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A Morning Prayer for God to Be Near
By Lynette Kittle

“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds” - Psalm 73:28

Does it ever feel like God is far away? Especially when going through difficult times, where it may seem like God is looking the other way. Still, God says in His Word that He draws near to us, but what does it mean for God to be near? We hear it referred to in songs, read it in the Bible, and hear Christians discuss it, but do we experience it in a practical, everyday living sort of way? If not, how do we begin? And how do we know when and if God is near? 

Asking God to Draw Near
My husband’s favorite hymn is “Nearer, Still Nearer.” Its words are like a prayer, asking God to draw us closer to Him. So is it as easy as singing a song, asking God to draw near, and then waiting for Him to show up? Or, are there ways we can prepare our hearts in advance for His nearness? James 4:8 describes the steps God gives us to draw near to Him, and it begins with us making the effort to draw near first. “Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

This first step in our drawing near to God also requires preparing ourselves beforehand for His nearness. The following are three ways to prepare.

1. Wash our hands. To prepare to draw near to God, we are told to stop sinning. This means that if we are actively choosing sin in our lives, we need to consciously stop sinning.

2. Purify our hearts. Preparation also involves the cleansing of our hearts by repenting of sin and asking God to cleanse us and purify our hearts.

3. Correct our mindset. Preparing includes correcting our mindset, where we choose to believe God’s truth over the world’s truth. Psalm 145:18 assures us that “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.”

Believing God Comes Near
Experiencing God’s nearness comes from believing His Word and that He wants to draw close to us. During some of life’s hardest experiences, Psalm 34:18 tells us He is near. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

It also comes with practice, by preparing ourselves to draw near to Him, so that He will draw near to us. When we do, we gain the experience of His presence and nearness in our lives.

In experiencing His nearness, we gain an understanding of how to offer His nearness to others, like He does to us. During times of suffering and grief, we may not know what to say or how to act with others who are going through it, but God trains us through His nearness and how being near someone in their distress brings them comfort.

As 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 reminds us, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Why God’s Nearness Is Good for Us
God’s Word tells us that His nearness is good for us (Psalm 73:28) because with His nearness, which is wonderful in itself, we also receive His goodness.

Psalm 65:4 describes how, “Blessed are those You choose and bring near to live in Your courts! We are filled with the good things of Your house, of Your holy temple.”

Let’s pray: 

Dear Father,
Thank you that you called us to draw near to You. Help us take the steps to prepare ourselves to experience Your nearness. Lead us in washing our hands of sin, purifying our hearts, and correcting our mindsets to align and agree with Your truth. Help us, O Lord, in pursuing Your nearness so that we may receive your goodness. Embolden us to extend Your nearness to those around us.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Image credit: Image generated using AI technology via DALL.E 2024

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman,,,, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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