Building a Personal Relationship with God

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

Building a Personal Relationship with God

By Megan Luebberman

Building a Personal Relationship with God

By Megan Luebberman

“The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.”

– Psalm 145:18-19

It is common for people to complain about God ignoring them, being seemingly silent or indifferent. Some have expressed how they feel silly talking to nothingness, or a void that never seems to acknowledge their effort. Both believers and nonbelievers alike have shared feelings of neglect from God.

For a majority of my life, I haven’t had a personal relationship with God. It was simply a belief in the back of my mind, which popped up every so often but was largely unimportant. However, after a drastic shift in mindsets, I realized that God is something to be pursued intently because it is the most rewarding, fulfilling thing a person could do.

The foundation for growing as a Christian and person begins with searching out God, connecting with Him and letting Him shape you. It all starts with a more personal relationship with the Creator, instead of a distant, perfunctory religious affiliation.

If you have a desire to connect with God more, but don’t know where to begin, here are some steps to begin with. It starts with finding out how to talk to God and being expectant that He will talk back to you.

Before you begin, a word of advice:

Pursuing God takes consistency and perseverance. He is a gentleman who will wait for you to come to Him. If you commit to pursuing Him and make the effort–He will meet you halfway. Learning how to talk to Him, as well as even remembering to do so, takes time and practice. Habits take a while to form. The more you practice a skill, the more progress that will be made.

Some put off the start of this journey by saying they are not good enough to come to God yet. Others claim it’s ‘too late’ for them because they are ‘too far gone’ in their sinful lifestyle to change. Both of these are misconceptions. The right time to pursue God is now. No one will ever be ‘good enough’ to come to God and no one is ever too far gone. He offers His gifts of forgiveness and redemption to all, in whatever stage of life they are in.

Additionally, people have so many expectations about what God may sound like, how He will appear in your life, and how He will act. God doesn’t just talk in a loud, booming voice from above. He can; I’ve heard several testimonies of people’s experiences with His audible voice. However, I think there are other ways to hear Him as well.

The ultimate step you must take to begin is to have a willing, open heart. Desire God, and seek Him in all things (Matthew 6:33). Be persistent in your pursuit of God and have patience as you struggle in it. Everyone’s journey with God is unique and personal to them. It’s a beautiful gift to be able to connect with our Creator; all you have to do is pursue the connection.

Some Ways God Talks to You:

Still Small Voice

Saying that God talks with a still, small voice may sound cliche, but I have found it to be accurate. As I’ve heard several Pastors say that God “sounds like yourself in your mind, only He’s saying things you wouldn’t normally say.” God silently urges you to do the right thing, even if your desires are against it.

The phrasing of “still small voice” also reminds us that God can be with us in the quiet moments, and that after all the distractions are laid aside and you take time to spend it with Him– He will be there speaking to you.

In the Bible, “still small voice” is only used in 1 Kings 18-19. In this passage, it emphasizes how God does not always need to talk in big, illustrious ways with signs and miraculous works. Sometimes, he talks to you quietly and you just have to block out the rest of the world to listen.

The Bible/Word

Communication through the Bible goes both ways. You can talk to Him during a devotional or Bible study time, and He can reveal something in the passages to you at the same time.

A whole group of people, even an entire congregation, can read the same passage and each individual can gain a different take away from the passage. This is because God speaks to them differently through his Word, to pertain to their individual needs and situations.

A message’s specific wording, the topic of a sermon, the particular struggles of a Biblical character – God can use all of these to speak to you. It’s just a matter of tuning in to a church message, or reading the Bible on your own, and actively trying to apply the lessons to your life. “But he answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’”

– Matthew 4:4

 “Grass dries up, and flowers wither, but our God’s word will last forever.”

– Isaiah 40:8

Other People

God can also talk through other people, both believers and nonbelievers alike. There is much precedence in the Bible for how God can use and speak through any person He wants.

Similarly to how a sermon in church might just ‘happen’ to touch on your specific situation, a person’s words can be so exact that it will have you questioning if they read your mind. The Holy Spirit works through people’s words and actions to influence you in ways you never even notice.

