Testimony Series: Long Distance Relationship

Source: Kristin Knudsen

Written by Kristin Knudsen. Media by Taylor Harpster. 

Kristin at Marcoot Jersey Creamery. Source: Kristin Knudsen

I have an old, close friend who I do not get to see every day because we live pretty far apart. Sometimes it is hard to be separated from my friend, but the times we spend together are very special. If I did not keep in communication with this friend, the relationship would dissolve. Therefore, communication is central in keeping my friendship and relationship alive. This friend of mine is God.

“Pray without ceasing…” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

This explanation of communication with God as our friend came from a dear friend I once worked with. I was telling her about how I had been having trouble praying and feeling close to God. She challenged me, “You and I wouldn’t have much of a friendship if we didn’t talk. So how do you expect your relationship with God to grow or be present if you do not speak to Him?”

I did not have a response for her. All I could do was nod my head in agreement. Could the answer be so simple, that the relationship I had with God depended on my effort?

I knew this was true because I felt a pit in my stomach. This feeling has another name — conviction. Right then I decided I wanted to have a communicational relationship with God.

This new desire I had made me really excited. I was going to start praying and being intentional in my relationship with God and it was going to be great. Things in my life were going to be great.

But I was wrong. It was very hard.

Source: Kristin Knudsen

Changing old habits in the way your mind thinks is very difficult. I realized this at the end of each day once I was lying in bed, thinking back on the day when I would remember I only prayed once and that was before I ate my dinner. I began to feel disappointed in myself day after day.

I did not want to just give in and not make an effort to communicate with God, so I started small. I tried to start a new habit that involved me saying a quick prayer for someone as soon as they came to mind. As I continued this practice, it became easier and easier to be in continual prayer for others.

This past summer, I heard a preacher ask, “How often is it that we pray on our hands and knees just to praise God?” My answer to this question was never. That same pit of conviction was in my stomach again. I challenged myself to spend time each night before bed practicing this type of prayer. I would set a timer for three and a half minutes, get down by my bed, and pray. It was very awkward at first. I never said a prayer praising God, only plenty of thank you prayers. I found these two types to be very different; thankful prayers thank God for things He has done and praise prayers give tribute to who God is. I did not know what kinds of words to say to praise God, so I stammered through the first few prayers.

I spent the rest of the summer practicing this act of worship each night. I felt the enemy attack me during the first two weeks of praying like this through bad dreams, restless nights, and lack of sleep. But I did not want to give up on my desire to be in a communicational relationship with God. I kept praying, and as time passed the prayers started to flow a little more smoothly and the bad dreams and restless nights subsided.

Over time, I have witnessed prayers answered instantly, after a few years, or even those that have been left unanswered. This is why I continue to pray. I have seen change happen and prayers answered when I communicate often and intentionally with God. From what I have experienced, communicating with God has to be personal and intentional. This is hard work. But any relationship worth having takes work, and no relationship is sweeter or more satisfying than a relationship with our Lord.

“Pray without ceasing…” 1 Thessalonians 5:17


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