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6 Ways Anyone Can Build A Relationship With A Higher Power (& Find Deeper Peace)

Photo: Microgen / shutterstock.com
Woman praying by a lake

"God" is a big word, and there is no one definition of God.

If I may attempt a definition, God is a powerful source of wisdom beyond anything we can understand. God is the living energy/spirit that gives life to everything and connects you with everything.

God is much bigger than all the great religions of the world. Together, all of them help us to name the mystery of God.

God has names such as Father, Friend, Oneness, Allah, YHWH, Jehovah, Elohim, Adonai, Hu, and El Shaddai. God is not something you can put in a box.

In Christianity, we even say that Jesus was God. There is nothing wrong with imagining God as a person as long as we do not limit our understanding. God needs to remain a mystery.

This loving, wise force we call God is within everything on earth, including you and me.

Buiding a relationship with God doesn't need to be complex, and you don't need any previous experience or commitment to one religion. To assist in this, I've shared six steps to follow as you build a relationship with a higher power. 

RELATED: What Is Spirituality? How To Live A More Spiritual Life

Six steps that can help you build a relationship with God (or your higher power)

1. Explore and establish your own values

A good place to start in connecting with God is to explore your values.

You might have values such as generosity, kindness, compassion and non-violence. What is the bedrock of your beliefs, and how do you try to live? How does God want us to get along with each other? Where does God want you to focus your energy? Your values will help you choose the faith tradition you wish to explore.

Remember that world religions came into being to help people live good lives, get along with each other, care for the world, care for those pushed to the fringes and offer tools to mediate conflict.

Religion is a powerful energy. It can be used for great good and has been used to hurt and kill many people. Watch out for groups who want to manipulate you into doing something that goes against your values. Something is wrong if you come in contact with a church that promotes white supremacy or other forms of racism.

Think of how religious leaders' lay and order of ministry played an essential role in ending apartheid in South Africa and how people of faith worked hard to end slavery around the world. Millions of the faith all played a part in ending communism in what was the USSR.

RELATED: 6 Steps To Connect With God When You Feel At The End Of Yourself 

2. Pray

Each faith tradition offers different ways to practice. In Christianity, there is the Lord's Prayer, Intersession, the Rosary, and the Jesus Prayer.

In Buddhism, there is the Refuge Prayer; in Native American spirituality, there is the Cherokee prayer. In Islam, there is the Fatiha, and in Hinduism is the Gayatri Mantra. A simple way to begin prayer is to sit and be quiet and listen to the wisdom of God.

Prayer can be powerful when you do it in a group. Being part of a faith community is an advantage where you can come together in prayer. It doesn't have to be a religious institution. It can be a group of people coming together to explore their spirituality.

3. Meditate

Prayer and meditation are similar. Meditation can help you to connect with your three centers of intelligence. Your three centers of intelligence are your body's sensations, the emotions and yearnings of the heart and a quiet mind.

How to connect to God? Meditation can help. There are meditations for everyone, whether or not you are part of a religious community. Many resources are available to help you meditate, including in-person and online communities.

Many apps such as Insight Timer offer various types of meditation, including mindfulness, loving-kindness, guided movement, kundalini, body scan, visualization, mantra, and centering prayer. There are meditations for all of us. Experiment until you find several that work for you.

If you do not know where to start, begin by sitting quietly for a few minutes. Use a mantra (centering word or phrase) or your breath to quiet your mind.

If you are a Christian, you might like to try Centering Prayer. Through prayer, you will discover a word or phrase that will help you be open to the spirit.

RELATED: 9 Beautiful Ways To Connect With God Without Going To Church

4. Do body and breath work

God has given you more than one way to connect. Doing bodywork and breathwork can help you to be present. The more present you are, the more accessible you are to spirit. A simple way to start is to sit quietly, tighten up one muscle at a time and let it go while taking slow deep breaths. You can make this part of your daily meditation.

You can practice yoga, dance, taichi, and other types of movement where there is an intention to connect with the spirit. Spirit comes from the ancient Hebrew word ruah, meaning breath. There is no life without breath.

You have probably experienced having a sudden knowledge of what you need to do. It might be a thought that comes to your head that you need to contact a person out of the blue. You may have been wondering what the next step you need to take in life is, and suddenly you know what it is. This comes from the wisdom of the body.

It is hard to connect with your body unless you intentionally slow down your breath to release any negative energy within you.

You can do body and breath work anywhere and time, even with other people. You can choose to be subtle, and no one else will know what you are doing.

5. Find your spiritual community

How to connect with God? You can deepen your spiritual practices by finding your tribe, whether in a church, temple, synagogue, mosque or a small group with the same intention. Find a small group to join to hold yourself accountable to keep doing this critical work. During the pandemic, people were meeting their spiritual community online.

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

6. Walk your talk

Check your intention as to why you want to build a relationship with God. Are you doing this to be the best version of yourself? If so, then you are ready to begin.

No one expects you to be perfect. People who think they are perfect will have difficulty connecting with the spirit. Why would you need God if you believe you have nothing to learn?

Only say things you believe. If you claim you are a loving person, watch for the times you get caught in prejudice. When you fall short of God's intentions, find people and resources to see that of God in another person who seems different than you.

How to connect with God? Making an effort to connect with God on an ongoing basis can change your life. It does not mean your life will be easy. Yet God will keep revealing how you to best use your time and talents.  

You will sense you are on the right path even when you do not have the whole picture. You will find joy which is more potent than happiness.

The good news is that God never gives up on you. There is no perfect religion. Remember, there are many ways to connect with God. Each religion has something to teach us.

Keep doing your work to ensure you show up each day in the best way possible. When you do this, you will stay open to the wisdom of the spirit no matter the source.

RELATED: 9 Steps For Building A Relationship With God That Feels Loving Instead Of Critical

Roland Legge is a Certified Identity Life Coach and a minister in the United Church of Canada in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.  You can join my newsletter for free advice and get your free E-book and sign up for Your 30-Minute Virtual Coffee with Roland to learn more about the Enneagram and Coaching.

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