Whether in person or by phone, e-mail, video, or a letter, close friends communicate with each other as often as their circumstances allow. Thus, to be close to God, we need to communicate with him regularly. How, though, is this done?
We can speak to Jehovah by means of prayer. Prayer to God, however, is not the same as a casual conversation we might have with a peer. We have to recognize that when we pray, we are addressing our Creator, the Most High of the universe. This should move us to pray with a deep sense of respect and reverence. For our prayers to be favorably heard by God, we should also comply with certain requirements. Here are three of them.
First, prayers should be directed exclusively to Jehovah God—not to Jesus, a “saint,” or an image. (Exodus 20:4, 5) The Bible clearly says: “In everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6) Second, prayers must be offered in the name of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus himself explained: “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Third, our prayers must be in harmony with God’s will. The Bible states: “No matter what we ask according to his will, he hears us.”*—1 John 5:14.
Close friends enjoy two-way communication as often as possible
Of course, a close relationship will not last if one person does all the talking. Just as friends enjoy two-way communication, we should allow God to speak to us and we should listen to him when he does. Do you know how God speaks to us?
Today, Jehovah God “speaks” to us through his written Word, the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) Why do we say so? To illustrate: Suppose you received a letter from a close friend. After reading it, you might excitedly tell others, “I’ve just heard from my friend!” Yet, the communication was not spoken, but was in written form. In a similar way, by reading the Bible, you are allowing Jehovah to speak to you. Hence, Gina, quoted in the opening article, says, “I think that if I want God to view me as a friend, I must examine his ‘letter’ to us—the Bible.” She adds, “Reading the Bible daily has drawn me closer to God.” Do you allow Jehovah to speak to you every day by reading his Word, the Bible, daily? Your doing so will help you feel closer to God.
For more information on how to draw close to God in prayer, see chapter 17 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.