​If you have several spiritually-led friends all advising the same thing, without having spoken to one another; it might be a good idea to listen.

Some Ways to Connect with God:


While praying might seem the most obvious and most repeated idea; prayer is the most direct and easy way to communicate with God.

It doesn’t have to be overly complex, eloquently worded, or take several hours of the day (though praying for extended periods of time can have its benefits). Prayer can be simple, to the point, and short.

You should talk to God like you do your friends. At the end of the day, it’s a friendship, parent-child relationship, and God-to-creation relationship. He genuinely wants to know what’s going on with you. It can be a casual conversation, a rant about a situation, a time where you thank God for His provision– and so much more.

However, you decide to do it, don’t feel pressured to say all the right words. He can understand your heart and intentions; just be sincere and open up to speak to Him about what you wish. Prayer can be about problems, worries, doubts, and concerns. It can also be about how your day went, what little moments made you happy, or simply small things you’re grateful for.

You are being intently listened to and God wants to hear both the little and big things about your life simply because He cares.

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

– Jeremiah 29:12

Asking Questions

Churches and religious leaders sometimes say it’s bad to doubt or question things about God or your faith. However, being a long-time student, I know that questions are the way you grow and learn about something. If one isn’t willing to ask questions about their faith, that calls into question how secure they really are in their belief.

Asking questions is okay, I’d even encourage it. Learning why God’s existence is supported by evidence, how they Bible is historically credible, why sex before marriage is prohibited–all these are credible things to investigate.

“Having faith” and trusting in the Lord is always a good thing. That doesn’t mean we have to throw out logic and reason as forms of learning about God as well. In fact, if believers know why Christians do certain things they do, then they might be more inclined to follow God’s moral rules. (However, it is also important to obey simply because God says so. Obedience is a form of love to Him).

I encourage you to ask questions and genuinely seek the answers. Ask Pastors, other spiritual mentors, friends, the internet and look in Scripture. The answers are there and seeking them can actually strengthen your faith.

The Bible/Devotions/Podcasts/Other Resources

There are many ways to get into God’s Word; through daily devotions, group Bible studies, and apps that give you a verse for the day, or simply writing down verses for yourself to study or memorize throughout the week.

In addition to Scripture-focused activities, there are other methods of communicating with God. Listening to theology-centered podcasts or putting on worship music are both passive ways to keep Him in mind as you go about doing chores and other daily tasks. A certain Pastor’s sermon, theological podcast, or a particular song may have a specific word from God that you need to hear, which just happened to autoplay on Youtube.


Some find that physically writing down their prayers helps them talk with God. It’s the same as verbally praying to Him, only writing it out instead. It can be used to track prayer requests, list the things you are thankful for, record the miracles God has done in your life, and so much more.

Journaling is helpful because you can always go back to it and reflect on your progress. You can see how God has moved in your life over time. I’ve heard from certain believers that God even guides their writing, leading them to self-reflection and realizations that they never would’ve been able to figure out on their own.

Day to Day Practice in Small Moments

In everything you do, remember God. Washing the dishes, working, folding laundry, driving, walking a dog, talking on the phone– all these activities can include God. You can say silent little prayers or comments throughout the day to God, in between the busy rush of life.

If you’re busy doing a chore, and need something to think about, take some time to talk to God. While out on a run, playing King and Country, you can rant about that one situation or person that’s bothering you and ask for guidance. In the early morning, driving to work, begin by praying positivity into it and asking God to be present with you throughout the day.

Always remember that He’s there and never shy away from just speaking to Him.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

– Proverbs 3:6

Ultimately, Be Dedicated in Your Pursuit of God

Any of these methods, especially a combination of them, will get you closely to God over time. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t seem to have any effect right away. The process of growth and change happens gradually.

Rest in the assurance that He is there, and He is listening. He will meet you where you are, honor your efforts to connect with Him, and reveal Himself to you in unimaginable ways. It seems difficult to begin and jump the first hurdle of trusting in God, but you will be glad that you did.

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”

– 1 Chronicles 16:11