Are you treating God like Kim Kardashian?
Do you read about Him. Listen to people talk about Him. Base your opinions on what you know of Him?
If you're only reading your bible or listening to sermons and not taking the time - or don't have an interest in - praying to God, in really getting to know Him, then you're treating Him like Kim Kardashian.
You think you know Him, you feel like you know Him, because you know so much about Him, but you don't. You can read about Him all you want. That doesn't mean you know Him. And it doesn't mean you have a relationship with Him.
God didn't come to be admired from afar. He came to know you, and to be known by you. And outside of prayer, that's not going happen.
"If you're only reading your bible or listening to sermons and not taking the time - or don't have an interest in - praying to God, in really getting to know Him, then you're treating Him like Kim Kardashian."
It actually make me sad when I hear Christians talk about how "hard" it is to pray. How they should "discipline" themselves to pray more. It makes me feel like they don't like God. They believe in Him - they just don't want to hang out with Him.
I get that it's a time thing. It is hard to find time to pray. Our mornings are rushed and by evening we're exhausted. And during the middle of the day we're all busy with work and kids. But I don't believe that we can't find time to do the things we really want to. Men, do you find it hard to "find time" to have sex with your wife? Do we women find it hard to "find time" to look at Pinterest? Sorry for the generalizations, but in my experience they ring true.
Praying is a cultivated skill. And it does require will and choice. Outside of airplane turbulence or sick children, many people don't feel the need to pray. Including Christian people. But only reading or hearing about God, is not the same as having a relationship with Him. He didn't intend to be a celebrity to you. He intended to be a father. A comfort, a guide, the voice inside your head.
"Praying is a cultivated skill. And it does require will and choice. Outside of airplane turbulence or sick children, many people don't feel the need to pray."
Here are some suggestions regarding prayer:
Do it the same time everyday. Habits - whether good or bad, are comforting to us, and they're hard to break. Make prayer a habit.
Don't kid yourself that you'll pray when you won't. If you're not a morning person, don't kid yourself that you're going to get up 30 minutes earlier each day to pray. You won't.
Plan to pray when you won't get interrupted. When our girls were in school I used to drive to pick them up 20 minutes before school let out. I'd park on the curb where I could read my bible and then pray through what I'd just read. I didn't look at my phone (because it was the 90's and all it did was call and text), or listen to the radio. I basically set it up so that I had no choice but to pray.
Make sure you understand what you're reading, and then pray through it. Earlier this year a friend told me about Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary. Changed my bible reading and prayer life! Now I actually read shorter passages in the bible - usually just one or two chapters, because I want to leave time to read the commentary on them afterwards.
"Pray" in a way that works for you. I have a short attention span. My mind tends to wander. But I love to type! So I type my prayers. Since I started doing this I find I can stay focused for long periods. It also keeps me on topic because I'm mid-paragraph - I can see what I'm praying about. This has been a big one for me. I know it seems kind of weird, or like someone might read what you've prayed, but you can always just delete it afterwards. I don't. I like to go back and re-read my prayers during different times. Particularly hard times.
If you feel like you're praying the same thing over and over - for the health and safety of your children, etc., etc. I'd really encourage you to pray over the bible passages you've just read. Pray about what resonated with you, what you feel God is teaching you through it. And really pay attention to the things God promises those who love and obey Him, and pray for those things (instead of nice weather during your vacation - not promised in the bible). Things like a deep peace even during really hard times, a feeling of rest at your deepest level, and joy. Pray for the things God tells you to pray for - you're much more likely to get a favourable answer!
If you're a Christian, it's kind of your job to pray. It's also, and more importantly, your privilege. If you're unsure where to start, follow the format, the template, that Jesus Himself laid out. The Lord's Prayer. And then just put it in your own words and expand on the parts that resonate with you that day. I've included it below, in the Modern English Version - so it's more approachable. This is Jesus speaking;
“Therefore pray in this manner:
Our Father who is in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come;
Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.