Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry - Ephesians 4:12

How to Begin Time with God in Prayer

Being a Christian is about having relationship with God through Jesus Christ and not a religion. It’s all about getting to know our creator, Lord and Savior. Drawing near to Him on a daily basis is a must to an ongoing and growing relationship with the Lord.

James 4:8 – “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.”

Jeremiah 29:13 – “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

John 14:20 – “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”

Spending time with God is crucial to our intimacy with Him, our growth and spiritual well-being. Every born again believer should strive and discipline themselves to daily time with the one they follow and serve. We become like the one we spend the most time with.

Below are 5 suggestions to beginning your time with God:

  1. Start with time in the Word. When we read our Bible, we are giving the Holy Spirit the opportunity to speak to us. Prayer is as much a part of God talking to us as it is us talking to Him. Prayer is to be a two-way conversation between us and the Lord.

    Time in the Word of God also strengthens and bulids our faith. Strong faith enhances our prayer time. Peter said, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). Paul said, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

  2. Enter the presence of God.
    • Faith. We first and foremost must enter the presence of God by faith. The Bible says, “By Whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). It’s faith, not feeling or even experience. When we enter the presence of God through faith, experiencing His presence will follow.
    • Praise and worship. Psalms 100:4 – “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.”

      Psalms 22:3 – “Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabits the praises of Israel” – Your people.

      Acts 13:2 – “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said.”

    • The blood of Christ. Hebrews 10:19 – “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.”
    • Grace and mercy. Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Notice, He says to “obtain mercy.”

      Mercy is not giving us what we deserve – JUDGMENT! We are to come to Him with boldness in order to obtain mercy. In other words, there must be some reason or something we have done whereby we are in need of mercy.

      We are often stand offish when coming to God after that we have experienced failure. This verse says, we should come the more boldly into His presence when we have failed because we are in need of mercy.

    • Right of entry. Ephesians 2:18 – “By Whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

      “Access” is right of entry through the merit of another. We have the right of entry into the very presence of God through the merit of Jesus on our behalf, by faith in His finished work for us. Let’s exercise our right of entry into His presence on a daily and constant basis.

      Our right of entry has nothing to do with us, any merit of our own. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Our right of entry is based on the merit of Jesus Christ on our behalf.

  3. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you. We do not have the ability, wisdom or knowledge to pray as we should. In fact, we would not even pray if the Holy Spirit didn’t place it in our heart to do so. “There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God” (Romans 3:11).
  4. Let’s seek the Spirit’s divine aid in our prayer time.

    Ephesians 6:18 – “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

    Jude 20 – “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.”

    Romans 8:26 – “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

    Romans 8:27 – “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

  5. Give yourself plenty of time. As the Holy Spirit directs and you elaborate on the scriptures you use in your conversation with God, it could possibly go on for an extended period of time. I believe that is at least one of the reasons Jesus had His prayer time early in the morning. It was said of Him, “In the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35). Setting a specific time every day for prayer will help.
  6. Pray the Word
    I’ve found that praying the Word of God is the best way to pray. God’s Word is so much more powerful than anything I could ever think to say to Him on my own (Hebrews 4:12). I have memorized a considerable amount of scripture over the years, so as the Holy Spirit brings Bible verses to my memory (John 14:26), I throw them into my prayers. Paraphrasing or reading scripture that come to mind is also fine if you don’t have them memorized.

For further reading see: The Importance of Using Scripture in Prayer

Starting a new church or ministry is one of the most rewarding things you can do to advance the gospel, but it can also be very challenging. With over 40 years of church planting and ministry experience, Dr. Linton's passion is to encourage, support and equip pastors and church leaders.