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Growing in prayer life is a vital component of a believer’s faith journey and it equips us for spiritual warfare.
“Something is missing in my prayer life.” This sentence may be familiar to you. You may have told this statement to yourself at one point in your spiritual journey. You’re a follower of Christ and believe in the power of prayer but feel that our prayer life is weak. Read on to know how to cultivate a powerful prayer life.
What is Prayer Life?
A prayer life is one’s practice of prayer. Prayer is a spiritual discipline that one does to grow and mature in faith. It is a gift that God has given us to connect and communicate with us.
What Does the Bible Say About Prayer Life?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!” Psalm 141:2
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:13-14
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
“But when you ask God, you must believe and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown up and down by the wind.” James 1:6
Importance of a Powerful Prayer Life
Though our prayer life can sometimes be weak, practicing the discipline of praying is still essential. It is impossible to be a Christ-believing individual without prayer. Think of it this way – our earthly relationships will stagnate and break without quality time and communication. The same is true with our relationship with the Lord. We must engage in genuine and sincere prayer to grow in our intimacy with Him. Praying means we speak to God and listen to Him as well. Taking for granted our time with the Lord makes us susceptible to sinning and engaging in worldly affairs.
A powerful prayer life is also a shield and weapon against the many attacks of the enemy. Daily prayer equips us for spiritual warfare. Praying reminds us that we do not strive and fight on our own strength but by the power of the Almighty God. In the many challenges of every day, a powerful prayer life plugs us into the source of all peace, compassion, and love.
How to Build a Powerful Prayer Life
Know the God you are praying to
The power of prayer does not lie in our capacity to pray but in the recipient of such prayer. In the book of Jonah, the mariners were so afraid of the storm that they prayed to their gods. They found their prayers in vain, for the winds did not stop. They cast lots, threw Jonah to the sea, and called on to the Lord, the God of Jonah. The winds then stopped, which prompted them to praise the Lord (Jonah 1:4-16).
The same is true for believers. Christians do not pray in vain to the wind or an entity devoid of power. The listener of our prayers is the God who created the universe, parted the sea, and sacrificed His only son for our salvation. Knowing to whom you are praying gives you the assurance and confidence that you are seen and heard. No matter what is happening in the flesh, the Lord holds the answer to your prayer. And in His presence, you are safe and loved.
Be in a posture of gratitude
Thanksgiving in prayer is not just about thanking God for answered prayers and requests He granted. A posture of gratitude is a thankful position of God’s authority, mercy, and love. Such posture is recognition that without God, we are nothing. It embraces the truth that we can accomplish, grow, and abound only by God’s grace. Praying with gratitude then is not based on our circumstances. Whether we experience success or are in deep struggle, we thank the Lord. A powerful prayer life comes from a heart filled with gratitude and awe for the Lord.
Repent and ask for forgiveness
A prerequisite to receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is a genuine conviction of sin. Surrendering your life to Jesus means freedom from sin, forgiveness for the penalty of sin, and focusing on Christlikeness. Although a believer is already delivered and redeemed, sin is still a reality in this fallen world. But a true believer of Christ grieves as He grieves the Lord for every sin committed.
Thus, a powerful prayer life includes repentance and asking for forgiveness. For when we ask forgiveness with sincerity and wholeheartedness, God promised to forgive our sins (1 John 1:9). To grow in our prayer life, we must also release forgiveness to people who hurt us (Mark 11:25).
Memorize and pray Scripture
Scripture is the infallible word of God. The Bible is God’s way of communicating with us. The Bible shows us God’s character, reveals His plan, and declares His promises. Memorizing Scripture is one way we can put to mind and heart God’s truth. Praying Scripture is praying the written word of God. Instead of formulating your prayer, you take a verse from the Bible and use it to pray for your specific need. If you’re beginning to pray Scriptures, the book of Psalms is a great reference to start.
Ask according to the will of God
Scripture says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
A genuine believer of God knows that the Lord has a purpose for His people. Accepting the Lord also means that we participate in the realization of this purpose. We have the desire to be in and do God’s will. Thus, we submit to God’s sovereignty and authority over our lives when we pray. This submission is not blind faith but the confidence that God knows what’s best for us.
Praying according to God’s will does not mean we cannot bring our needs and desires to God in prayer. It implies that we surrender to His plan amidst our desire and pain, knowing He is above everything. The perfect picture of such submission is Jesus’s prayer in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Allot a specific time and place for prayer
Many believers desire a powerful prayer life but get caught up in the speed and chaos. A common statement in this changing world is, “I don’t have time to pray.” As we strive to survive and reach success, many do not have time for things that matter. But the truth is you cannot have a powerful prayer life if you take prayer time for granted.
It may be beneficial to have a prayer room or a prayer closet where you can be alone with God. Such a place can help eliminate distractions. You can also allot a specific time to pray and make it a habit. It does not matter if it’s 5 minutes or an hour. The important thing is to carve out time off your day to come to the Lord in prayer. Christ’s followers know they cannot go on a day without communicating with God.
Pray as one with other believers
Praying with our brothers and sisters in Christ fortifies our relationship with the Lord. Jesus proclaimed for the church to be of the same mind and judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10). One way to grow and keep the unity of the church is by praying together. When we pray with other believers, we confidently declare our worship and allegiance to the Lord as one body of Christ. Praying with others also allows us to know their needs. Through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we can then be instruments in sharing their burdens.
Maximize other tools like journals and music
Praying can be challenging for some because of factors such as time, forgetfulness, not knowing where to start, etc. If you’re one of these, there are tools you can use to start, strengthen, or refresh your prayer life. Before starting your prayer, you can play gospel music to usher you into a spirit of worship. A prayer journal can also help put your thoughts, feelings, and requests into written form. You can go back to this and bask in how the Lord has worked in and through you.
Many believers neglect the discipline of prayer. They get caught in the whirlwind of busyness, exhaustion, and preoccupation with things. But taking prayer for granted also means they do not reap the gift of a powerful prayer life. Growing in prayer life is a vital component of a believer’s faith journey. People in faith pray because they know the blessing and command of prayer. They understand that the all-loving and all-powerful God is on the other side of prayer.
If you feel that your prayer life is weak, take heart, for there is grace available for you. He is faithful in listening to your needs and cares. Remember that you can cultivate a prayer life that honors and delights in the Lord.
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