How To Have A Closer Relationship With God That Feels Truly Authentic

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Who is God for you? What were you taught about God in your childhood? Was your God loving and encouraging or judgmental and angry? 

If you are a Christian, you have Jesus to get insights about God.

What does Jesus tell you about God? Jesus shows us how to have a closer relationship with God.

Jesus was open to having a meal with anyone, whether man, woman, child, foreigner, tax collector, religious or political leader.

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God is a mystery that is a force of love and wisdom that connects all creation, both animate and inanimate. 

It is a power that is beyond anything our head can understand. Only your heart can hold the mystery.

You can learn about God through all the religions of the world. Whether or not you are part of an organized religious group, you can build a closer relationship with God. 

7 ways to have a closer relationship with God that feels authentic and real

Calm your mind

It is hard for God to get through when your mind is busy. There are many ways to calm your mind.

Meditation is a great way to calm your mind opening you to a closer relationship with God.

There are many forms of meditation, so keep trying different practices until you find one that works for you.

Remember that any new spiritual practice requires time and practice to build new neural pathways. 

Many great apps are available to assist you in starting a meditation practice, such as Insight Timer.

A simple way to meditate is to find a place to be quiet, whether inside or outside. 

Make sure you are comfortable and you have some privacy. You might like to light a candle and put on some soft music in the background or enjoy the sound of the wind and birds if you are outside.

Start only with five minutes and then gradually increase the length until 30 minutes as you get used to the practice.

As you learn to quiet your mind, you will start to feel more connected with God.

However, please do not give up because it takes time to form a new habit. Even with lots of practice, you will have your good and bad days.

Pray to Him

There is no wrong or right way to pray. 

God is always listening to you even when you are not praying.

A simple way to pray is to have a conversation with God.

Tell God what you are thankful for, what is upsetting you, what is making you angry, and anything else on your mind. Remember that God can handle anything, even anger towards God.

If you are part of a religious tradition, you might want to explore different forms of prayer.

There is the Lord's Prayer, worship and praise, petition and intercession, supplication, and thanksgiving in Christianity. 

Only say prayers meaningful to you that will help you have a closer relationship with God

Just use the traditional forms of prayer if they are helpful for you. God wants you to be honest.

Listen to Him

In our busy world, it is hard to find quiet. All the noises of your smartphones, computers, and other technology create distractions that make it hard to listen to the wisdom within you.

When you are by yourself, listen to the silence. In the silence, listen to what is going on within you and around you. Just stay open to what you are experiencing.

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Do not worry if nothing comes. You are listening for the quiet voice of God.

When you are with friends, colleagues, and family, listen for the voice of God in the conversations and the connection you have with others.

Find your Thin Place

In Celtic Christianity, there is the belief that there are thin places where the holy become one with creation.

Thin places are known for their luminosity, such as the Isle of Iona off the coast of Scotland, Stonehenge, a sacred place for the Druids, the Taize Community in France, Canterbury, and the Forks in Winnipeg.

You will have your own thin places where you feel connected to the holy. It might be a lake, an ocean beach, a favorite park, or your backyard. 

Think of the places that help you to have a closer relationship with God.

Keep a spiritual journal

A great way to map your spiritual journey is through a journal done in prose, poetry, drawing, painting, and other creative expressions.  

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Make time every day for prayer.

You might like to create a place that will encourage you and support you in your inner work.

Again, there is no right or wrong way to do this. Listen for how the Spirit is yearning for you to connect with the holy. The Spirit will show you the way to have a closer relationship with God.

Act on your beliefs

When you build a close relationship with God, God will call you forth to share love in the world. The Spirit will help you to find your courage. God will invite you to do things that God knows you can do.

A great place to start is to discover what your passions are.

Are you concerned about poverty in your community? Do you want to help prevent climate change? Do you have a passion for recycling? Do you want to be the best parent you can be?

Find something you and God want to make a difference in and make it happen. 

God wants you to share the unconditional love of God wherever you go? God will let you know what you need to do.

Just the act of sharing God's love will bring you closer to God. The more of us who join God's team, the better the world will get.

Building a closer relationship with God is a never-ending journey. It requires prayer, deep listening, reflection, and acting out God's love and justice in the world.

The more you can connect with the sensations of your body, the longings of the heart, and a quiet open mind, the easier it will be to communicate with God.  

As you become more connected to your inner wisdom, you will have a sense of God walking with you.

You will experience a closer relationship with God. You will discover the difference between joy and being happy. You will learn that joy is always deeper than happiness.

The more intimacy you build with God, the deeper your understanding of yourself and how God is calling you to act in the world.

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Roland Legge is a Certified Identity Life Coach and a minister in the United Church of Canada in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. You can join his newsletter for free advice and join his private Facebook Group called "Discover Your Identity."

This article was originally published at REL Consultants. Reprinted with permission from the author.