HOW TO MAKE YOUR PRAYER LIFE MORE MEANINGFUL!
1. MAKE TIME FOR PRAYER!
Many Christians never learn how to pray because they do not make time for prayer. Notice we did not say, “find time.” If we try to “find” time for prayer, chances are we will never pray. You’ll “find” it one day and “lose” it the next! Unless it is a habit your prayer life will always suffer. The solution is a consistent prayer habit. David says, “In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (Psalm 5:3) David had learned the value of a systematic daily prayer habit. Don’t try to find time–make time for prayer…daily.
2. FIND A QUIET PLACE FOR PRAYER!
To really enhance your prayer life we recommend you find a special place for prayer. Jesus said, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet…” (Matt. 6:6) Our Lord was not speaking just of an attitude in prayer but a specific place for prayer. Further, Jesus not only talked about this, He practiced it. The Garden of Gethsemane was His special place. Daniel had a chamber. Isaac prayed in the fields. Habakkuk had a watchtower. Every Christian ought to have a special place for prayer. Select an unused bedroom, or clean out a closet. Do it today!
3. RECOGNIZE GOD FOR WHAT HE IS!
All prayer should begin with a recognition of the nature of God because it is precisely God’s nature that gives us confidence that our prayer will be answered. To recognize God’s nature is called praise. The Lord’s prayer (Matt 6:9-13) begins with a statement of praise– “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” This model prayer also ends with a statement of praise–“for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” All prayer should begin and end with praise. It is the gate-pass to heaven (see Psalm 100:4).
4. THANK GOD FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE!
Not only should prayer begin and end with praise, but it should be seasoned throughout with thanksgiving. Praise is defined as adoring God for what He is; thanksgiving is thanking God for what He has done. The latter involves “specifics” Paul suggested we thank God for “all things.” He told the Philippians that all “prayer and supplication” should be offered with thanksgiving. The next time you pray make a mental list of all God has done for you. Review past gifts from God. Gratitude is a great atmosphere in which to petition the father.
5. CONFESS YOUR FAILURES!
Early in each prayer time we need to consider this matter of confession. The Psalmist reminds us, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18) Scripture makes it clear that unconfessed sin blocks the channel between God and the prayer. A daily prayer habit gives us special time to evaluate our spiritual condition. Confession is a prerequisite to powerful praying. Willful sin and prayer are totally incompatible. This, a vital part of our prayer should be this “time of self-examination.” Take time to confess!
6. PRAY WITH GOD’S WORD!
George Mueller, the great orphanage leader of the last century, was known for his tremendous faith in God as well as his powerful prayer life. Without a doubt the secret lay in the fact that George Mueller never prayed without an open Bible. He had learned the power of God’s words to Jeremiah, “Is not my word like as a fire…and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces.” (Jer. 23:29) Mueller used God’s Word as a hammer in his prayer, breaking down Satan’s strongholds. Praying with God’s Word is praying with power.
7. DON’T GIVE UP!
Jacob provides us with a unique example of one who persisted until he received a desired blessing from the Lord. He said, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” (Gen 32:26) Many believers begin their
journey of prayer with great intentions, only to give up as the going gets rough. Persistence is a prerequisite to spiritual power. When it comes to prayer, we must declare as the psalmist, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed.” (Psalm 57:7) Do everything you can to strengthen your prayer life. We want to help you discover greater heights in prayer. Be sure to order the meaningful book on prayer, NO EASY ROAD; INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHTS ON PRAYER. If you desire an even closer examination of the power of prayer, order the “Prayer Warrior’s Prayer Library from our office. It is true. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”
8. MEDITATE IN GOD’S PRESENCE!
Meditation is not only meaningful but vital to balanced praying. The Psalms begin with this statement, “Blessed is the man that…delights in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he mediate day and night.”
(Psalm 1:1,2) The only verse in the Bible that mentions “success” is a command to meditate day and night on God’s Word (Joshua 1:8). Take at least five minutes during your daily prayer period to meditate on what
God has said to you through His Word. It will give you a whole new perspective for that day.
9. SING A NEW SONG!
Many Christians are rediscovering the joy of singing aloud during prayer. In the Bible singing is vital in worship. We recall how Paul and Silas were arrested and jailed for preaching the Gospel (Acts 16:25). God’s servants are found singing praises. Since they did not have hymn books, their songs must have come from the heart. The Psalmist spoke of this as “singing a new song” (not sing my songs!). Because you are alone with God you won’t have any embarrassment. Make up simple choruses. It will be a new joy–just between you and God.
10. PRAY MUCH FOR OTHERS!
The next three points for practical praying concern intercessory prayer–prayer that is offered on behalf of others. Every prayer time should have a significant portion devoted exclusively to praying for others. Christ’s model prayer does not begin with My Father, but with the expression, Our Father. Not once does the prayer emphasize the personal pronoun “I,” “me,” or “my.” Christ’s prayer says, “give us,” “lead us,” and “forgive us.” The emphasis is clearly on others, stressing the importance of devoting much of each prayer time to intercession.
11. PRAY FOR WORLD EVANGELISM!
When praying for others nothing is more important than their spiritual well-being. Millions of people around the world are waiting to hear of Jesus. Jesus Name Apostolic believers around the world are praying that the oneness of God will be revealed and that a dynamic out- pouring of the Holy Ghost will come to every field of labor. Pray For World Evangelism.
12. FOCUS YOUR PRAYERS!
Intercessory prayer should be focused on every nation of the world. David prayed, “Thou therefore, O Lord, God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen.” (Psalm 59:5) Our Foreign Missions Division can provide you with a map of the world. We recommend you divide the 210 countries into seven groups of thirty countries, praying for one of these groups each day of the week. Every week you will be able to visit the entire world, country by country, in prayer.
13. PLAN YOUR PRAYER TIME!
Develop a plan of attack before going into your prayer closet. Always keep a prayer list. You will be more organized as you pray. To help the prayer warrior pray systematically and intelligently for the world, we suggest you pray for the various continents in a systematic way. Learn something of the people, cultures, and situations of the area. Your strategy in prayer will enable you to more effectually support the missionaries and workers in that area of the world.
14. LEARN TO FAST AND PRAY!
Fasting is the practice of deliberately abstaining from usual nourishment for the purpose of adding power to our prayer. A wise writer once said, “All men who have had spiritual power to prevail with God and man, have been men who learned to sternly deny themselves and keep their bodies under.” Jesus made it clear that some spiritual victories can only come through fasting and prayer. (Mark 9:28,29) Set aside at least one meal per week, or even an entire day, for prayer and fasting. Focus this intense prayer on nations closed to evangelism, e.g., China.
15. FIND A PRAYER PARTNER!
Jesus, the Master prayer, taught that praying with others increases prayer power. He said, “…If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 18:19) Our Lord made it clear that special power is released when two people agree over a given matter. Find a prayer partner who can join you at the same time you pray, even if they live hundreds of miles away. Write for extra copies of these prayer insights, maps and booklets for these praying friends.
(The above material was prepared by the Apostolic Institute of Development.)
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