and pray, pray and study! Upon this foundation I can add a double portion to my devotional life! How? By worshipping God regularly, being involved in His work, and serving Him with gladness! This we can do!
Findlay church of Christ