Praying can be a strange thing, especially if you haven't done it before or you're just not used to doing it. However it is as easy as talking to your best friend. In fact it's exactly that!
God knows us intimately ('And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.' Matthew 10:30) and is the only one apart from you that knows what is going on inside your head. It might sound crazy but I actually think it's comforting to know that there is someone who I can share every thought I have with because He already knows it! It's important to bring everything before Jesus, including our thoughts and feelings.
Having a conversation with a best friend is great. There are times when you laugh, cry, shout and scream - we probably go through most of our emotions when we talk with our best mates. There are also times where we ask for things, say thank you and also say sorry. A conversation should also move in two directions - you speak and then listen, you talk some more, developing the conversation, and listen again for a response to develop it further. These are all things that that should be and can be involved when we pray.
Our relationship with Jesus should be no different than the relationship we have with our best friends, in fact it should be even stronger because we are able to lay all of ourselves down with Him without the fear of being let down or being rejected.
God is always there to listen to our worries and He is always there to encourage and build us up. It may not seem that our prayers are always answered, but it needs us to start a conversation with Him. We need to talk and listen through ALL emotions to develop and grow as followers of Jesus.
How do you keep going with the Bible? Life is busy, other things come up – is spending time getting to know God better through the pages of the Bible, his Word, something extra? Admittedly, it’s not always the easiest to read and I want to explore why it might be worth keeping going with it and how best to do it.
Why keep trying?
It helps us understand God and teaches us how to live as Christians. It can be long and confusing, but there’s good stuff to be found in these pages. Romans 5:8 says:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We learn here that God loved us so much that he sent his son, Jesus, to die for us while we were still sinners, while we were still rejecting him. How awesome is that?! One of the best ways to understand God better is by reading about him in the Bible.
Also, look at this (2 Timothy 3:16):
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,…”
‘Scripture’ (i.e. the Bible) is useful for helping us to learn how to live as Christian people. We can be sure that as we read the Bible, God guides us, teaches us, warns us and makes us strong in our faith.
I hope that brief explanation has cleared up why it’s worth keeping going with the Bible – I’m aware I’ve backed up what I’ve said with two Bible verses; why we can trust the Bible sounds like another blog post altogether, if Claire lets me…(spoiler alert – because it all fits together)
How is best to keep going?
The key here is that different things work for different people, so let me encourage you to find the way which works best for you to keep reading the Bible. Personally, I’ve found it important to set aside time every day to read my Bible, otherwise I don’t do it. ‘Bible notes’ are a useful tool to help you along, and your youth leader/church may be able to point you towards some good ones - basically, you get a small passage to read every day and some questions/thoughts to help you understand it. That’s just me though – other people like listening to the Bible or doing arty stuff with it…whatever helps you spend regular time doing it, getting to know God better.