Prayer is so powerful. It is one of the most basic skills any Christian should possess. It should come naturally, like breathing. Yet it is so hard to do. We often neglect to take the time to be intentional with prayer and spend time with God.
When I need a break from life and to recharge my batteries, I usually turn to my phone or Netflix. That definitely does not leave me more restful or at peace. The life of Christ should be our example of how to set aside time for our prayer life. When Jesus was exhausted or burdened, he turned to the Father to see spiritual refreshment. He would slip away and access the power and purpose of communicating with the Father.
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Is Prayer Necessary?
In the Bible, we learn that our battle is not of the flesh but of the spirit. God calls us to put on armor and stand up. God has given us the power to fight evil through His Son’s death and resurrection. Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons God has given us. Those who say yes to being a prayer warrior do some of God’s most important work. It is absolutely necessary to spend time with God and use the power of prayer.
Bible verses about prayer
Praying the Word has been such an invaluable part of my journey to becoming a prayer warrior. The Word of God is just as powerful as prayer itself. Since I began on my journey to become more effective in my prayer life, I started using scripture as a guide to prayer. Each day I take a moment to connect with God through His Word. It helps me speak from my heart to God’s heart.
Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Mark 11:24: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18: Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:6: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Luke 11:9: So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
**All Bible Verses are from the New International Version (NIV).
4 Steps to a More Effective Prayer Life
God desires to communicate with us and bless us. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, we have direct access to God. We don’t need to be spiritually ramped up to connect with God. In fact, he welcomes us when we are weary and broken down and have nothing to offer. God wants us to be in an intimate relationship with Him. He listens and cares for you. He answers prayers!
How to Start a Prayer
Like I said above, it can be really hard to know what to pray about. Prayer is a conversation with God – sounds simple right? So how do you even start a prayer?
Literally, my child (who is sixteen months as I am writing this) randomly clasps his hands together to prompt prayer. It is such a good reminder that we don’t need an “excuse” or reason to pray. We can do it randomly at any time of the day especially if the Spirit prompts you to. Sometimes our prayers are super simple and seem silly but I want him to know that we can pray to God about anything.
It can be hard to sit down and know what to say to God. Like “hey God, what’s up? Just checking in.” I’m definitely not good with silence and quiet time but over time have learned that most often that is where God speaks.
The IOUS prayer method is what I have been using which helps you claim your spiritual inheritance in Christ. If you are struggling to desire God, begin here with this prayer. Call upon him and ask for the mind of Christ.
I – Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not selfish gain – Psalm 119:36
O – Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law- Psalm 119:18
U – Unite my heart to fear your name – Psalm 86:11
S – Satisfy me in the morning with your steadfast love that I may rejoice and be glad all my day – Psalm 90:14
We shouldn’t approach prayer or the Word with intent for selfish gain or to use it to our advantage. You can approach prayer and the Bible knowing that Christ will accomplish what you can’t do on your own.
Types of prayer
Prayers of adoration
When you read through the Psalms, you will find how the Psalmist declares the character of God. Praise Him for His name and His character. Observe the magnitude of God’s love, mercy, grace, and kindness and praise Him for that.
Prayers of confession of sin
Start your prayer time with the confession of sin. Ask God to reveal the areas that are keeping you from walking in a way that is worthy and ask him for a clean heart. Then repent and ask for forgiveness of your sins. God is a God of forgiveness. Let God’s awesome power of forgiveness transform your life.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16.
Prayers of thanksgiving
A heartfelt thank you is always a good place to start. Give thanks for the ways God has already worked in your life. God loves to see that we have grateful hearts. When we spend time in thanksgiving it is harder to focus on what we don’t have.
Prayers of Intercession
When God puts someone on your heart, take a moment to lift that person up in prayer. You can pray for the world, the nation, the community, the church, your family and friends, and yourself. Be specific with your prayers of intercession.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Prayer journal for more effective prayer
It is good to write down your prayers, struggles, and prayers to see how God has worked in your life and answered prayers. You can write out your thoughts and requests. I have been doing this at night to reflect on the day, praise God for what He did that day, and unload my thoughts for the next day.
Make a commitment to spend time with God through prayer every day. You will be more in love with Him and be able to show more love to others.