At our Church we always say, “Prayer moves the hand that moves the world!” Most Christians want to be more effective in prayer so here are 4 simple but strategic principles to help you develop a more consistent, satisfying, and powerful prayer life.
Even though prayer is powerful and all of us want a better prayer life, it is still a discipline you can learn and you can get better if you make a commitment. We never grow spiritually by accident-it calls for commitment. We grow when we commit to grow. Remember, the original disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They knew commitment was involved and they knew they could get better at prayer. What commitments do you need to make in order to get better in your prayer life?
Jesus taught us about the importance of a designated place for prayer when He said, “when you pray, go into your room and shut the door.” Your “room,” or place of prayer, could be almost anywhere if you can control the schedule and eliminate distractions. That means privacy and and a place for unhurried concentration are essential ingredients for developing your life of prayer. Turn away from your text messages and social media to focus on the Lord. Give quality time to the Lord each day. Your prayer life will grow.
Jesus also encourages privacy in prayer, because He said that once you’re in your place of prayer you should “pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” That means finding a place and time you can be alone each day for your regular meeting with God. Remember, “the secret of prayer is prayer in secret.” We don’t pray in secret because we’re ashamed of prayer, we pray in secret (or solitude) because we want to prioritize prayer above all the noises and distractions that so dominate 21st century life. You will never regret time alone with God!
THE BIBLE AND PRAYER
Jesus made us an incredible promise when He said,
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” The words of Jesus- His teachings- are found in Scripture. Jesus taught that daily Bible reading and prayer go together. If we read and study the Bible we should follow it up immediately with sincere prayer. I do this early every morning. It’s the best part of my day. I have my quiet place, and it’s early enough that no one needs anything from me at that time. So I read the Bible and pray to begin each day. Remember to saturate your mind with the Word of God as part of your daily commitment to prayer. It’s a game changer.
Of course there are many more principles to incorporate into your journey of prayer improvement. We will deal in other devotionals with the power of prayer meetings, developing your prayer lists, how much time to spend in prayer, what to pray, and more.
For now, begin the journey. Plan ahead because you’ll need to schedule the daily time, gather any resources you may need, and find your private place. You will improve if you keep going. The prayer journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take the step!