Developing a Greater Prayer Life
How To Take Your Prayer Life To Another Level
What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer.E. M. Bounds
Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The only way to trouble God is not to come at all.Dwight L. Moody
When we feel least like praying is the time when we most need to pray.R. A. Torrey
Praying and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin or sin will choke prayer.J. C. Ryle
To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.Martin Luther
Three Types Of Prayer
I believe every Christian is supposed to pray but now, I want to tell you about how to take your prayer to another level. Jesus addressed three types of prayers.
- The Prayer of a Hypocrite
And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.Matthew 6:5
The hypocrite uses prayer to get attention. Jesus addressed this abuse in prayer, where prayer was used to get influence with man, instead of intimacy with God. Prayer is a means to a goal. God is the goal and prayer is the means to get to Him. The religious people use prayer for a different goal. Their goal was to get influence, recognition, and ‘brownie points’ with men.
2. The Prayer of a Heathen
When you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore, do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.Matthew 6:7
This is the second type of prayer that is wrong. The heathen thinks that the length of prayer guarantees results. I am all for spending as much time with God as you possibly can. You must understand that God doesn’t measure or determine prayer’s effectiveness by its length.
In the Bible, we see people repeating their prayers. Jesus prayed three times in the garden concerning the cup of suffering. Apostle Paul prayed three times for the thorn to be removed. There’s nothing wrong with praying a long prayer as long as you trust, hope in, and love God.
3. The Prayer of an Heir
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.Matthew 6:6
I want to break this prayer down into six fundamental principles. When you apply these principles, your prayer life will go deeper and become more effective.
Six Principles Of The Prayer Of An Heir
- The Priority Of Prayer
With the expression “When you pray,” Jesus highlights the priority of prayer. Prayer has to become your priority. Jesus expects all believers to pray. People complain that they don’t have time for prayer. You always make time for what is important to you. Prayer will not be effective in your life if it is not a priority.
The enemy attacks your prayer life. In Daniel 6:10, we see that the enemy came against the prayer life of Daniel. Is your prayer life so noticeable that the enemy wants to make rules and laws to try to shut it down?
Adam covered himself with leaves today we cover ourselves with excuses to not go and pray. I want to break every single lie over your life today, in Jesus’ name. Even if you’ve committed a secret sin, God is still expecting you to run to Him in prayer. God knew Adam had fallen into sin but God expected Adam to show up and talk to Him. Don’t let your excuses, sin, or what you’ve done cause you to give up on your prayer life. A sinning man will stop praying and a praying man will stop sinning. Hiding from God is prayerlessness; hiding in God is prayerfulness. Your prayer matters, so make it a priority. Jesus prayed early in the morning, (Mark 1:35). He also prayed at night (Luke 6:12, Matthew 14:23).
Whether you are a morning person or a night person, I want to encourage you to make prayer a priority. Make prayer at such a time where you are at your best; you have to make time. Prayer does not take time; prayer saves time.
2. The Place of Prayer
Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah and other men of God had altars where they prayed. Jesus prayed in the wilderness (Luke 5:15-16), a mountain (Luke 6:12-13), a garden (Matthew 26:36-56), or any solitary place (Mark 1:35).
We are told to go into our room to pray. We also gather with others to pray, (Matthew 21:13, Matthew 18:19, Acts 1:14, Acts 4:24). Our prayer should be both private and public. Your prayer place is very important. It is a sacred, dedicated place you meet with God. I also want to challenge you to find a local church where you can pray with other believers.
3. The Privacy of Prayer
Prayer is not given to get attention from people but for intimacy with God. Shutting the door means we have to remove distractions. God wants us to isolate ourselves during prayer because we need intimacy with God.
In your secret place, the oil flows. Once it flows in private, you bring it in public. I mean God will begin to reward you publicly for what is happening privately, (1 Kings 17:7-16).
The posture of the heart is the most important posture in prayer. We can pray sitting (2 Samuel 7:18), standing (Mark 11:25), kneeling (Daniel 6:10, Acts 7:60,), with our face to the ground (Matthew 26:39), hands lifted up (1 Timothy 2:8), eyes lifted to Heaven (John 17:1), placing the head between the knees (1 Kings 18:42), and even pounding the chest (Luke 18:13). God is not looking at the posture, God is looking at your heart’s condition which is it directed toward him. Closing the door helps us to realign our hearts, attention, and affection to God.
