When we approach God as Father, and keep a desire for his kingdom to be established in our life, we will experience a real closeness to God. If you have experienced this closeness with God before, then it’s highly likely that you have experienced times when God feels a million miles away, I know I have!
Here’s the thing, God is immutable, which means he does not change. Not a single bit. Ever. He says in Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change”, the writer of Hebrews says “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever”. There are many other places which speak of God’s inability to change. So, if God does not change then it must mean that when he feels a million miles away it is down to something in us changing.
In the next section of the Lord’s prayer I believe lies a key which teaches us how to maintain intimacy with God. Matthew 6:11-12 says;
“Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
When Jesus teaches us to pray ‘give us today our daily bread’, he is teaching us to pray ‘give me what I need, not what I want’. I can think of many times that I have felt distant from God, and to be honest, the reason is often because I doubt God is working in my situation or I doubt that he is able to change my situation.
Today are you doubting the fact that God is at work in your life? Are you doubtful that he is able to change your situation?
Unbelief, doubt and worry will all keep us from experiencing the intimacy with God that prayer can bring. If we are to learn HOW to stay connected we must learn to trust God in everything. To trust that he is working in our lives, both in the good and in the bad. After all, the Bible is clear in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
We also have to trust that he can and will provide for all of our needs, no matter how small or how big they appear to be. If you are struggling to believe this have a read of Philippians 4:19 where it says “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Going back to the Lord’s prayer, Jesus goes on to say “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven others”. The second way that we can learn HOW to keep our closeness with God is to eliminate unforgiveness. We are told throughout the Bible that unforgiveness is dangerous and how it gives the devil a way into our lives. We are also told in Colossians 3:12-13 that as God’s people we must forgive as God forgave us.
“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Next time someone offends you, no matter how badly, take a moment to consider how much your sin offended and hurt God. Then remember how he gave his one and only son to die in your place, so that you may be forgiven for every wrong thing you’ve ever done or will do. I promise you will find it easier to forgive when considering the truth of the gospel!
How can we keep a closeness to God in prayer? We must learn to trust him in everything and we must get rid of any unforgiveness from our hearts.
Approach God as your incredible, unique Father. Stay hungry for him to establish his kingdom in your life. Get rid of unbelief and unforgiveness and you will begin to experience incredible intimacy with God in your prayer time. Try it!