I often hear people say things like I know the Lord when I pray to him. They seem to be saying I know Christ when I pray to Heavenly Father which seems weird to me. It made me wonder if I really know Christ or just know of him. I know I connect with God in prayer and I know I feel the spirit in my heart but what does knowing Christ feel like. I can study about him all day but I never feel more than knowing about him. Should I feel something more or am I being too literal in coming to know him?
While I appreciate the originator of this language (know about Christ vs. “knowing” Christ) his intended message has gotten lost in the semantics and parsing of words since the introduction of this idea. The bottom line is that the only difference between knowing someone and knowing about them is the level and depth of knowledge involved.
There is a line from the old TV series Bonanza that I’d like to share with you. On the series, an old widow was being questioned about her sanity because she was often heard talking to her dead husband. This is certainly an eye-raiser to most. But the main character, Ben Cartwright, as a well respected member of the community testified on her behalf:
When you know someone… really know someone… it is a casual thing to talk to them as if they were there. And sometimes, you know them so well, that you know what they would say back to you if they were there.
A widow or widower knows this all too well. Many children who had parents who passed on can empathize with the character Christine Dyer in Webber’s version of Phantom of the Opera. We tend to not realize that each of us has “lost” our Father through sin. Not His death, but ours — our spiritual death through sin.
Do you feel that loss? He was a part of your life before. Is He now?
But your question is: If not, then how?
The Church website gives a great guide as to how to do this.
How Can I Come to Know Christ?
Basically, there are things that we’re told to do all the time. But it is too simple because we make it simple. It is a simple thing to say a quick prayer over a meal and chow down without a second thought about who provided that meal to us. It is a simple thing to say a quick prayer before our heads hit the pillow at night and turn out the lights hoping for a sweet dream before the alarm wakes us up. It is also simple to let our eyes gloss over the words on the pages of scripture — even every day — without taking the time to ponder them for meaning in our individual lives. It is also a simple thing to go to church every week and sit quietly as we pass the hours until we go home.
What is NOT so simple is to pray with real intent, hungering and thirsting for that relationship each time we kneel down. What is NOT simple is searching the scriptures, feasting upon the words of Christ to find the answers to life’s problems. What is NOT so simple is really pondering what we’ve read to gain further light and knowledge. What is NOT so simple is fulfilling your calling with full purpose of heart. What is NOT so simple is knowing the Lord’s will so well that He becomes a part of us. He becomes that voice in our heads.
When you are praying, do you visualize a person that you’re talking to? Or do your words simply end up being a verbalization of the meandering thoughts in your head? When you read the scriptures, are you constantly asking how you can liken the scriptures to yourself? Are you searching them for real meaning in your life? Do you do this so often that it is the natural way to pray and the natural way to study scriptures? If not, start today. If you have, then keep it up. The Lord DOES HEAR YOU.
For further understanding of our relationship and worship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, checkout the following links.
How can I have a personal relationship with Christ if I’m praying to God?
How are we to make contact with Jesus and have a personal relationship?
How do I develop a deep and strong personal testimony of Christ’s atonement and sacrifice?