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  • Writer's pictureDean Thompson

A Better Prayer Life Starts Now (Pt. II)

In the first part of this topic, we discovered what heaven is up to when we pray. We discussed that God listens to us when we pray, Jesus defends us when we pray, and the Holy Spirit thinks with us when we petition God. 


This article will outline eight things we can do to enhance our prayer lives. I could make more suggestions, but space will not allow for them. I hope this encourages us to study prayer and improve our prayer lives. 


As Anthony Ash wrote, some internal struggles we face with prayer vary (1). Some of us may have intellectual difficulties with prayer, such as:


  • God already knows my needs and has a plan for me, so why should I pray? 

  • I don’t know how God responds to prayer

  • I don’t understand how the supernatural (God’s answer to prayer) works in today’s world

  • When God has not solved the world’s big problems, why should I expect Him to be concerned about my small ones? 

  • I am puzzled about what to ask from God 


Also, some of us may face personal difficulties with prayer, such as (1): 


  • Prayer has such a low priority in our lives that we can’t marshal the discipline to do it

  • Prayer is not enjoyable 

  • We may feel prayer is unneeded 

  • We avoid prayer because of deep feelings of unworthiness

  • Our prayers don’t satisfy us emotionally 


Whatever the case, I hope these tips will help us enhance our prayer lives for years to come. 


8 TIPS TO ENHANCE OUR PRAYER LIVES


Schedule time to pray 


I like to schedule and prioritize things. This helps me not forget to do what’s important and makes me feel accomplished at the end of the day. One of the reasons we struggle to pray is that we neglect to make it a priority. We go through our day, and when we reach the end of it, we realize that we have not spoken a meaningful word to God. 


If we schedule a time to pray, it would enhance our prayer lives. The Jewish custom is to pray three times a day. The Bible reveals that one of God’s prophets prayed as much (Dan. 6:10), and even King David spent ample time in prayer (Psa. 55:17). 


When we schedule a time to pray, over time, it will become second nature for us to talk to God every day. It will be fixed in our minds, so we won’t need to schedule it anymore. 


Designate a specific location for our daily prayers  


Jesus's prayer life teaches us that He had a “secret place” to which He would retreat and pray. This was His getaway location from all the noise—a place to speak to God in peace. One of these places was the Mount of Olives (see Luke 22:39–40). 


Jesus practiced what He preached because He introduced the idea of going to our “secret place” to pray (Matt. 6:6). It’s hard to formulate our thoughts when there is so much noise going on in the background. Being in a place of solitude and silence will provide the best environment for us to speak to God more meaningfully. 


Pray short prayers 


Long prayers have their place, but we can’t undermine the value of short prayers. God hears them just as much as He does long prayers (1 Chron. 4:10). Jabez’s plea to God is just one example of many of God listening to and answering short prayers. 


We may only sometimes have the time to make long supplications. Short prayers are just as effective. Even something as simple as “God, help me” or “God, thank you” is adequate. We see that throughout the Psalms (Psa. 18:6; 22:19; 26:7; 27:9; 28:7; 30:2; 34:17). We’re still making our requests known to God with just three little but mighty words. 


Pray long prayers


Jesus was no stranger to spending a long time in prayer. Before He chose His 12 apostles, Luke tells us that He spent all night in prayer (Luke 6:12–16). Sometimes, we talk to our friends and family members for hours and lose track of time. We can do the same when we pray to God, especially if there’s a big decision you’re facing or some kind of trouble in your life. Talking to God about it for an extended period helps. He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7). 


Pray specific prayers 


Talk to God directly about circumstances where you would like Him to intervene. We can offer prayers of thanksgiving, prayers for the lost, our brothers and sisters, those who have lost loved ones, our country, etc. (Eph. 1:15–16; Rom. 10:1–2; 1 Thes. 1:2–3; 1 Tim. 2:1–4). Communicating with God with a certain level of specificity can help ease the burden of not knowing what to pray for. 


Pray with a small group 


The devil gets mad when one person prays to God, but when a small band of Christians comes together and petitions the Almighty, I’m sure he gets even more upset. Praying collectively is powerful and Biblical. The early church practiced this often (Acts 2:42; 12:5; 14:23). We should be more open with one another and talk to God collectively about issues we or others may be facing. 


Pray in faith 


It’s no good if we approach the throne of grace with a defeatist mentality (Heb. 4:16).   We are wasting our time in prayer if we don’t believe God can grant our requests (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5–6). Nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). So, instead of telling God how big our problems are, we need to tell our problems how big our God is! God is bigger than our problems. He can handle them, but not if we ask with little to no faith. There’s nobody greater than Him (Heb. 6:13). 


Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis; just do it 


Analysis paralysis is when you take so much time thinking about a situation's outcomes to the point that you don’t do anything. We can become too fearful to decide because of over-analyzing. We shouldn’t allow the past to cripple us to the point that we can’t move forward. We can think, “God didn’t answer my prayer before; should I go to Him again?”


We can’t have that mindset when it comes to prayer. We must be like Nike and Just Do It because God is ready to listen. James said we have not because we ask not (Jas. 4:2-3). Perhaps we’re one prayer away from God moving mountains in our lives. Perhaps we’re one prayer away from God intervening in our loved one’s medical situation. 


Perhaps we’re one prayer away from our Father helping our friends and family realize the error of their ways and obey the gospel. We’ll never know unless we try to pray about these things. 


Final Thoughts


I get it; it seems our world is moving at such a fast pace, and we may feel we don’t have time to talk to God. Don’t get bogged down with the cares of this world that you forget to utilize perhaps the most incredible tool in the Christian’s arsenal: prayer. It still works and is still effective! I hope these tips will encourage you to strengthen your prayer life and explore the beauty of communicating with our Heavenly Father. 


Endnotes


1. Ash, Anthony Lee. Pray Always: What the New Testament Teaches about Prayer. Leafwood Publishers & Acu Press, 2008.

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Rebecca Reed
Rebecca Reed
21 mar

I'm going to come back and finish reading this... I know this article is going to be helpful!!

I am currently reading this. I hope everyone Ambassador/child of God reads this.


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