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Connect With God

by Katrina Cassel

Is God on your list of people to connect with every day?

 You live in an age of advanced communication. You have your cell phone and the Internet, PDAs and iPods. Of all the connecting and communicating you do each day, how much of it do you do with God?

It should be easy to connect with God. After all, you don’t need your cell phone or computer  to do it. Praying is as simple as talking to God.
Still, most people just don’t do it. Sure, some people pray right before a big test or when a friend is seriously injured in a car accident. But when it comes down to making time every day to talk to God, not many people do it. Do you?
Why is it so hard to do? Here’s how some  teens feel:
“I don’t think about it during the day. I’m just so busy from when I get up and start getting ready for school until bedtime,” says Quinn, 15.
“I guess I just don’t take the time. Other things seem more real and important,” Brent, 17, admits.
“I used to pray at bedtime when I was little, but I got out of the habit. It doesn’t seem real anymore,” Tara, 16, honestly shares.
These are pretty typical answers. Yet the reason that we sometimes don’t feel close to God is because we’re doing things we know are against His Word, so we shy away from Him. Ever do that?
Anytime, anyplace
There’s no certain time or any special place we’re supposed to pray to God. However, some people like setting a time and place to pray. Making prayer a habit or making a spot for it in your routine helps you remember to do it. For example, if you pray each day in your room as soon as you wake up, that quickly becomes a habit.
The Bible says that Daniel, kneeling in front of his window, prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10), it was something he’d done since he was young. Because of Daniel’s faithfulness to God, the Lord used him in great ways.
Here’s another idea: if it’s hard for you to pray at a certain time and place, instead, pray throughout the day. People mentioned in the Bible prayed at all different times and places:
• Adam and Eve talked to God in the garden (Genesis 3).
• Hannah pleaded with God in the temple 
(1 Samuel 1:9-18).
• David prayed, wrote poetry, and and sang praises to God while caring for his sheep 
(Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 641,  642).
• Jesus talked to His Father on a mountain-side, in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46).
Think of times when you could pray and connect with God. Perhaps you could talk to God as you shower in the morning or on your way to school. Maybe you could pray as you jog or shoot baskets.
Maybe you’re wondering, Why pray? What’s the big deal? Why is it necessary to do it so often, like every day?
It’s good for you. Before you tune out because you think that’s a trite answer, here are three good reasons:
God will guide you—He says He will “instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8).
God knows your future, and wouldn’t you like to know it too? “‘I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
He wants to tell you incredible stuff—here’s one more wild reason God gives you in Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
Why would any teen who wants a successful future and answers to their questions pass up an opportunity to connect with God? It just doesn’t make sense!
Ways to pray
Sometimes people use acronyms to remind them how to pray. For instance “ACTS” stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication (asking), and “PRAY” stands for praise, repent, ask, yield. Both are great ways to pray, but you can just talk to God. And if you want, you can also . . . 
Confess your sins—God says if we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins (1 John 1:9).
Praise Him—He’s definitely worthy of praise! A great way to do this is to include scripture in your prayer. Read Psalm 145:7; Psalm 86:11-13; Isaiah 26:8 or similar Bible passages to God.
Make requests of Him—you can ask God to take care of your own needs as well as those of others. You can just tell God about the problems in your life and ask Him to help you deal with them.
Thank Him—remember to thank God for the things He’s done for you, and the prayers He’s already answered!
In the midst of all your communicating today, why not connect with God? He can’t wait!
Bible texts are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Katrina Cassel, M.Ed., lives in the Florida panhandle.

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