Obviously, there are many reasons why we should spend time praying, today I would like to focus on one I find to be critical to our spiritual well-being. I believe we should spend quality time in prayer is to deepen our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Being a mother, I am developing a greater appreciation for communication. Our almost-three-month-old communicates via facial expressions, body language, cheerful coos and upset cries. It breaks my heart when he cries and I don't know what is exact need is. I try to read the cues he gives me, recall his patterns, and logically assess each situation. Sometimes, no matter how many attempts I make to comfort him, he remains upset. He's a baby. Babies cry. This is normal. And that's okay. However, when I see him smiling up at me and we look deep in each others eyes, my heart absolutely melts. Sometimes we have long "conversations," which brings a great deal of joy to my heart. I love spending quality time with our son. Even though he cannot communicate with me verbally using words, we share with one another and grow closer every day. I am striving to develop a strong relationship with open communication now, so that when difficult things come up, he will be more apt to share them with me.
Our relationship with God works the same way. We cannot grow closer to God unless we consistently spend time talking with Him. Just as I want to know what our son thinks and feels, God wants to hear from us, His spiritual children. He longs to share in our joys, as well as our sorrows. Sometimes we only turn to God when times are rough, and that is definitely a time when we should be seeking His comfort and strength. But just as I enjoy the "happy times" with our son, God wants to be a part of - and be thanked for - the blessings that make up our "happy times." When we openly talk to God and thank Him for all that He has bountifully blessed us with, our appreciation for Him grows. We "see" how generous He has been towards us, even though we haven't always been loyal to Him.
Talking with God means we not only spend time in prayer, but time reading His Word, as that is how He communicates with us today. We learn about His character, His desire for us and His plan for us through reading and studying the Scriptures. I cannot meaningfully communicate with our son unless I take time to learn him, his moods, his likes, his dislikes, etc. The more we strive to know God and the more we let Him into our lives, the closer our relationship will become.
Remember, God is ALWAYS there. He has given us EVERYTHING we need to know about Him so we can have a close relationship with Him. He is just WAITING for US to COME to HIM.
Take time today to talk with God. Let Him know what is on your heart. Read and study what is on His.