I have a “hang-up” I guess you could say. Maybe there is nothing to it, but it is a “thing” with me. I feel guilty praying to God and asking Him to bless me or those I love when I have not been faithful in my Bible reading. It is so hard for me to have a close relationship (conversation) with God when I haven’t “listened” (read my Bible) that day. It makes me feel selfish that I could ask Him to listen to me and respond favorably when I have not listened (read His word) to Him all day.
The Bible says, “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17). That is a close relationship with God to be able to pray without ceasing. That is like sharing everything with God. If we envision God with us all the time, and He is, then whenever and whatever happens to us, we can communicate with God about it. If we envision Him walking beside us everywhere we go (and He does), we can talk to Him openly. Have you had something good happen to you or hear something good and say, “Thank the Lord”? That is good, but what if He is right beside you, could you not say, “Thank you, Lord” as if you are communicating with your closest friend standing right beside you?
The Bible says Enoch walked with God (Gen. 5:24). If walking with someone means they are beside you, that you communicate with them, then it is more than just attending the services of the church one to three times a week. It is more than just picking up the Bible when you think about it. It is more than just praying to God when you need Him. It is indeed a personal relationship with Him, don’t you think? It is as if under your breath (or loudly if you choose) you talk to God. Pray without ceasing. Be in a prayerful attitude at all times. If we talk to Him in our innermost thoughts throughout the day, we will be drawn closer to Him. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
The beautiful thing about our God is He is always there. He is always ready to welcome us home. No matter what we have done or how long we have been out of a close relationship with Him, He is standing ready to welcome us back. How beautiful is the love of our Father? Christians who have fallen away from God only have to pray and ask for forgiveness. Whether that prayer should be public or private depends on how public or private the sin has been. The safe thing is to make a public confession and ask the church to pray with and for you.
If you have never become a Christian you must hear the Word, believe it, repent of your sins, confess your faith, and be baptized to wash away your sins. Then walk close to God and remain faithful until death. It is beautiful to grow and continue drawing near to God, realizing He is drawing near to you. It is where He wants to be in your life and mine.