4. The Plan of Prayer
Prayer is more than a thought; it is a communication of that thought. Two silent prayers were recorded in the Bible: Abraham’s Servant (Genesis 24:45), and Hannah (I Samuel 1:10-15).
Make your prayer verbal, (Psalm 86:6-7). In Luke 11:2, Jesus said we should say our prayers, not just think them. God promises to answer those who call, (Jeremiah 33:3). Biblical prayer is talking to God – verbally expressing your thoughts to God.
You might ask, why does God need me to express my thoughts if He can hear them? There are three reasons for that.
- Out of the abundance of your heart, your mouth speaks. Your mouth communicates what your heart is filled with. If your mouth is not communicating anything then what is your heart filled with?
- Jesus told us to say our prayers. That is why we have to verbalize our prayers.
- The Bible promises to answer those who call. There’s not one promise in the Bible where God says I will answer those who think.
The quality of your prayer determines and reveals the quality of your relationship with God.
5. The Person of Prayer
Sound Biblical theology teaches us to pray to the Father God, through the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and by the power and quickening of the Holy Spirit, (John 15:16). Jesus tells us to pray to the Father in His name by the help of the Holy Spirit. It is important for us to pray scripturally.
6. The Promise of Prayer
The promise of prayer is that God will reward you openly. Jesus prayed 25 different times during His ministry. There are records of 650 prayers and 450 answers to prayers in the Bible. Apostle Paul mentions prayers 41 times in his writings.
God wants to answer your prayer. If God doesn’t answer your prayer, He will reward you for prayer. God is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Maybe you’re not feeling like you are breaking through, like your prayer is just hitting the ceiling. Don’t be discouraged. Even if your prayer doesn’t change your circumstances, it will change you. You might not see it instantly but you will see the reward of prayer in your life. Don’t stop praying.
What To Say During When You Pray?
- Thanking God (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). For those who don’t know what to say in prayer, you can start with thanksgiving. That is always a good thing to do.
- Praise God for who He is, His name, promises and character, (Hebrews 13:15).
- Confess your sins, (1 John 1:9, Mark 11:25-26) It is important to confess your sins to God and the way you confess your sins is you ask the Lord to examine your heart. I want the light of the law of God to examine my heart so that my heart is pure. The result of prayer is not getting what you want it’s God getting more of you. That’s the goal and you do that by repentance and confession.
- Asking God for what you need, (Matthew 7:7-11). I ask God for what I need, what I’m going through, appointments that I have, pressures that I currently face. You can also ask for healing, finances, marriage, future goals and dreams. I trust God enough to tell Him my needs and I want to invite you to do the same. When you give God your petitions, He will give you His peace and sometimes His peace is all that you need. God will not always give you all the answers, but He will give you His presence.
- Intercession (Ezekiel 22:30, 1 Timothy 2:1) This has three components: praying with someone (Matthew 18:19), praying for someone (James 5:16) and praying against something (Ephesians 6:10-18). I believe every single prayer should include a moment of intercession where you pray for loved ones or for the needs of other people because that moves God’s heart.
- Praying in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:14).
- Waiting on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 27:14). You can wait upon God in the worship and you can wait in silence. It could be two or three minutes of just silently being there before God.
- Listening to God (John 10:27). Whatever you say to God in prayer is not as important as whatever God will say to you. Therefore, I always love to read the Bible in my prayer time.
When you come to prayer, don’t pray out of desperation; pray out of the revelation of who you are in God and who you are to God. That means, pray out of faith.
Make prayer habitual, consistent and regular in your life. Stick with prayer until you develop that Christian discipline, not so you can be saved but so that God can release His grace, strength and anointing into your life through prayer. I believe that through prayer we experience the power of God. Through prayer, we experience the anointing of God upon our lives. If we don’t pray, we will stray.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray for every person that has lost the passion for prayer, precious Holy Spirit begin to spark a fresh desire – not guilt, pressure or compulsion, not an external force but an internal motivation.
Help them to find delight and enjoyment in prayer.
I pray for those who are bored that they will discover Your presence.
Teach them the discipline but also let them enjoy the delight of prayer, in Jesus’ name.Amen.
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