Question from a Site Viewer
My life is falling apart! Everything goes wrong in my life. I fight with my family and friends. Everything I touch ends up as a problem. It seems like God is punishing me! I want God to hear me. Can you give me a prayer so that He will listen? I want Him to show me what I’m doing wrong. I want to know why I can’t move forward.
I do not know your situation. But I can ask you seven questions that may help you as you seek to follow after God. These seven steps will help you as you seek to know God more.
First, have you committed your life to following Jesus? Life begins when we repent from following our own ways and reach out in faith to follow the way of Christ. There is no life apart from Him. Before Christ, we live and walk in darkness and death. So this is the first question: “Have you committed yourself to following Jesus?”
Second, are you meditating on the Word of God? We avoid sin and walk in righteousness when we learn to follow what God teaches us in His word. The Psalmist says that we cleanse our ways by paying attention to God’s word (Psalm 119:9-11). The person who is like a tree planted by the rivers of water is the one who delights in God’s law and meditates on it day and night (Psalm 1:2-3). Peter encourages us to desire the pure milk of the word so that we may grow (1 Peter 2:2).
Third, are you praying to God? And for what are you praying? It is good to pray to God about everything in life, not just when you are in crisis, but also when things are going well. Cultivate a life of communion with the Father.
Fourth, do you spend time adoring and worshiping Christ and the Father? Jesus tells us that the Father seeks worshipers (John 4:23). There are many examples in Scripture of those who worshiped Jesus, including the wise men after His birth.
Fifth, do you seek to be a blessing to others? Peter tells us that we are called to this end, that we might bless others (1 Peter 3:9). It is so easy to respond in kind to those who we think may have wronged us. But, as the children of God, we are called to live differently in this world, and to react to hatred with love, to meanness with kindness, to cursing with blessing, and to those who hurt us with prayer (Matthew 5:43-48). We grow in spirituality when we put on love, kindness, long suffering, grace, and forgiveness.
Sixth, do you keep short accounts with sin? Stated another way, when you sin do you immediately turn from your sin and seek to follow after Christ? We all sin. But none of us should live in sin. When we sin, we are called to repent and turn right back to God and then seek to follow Him. He will judge us when we sin if we do not judge ourselves (see Hebrews 12:5-11 and 1 Corinthians 11:31-32). But His judgment is always to correct us from the error of our ways and to lead us into paths of righteousness.
Seventh, are you part of a fellowship of believers? Have you plugged into a good church? God did not intend any of us to live by ourselves. We are meant for community. Christ founded the church as a community of persons who are on the pilgrimage towards heaven. When we are part of a church body, others can encourage us in our walk with Christ and help guide us to intimacy with Him. It is not enough simply to attend some large or small church. It is important to get involved with people in the church, to connect through smaller groups, or with individuals, so that you can mutually encourage each other to grow into this new life in Christ.
I do not have a prayer to offer you. Prayer is not that sort of thing. Rather, what gains the heart of God is a prayer from the heart to Him. He hears the heart. So, as we verbalize our prayers (and I think it is helpful to pray out loud), He takes our words and sees our hearts and listens and responds. The best prayer ever written by man means nothing to God. But the cries of a little child reach His ears. God is seeking for the hearts that seek Him. James 4:8 tells us that if we draw near to God He will draw near to us.
I do have a Bible passage that I encourage you to read, reread, meditate, and practice. It is Colossians chapter 3. This one chapter in Scripture, as much as any other, gives us all advice on how to reach to God and how to live our lives. I commend it to you. If you practice the instructions God provides in this chapter, your life will be transformed. There is no guarantee that you will not have difficult times. Even Jesus had difficulties. But there is a promise that we will triumph over our troubles and experience God’s peace in the midst of storms, as we learn to walk with our God and do His will.
May the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit guide your heart to the Father.