In life there are always storms. There are always mountains to climb, valleys to walk through, giants to slay and obstacles to dodge. We will find ourselves crying out to the Lord in prayer asking for help, wisdom, direction and for our storm to cease.
The time to pray is before our storm hits. Jesus prayed this way. In Luke chapter 5 verse 16 it says that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. It says that he often withdrew, which means he was doing it all the time, everyday, He lived a lifestyle of prayer.
We are not just in a relationship with God where we just call on Him whenever we need Him to rescue us or to provide for us, but it is a relationship where we can talk daily with Him.
I once had a friend say to me that she has a friend in her life, lets call her Mary, and my friend only ever really hears from Mary when Mary is after my friends particular skill set. Mary never calls her to spend time with her, she only ever calls her when she needs advice. Sometimes we do the same with God.
Or if you have children, think about your relationship with them. You don’t just want to see your children when they require food and water from you, or just a cuddle when they have hurt themselves. You want affection from them just because they love you and want to be with you, not because they want something. You want to see them and talk with them and enjoy their company and not just when they are hungry.
A thriving relationship is where there is constant and healthy communication. The times that we spend with one another is two way, there is talking and listening. We share on a deep and intimate level with one another and we are together through the good times and the bad times.
Our relationship with God needs to be the same. We need to withdraw and spend time with God often. We talk with Him, but more importantly we listen. How can He help us if we do not stop long enough to actually listen to what He is saying.
In my time of journeying through life with the Lord I find that He is always speaking and always teaching me new things. I am always learning more about His nature and His ways, I am learning more about myself and my true identity and the way that He has made me. These are all things that I need to learn from when the storms hit. I learn these things when I withdraw and spend time with HIm. When I spend time with God, He is imparting the things to me that I will need to ride out my storms, conquer my mountains and to take down the giants that I face. Then I find that my prayers are no longer ones of crying out for help.
So I encourage you to withdraw often and spend time with the Lord. Develop a lifestyle of prayer, where you listen first and speak second. Let the Lord build up your identity, let Him impart to you His great wisdom so that that you will be ready for no matter what may come in life.