Randy Remington
Randy Remington

My wife and I have a close relationship, and over the years we’ve learned how to cultivate that intimacy. When we spend time alone in uninterrupted, connected conversations, we grow closer. Hurried chats about everyday life simply don’t bear the same fruit.

“What’s for dinner?” “Who will pick up the kids?” “What time do we have to be there?”

When our interactions are limited to these things, feelings of separation can begin to settle in. That’s why we regularly arranged for a babysitter, went to a restaurant by ourselves, and talked until they kicked us out.

It’s not like one kind of conversation is good and the other is bad. We need to be able to communicate efficiently about the random stuff of our lives with our partners. But the lingering conversations we share over a dinner for two are vital to the intimate connection and relationship we want to nurture in our marriage.

Prayer is like that. God wants to hear about the stuff of your life, but He also wants you to connect with Him on an intimate level. I heard it once said, “Busyness is incompatible with intimacy.” Why is that so? Because abundant time is the very thing necessary for love and closeness to blossom within a relationship, and time is one thing that busy people don’t have. That’s a shame, because time alone with God for a deep, prayerful conversation prioritizes our relationship with Him.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matt. 6:6, NIV

Don’t forget that Jesus said that the Father rewards that priority! In fact, the Bible encourages us to look to Jesus as a model of perfect humanity. When we do so, we see how He felt about prayer:

    • He prioritized time alone with the Father.
    • He made a consistent practice of this one-on-one time with the Father.
    • As a result, He enjoyed unbroken fellowship with the Father.

Let’s be like Jesus in 2021!

Prayer + Reflection

  1. As we wrap up a difficult year, take some time alone with the Lord to be with Him in intimacy.
  2. Meditate on what word the Lord has for you in 2021, and dedicate yourself to that pursuit.
  3. Ask God to provide time and intention for intimacy in your personal relationships.
  4. As our nation still grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, take time to pray for those ill and affected around the world. Ask the Lord to touch the displaced people, those facing food insecurity, the unemployed, and pray that His mercy would fall on us in the coming year.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is president of The Foursquare Church (U.S.).