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How do I talk with God?


Communication that builds relationships is dialogue. Genuine prayer has all of the qualities and characteristics of a deeply meaningful conversation between two people. God said to the prophet Isaiah, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18). This image of God and man sitting down together for a good talk is our best image of prayer.

The end results of intentional dialogue can be wonderful. We know this to be true in our relationships with other people. When we have a deep and heartfelt conversation with another person, we very often come away from that experience saying, “I have a much better understanding of him and his problems, needs, and concerns.”

The same is true when we communicate intentionally with God. We know Him more fully, understand Him better, feel more at home in His presence, find cause to praise Him more, and have a deeper relationship with Him.

Prayer is the key to a relationship with God. Intentional dialogue with God ultimately establishes and deepens our relationship with Him. The purpose of prayer is that we might know God better, experience more of His love, and have an abiding awareness of His work in our lives. Talking to God doesn’t build relationship. Communicating with God does—both speaking and listening.

A relationship with God, of course, is very personal. In fact, it’s the most intimate relationship you can ever know. Nobody knows you like God knows you. Nobody loves you like God loves you. Nobody desires good for your life more than God. In prayer, you will soon discover not only more about God, but more about yourself as God’s beloved child. There is no more exciting or enriching experience!

Because prayer is intensely personal, there are no universal formulas. The specifics of your prayer relationship with God are as distinctive as any other aspect of your life and your ability to communicate.

I encourage you to open yourself to the grand possibility that God has something to say to you. He’s eager to spend time with you and to develop a deep, intimate relationship marked by great joy and well-being.

Ultimately, prayer is to be experienced, not studied. In study, we simply learn how to better communicate with God. And we understand how to have a better relationship with our Creator. It’s an experience to be pursued and a relationship to be valued beyond all others.

Adapted from “Talking with God” study guide by Dr. Charles Stanley.