3 Ways to Grow a Prayer Relationship

As a kid, I used to love to visit my grandfather Graf. He came to faith in Christ as an adult but later went into the ministry and pastored churches for decades. Howell Graf was probably best known for his prayer life. In fact, many elderly friends who knew Howell have told me that they believe I am in prayer ministry because of how my grandfather prayed.

When my family would visit, one of the things we loved to do together was play games. But when my grandfather would play with us, he had a funny little quirk. Often, when it wasn’t his turn, we would look over at him, and he was daydreaming. He seemed off somewhere unknown, in a trance or something. We would say, “Grandpa, Grandpa, wake up. It’s your turn.”

He would come out of his “trance” by rubbing his chin or putting his arm in the air and quietly saying, “Bless the Lord. Bless the Lord.” We thought, What in the world is the matter with Grandpa?

I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I understand that my grandfather had such a close relationship with Jesus Christ that when his mind wandered, it automatically went into God’s presence.

Wow! How can I get to a point in my spiritual walk where that happens to me? When I don’t have to stay focused and can be thinking about anything, how can I automatically go to communing with God?

The Key?

In the first edition of Prayer Hacks I wrote about “Understanding the Purposes of Prayer.” The first purpose was “Growing a Relationship with God.” Prayer is the primary way that we grow a relationship with God.

The more we pray–it hardly matters the focus of our prayers—the more we grow in our connection with the Father . . . and in our desire to be connected to Him!

But that being true, here are some simple things we can go to help grow that relationship so like my grandfather, we begin to experience being in God’s presence more and more.

  1. Surrender to God daily.

    You say, “I gave my life to Jesus; I made Him Lord of my life.” That’s great, but if you are like me, my will and desires regularly rise to the surface and control me and my decisions. I need to regularly pray, “God, I surrender my will and desires to You. I want to do Your will, not mine.”

  2. Make a commitment to regularly spend time in God’s Word and prayer.

    Establishing a daily time to pray and read the Bible are crucial to growing our relationship with Him. It does not have to be a long time, but doing it 5-7 days each week will make a huge difference in your connection with Jesus!

  3. Pray this simple prayer often.

    Ask God to increase the hunger within you to know Him and seek Him. Ask God for spiritual hunger.

    I regularly pray, “God, make me hungry for you! Give me a greater desire to know You!.” If you start breathing this prayer multiple times a day, I guarantee you things will change in your relationship with God!

Growing a relationship is key to having a dynamic prayer life. Why not take some steps to make that happen?

To read more about this concept, I encourage you to read my article “The Ultimate Answer to Prayer,” that appeared in Prayer Connect Issue 9, or listen to my podcast “Experience the Ultimate Answer to Prayer.”

–Jon Graf, author of The Power of Personal Prayer and Praying Like Paul.