Are you familiar with the 5 love languages?
One of them is called “quality time.” It means togetherness—and not just proximity but focused attention.
If a guy’s wife is telling him about her day while he’s scrolling for sports scores on his phone, that’s not quality time. If her husband is playing tennis with her but she’s arguing about how to score correctly, that’s not quality time. Quality time is two people sharing themselves, focused on the relationship.
Jesus teaches that you can improve your prayer life by appreciating prayer as quality time with God.
Not just asking for his help when trouble strikes. Not just advancing through a shopping list of items you need. And not being so self-absorbed that you’re no longer focused on your relationship with him.
Pray more about God. Pray because you are in a relationship with God. Pray as quality time with God, enjoying each other, being together, sharing yourselves. Jesus teaches this with only one word. “Father” (Matthew 6:6,8).
That’s a relationship word. That’s a quality time, gospel word. A promise about God’s identity, your identity, and his promise that he and you are in a relationship.
Pray more about wanting to please God, and less about wanting to please people. There’s something so much better than the reward of others’ approval. There’s the reward—the meaningful outcome—from God. “Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).
Pray more about God, about your relationship. God will see you, will notice you, will love you, and will give you not just his things but himself. “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
Jesus says. God your Father not only sees you, he knows you. He doesn’t need you to make it clear, to explain how things will work if … to tell him how to answer. He already knows. He just wants you to ask in a way that trusts that he knows, ask in a way that enjoys being with him, ask in a way that says, “Thank you, God, for us, for being together in this time of prayer, for always loving me as your child. I want more of you.”
PRAYER: Dear Father, the best thing about prayer is not what I get as a result, but the quality time I spend with you. This changes me, fills me up, and provides me with identity and purpose. Teach me to pray more about you, your will, your plans and your pleasures. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Matthew 6:5-8. What improvement to your prayer life can you try for the next 3 days?