How do you see God? As judge? Police chief? Santa Claus? Genie in a bottle? Loving? Cruel? Distant? Available? Smiling? Angry? Irrelevant? Powerless? Be honest.
How do you really see God in your mind?
How we see God may be one of the most important decisions we’ll ever make.
When we’re first confronted with this question as adults, our picture of God will always emanate from our subconscious early childhood experience with our father or a father-figure.
No matter your spiritual preference or religion, learning how to communicate effectively with God can be achieved with the following tips.
1. Establish a relationship with a caring God
It’s easier to talk to someone when you persist to establish a speaking relationship with a person that really cares.
So, your telling God your burdens and joys helps bond your relationship with God.
Figuring out that God wants to hear from you and to share all your joys, pains and thoughts with you is the first step to establishing that relationship.
And you can build on it by reading about how much God cares in spiritual literature or religious texts, such as the Bible, Quran or Torah.
2. Talk to God as you would a close, loving but all-powerful friend
Talking to God as a tremendous friend is different from just praying to God as a need or duty. As with a friend, you expect back-and-forth communication by noticing how God answers, helps or teaches you.
While prayer may be more of a one-way transaction, talking implies a conversation.
- You can talk to God out loud or inside your mind, whichever feels most effective to you.
- It may be best to find a quiet or private space you can occupy in order to concentrate while you’re talking.
If you can’t, it’s okay to talk silently to God while you’re standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, sitting in a waiting room, or while you’re at work or school, etc.
3. Try to keep following God’s path in good faith in the loving concepts of God and expressing God’s goodwill
But, realize that whatever happens may be a result of a “third person(s)” involved in their self-centered, personal actions/inaction, or their doing the opposite of some of your ideas and needs.
God does not necessarily contravene or interfere with the behavior of disagreeable parties — Why? They, having free will as you do, might not follow love, good morals, the purposes of God, nor stop their misconduct that can involve you.
Events could, thus, depend regrettably on their dangerous/uncaring intersections with your hopeful and peaceful path.
Even in dire events one can talk to God, in the darkest day or when you pass through the valley of death.
You need not fear, but may cry out to Him while trusting God, come what may.
4. Write to God as if you’re writing a letter to a friend, or as if you’re writing in a private journal
If you’re not sure what to write about, consider writing about a current concern that you can’t stop thinking about.
Write about what’s happening in your day to day life. Write down any questions you want God to answer for you.
Or write about your goals or what you’re thankful for. Use the examples below for inspiration.
- “Dear God, I have no idea what I’m doing in my life right now. I can’t seem to make good choices or meet the right people. I feel like I’m drowning in drama. When will this end? When will things change for me?”
- “I can’t even contain my excitement right now, God. Today I met a woman who works at my dream job. Our meeting was completely serendipitous. I mean what are the chances of meeting just the right person randomly on a busy street?
If I didn’t accidentally bump her shoulder and if she didn’t happen to drop her purse, I never would have gotten a glimpse of her business card. You’ve truly answered my prayers.”
5. Set aside time to pray to God
Prayer can be considered a more formal way to talk to God because it is primarily rooted in religion.
However, you can choose to pray in whatever way feels comfortable to you.
While you can pray at any time and in any place, it helps to set aside specific times of the day to pray.
Choose a time when you are unlikely to be disturbed and you’ll be able to center yourself and pray effectively.
Common times for prayer include: before meals or bed, after waking, during stressful times or periods of need, and during solo activities like exercising or a commute.
6. Decide what you want to pray about
This can be done beforehand, if there is a pressing matter happening in your life. Or it can be determined as you pray.
- You could use prayer as a means to have a casual conversation with God about daily happenings or current events. Here’s an example, “God, today is my first day of class. I’m really nervous, but also excited. I pray that everything goes well today.”
- You could use prayer as a way to confess or get something off your chest, or you could pray for a request or a need. “God, I feel horrible that I gossiped about a coworker. I’m afraid she’s found out, and I don’t know what to do to fix it. Please forgive me. Also, please give me the strength to ask her for forgiveness.”
- Let’s say you’ve just interviewed for a job. You could say, “Thank you, God, for a great interview. Please let the interviewer see how perfect I am for this position, and decide to hire me.”
7. Pray in a way that feels natural to you
There’s no one right way to pray. Prayer should be unique to the individual believer who is praying.
While praying in a church or worship center is often quite stylized and ritualized, when you’re praying alone, you don’t have to follow any particular rules, other than opening yourself up to God and speaking from the heart.
- Some people like to bow their heads in prayer and close their eyes, while other religions will practice full prostrations or kneeling.
- Whatever seems most respectful and effective for you and your personal relationship with God is fine. You can pray with your eyes open and your head high just as it’s fine to pray kneeling and silent.
- It’s common to recite some traditional prayers out loud, but it’s also very common to pray silently to yourself.