Have you ever been in a relationship in which you felt you were giving 90 percent and the other person was giving 10? You put in so much effort to make that person feel confident or loved and that person completely took you for granted. They talked. You listened. But nothing was ever reciprocated.
Before my relationship with Jesus changed, I used to say half-hearted prayers before I went to sleep. They were, for the most part, apologies for how I had come up short and cries for help to save me from all of the messes I had made. But you know what they weren’t? – a conversation.
Prayer is meant to be both a conversation and an invitation for God to participate in our lives. I did not understand this concept for the LONGEST time, and when I finally started applying it to my prayer life, both my relationship with God and my life were completely transformed.
One day it dawned on me: The same way I had been made to feel neglected and taken for granted in past failed relationships, I was probably making God feel the same way when I prayed AT Him, never waiting to hear what He said back.
Me? Hurt God’s feelings? Why would He care enough to let me affect Him? Then I realized – Um HELLO CHRISTEN – what do you think a “personal relationship” means?
We hear this phrase in church all the time: “Jesus died so that we might have a personal relationship with Him.” But do we REALLY apply this? Do we really prioritize our time with God the same way we prioritize our relationships with humans? Do we tell Him all of the nitty-gritty details like we do with our girlfriends to give our stories a little extra flare? Do we tell Him why, specifically, we are so worried, or stressed, or sad? Do we tell Him our hopes and dreams like we would on a date? Or do we just ask Him to plop them on our laps?
Are you REALLY developing your relationship with God? Or are you just going on a bunch of first dates? Start adding God to your planner. Practice talking to Him like you would a friend. And don’t just talk…wait. And LISTEN. You will be amazed at what He has to say in response.

Christen Limbaugh Bloom is the creator of Haplous, a Christian blog for women seeking peace in a stressful world. Her writing focuses on practical “baby steps” individuals can take when pursuing a relationship with God. Christen is a Missouri girl turned Manhattanite who loves God, her husband, iced coffee year-round, and connecting with other women. You can follow Christen’s blog on Instagram at @haplous_official and her website at www.haplousofficial.com. ​​​​​​