If you follow Jesus, then you probably have heard quite a bit of talk about prayer. Even if you are not a believer, you probably know a bit about prayer.
But do we really know the fullness of prayer?
I think most of us do not, otherwise, we’d all be doing a lot more of it!
Prayer is God’s invitation into conversation with Him. The God of the Universe, the God who created you, the God who holds all things in His hands has invited you to chat with Him!!
If a leader you admired invited you to lunch, wouldn’t you go? Wouldn’t you drop everything in order to go to that lunch?
Yet, when’s the last time you canceled plans or refused an invitation so that you could take the time to pray, to chat with God?
Here’s my theory: Most of us can’t hear God’s voice, so prayer feels like we are talking to ourselves. Now that can get old quickly!
3 ways to excite/intensify/improve your prayer life
Make it daily
As with anything in life, the more you practice, the better you become at something. Set aside time every day to pray. If writing your prayers helps, then get a journal for your prayers. This can be cool because you will be able to look back at your prayers and see all that God has answered. If you are more of a verbal processor, take your prayer time somewhere you feel free to speak out loud.
Whatever suits your personality, do that and do it every day.
Speak AND Listen
Sometimes we are so full of worry and concern our prayer time is completely filled up with us talking. Remember, though, prayer is meant to be a conversation. If we never stop talking, when will God have the chance to speak. Believe me, we want to hear His voice! It’s way better that our own!
I have found a very effective way of hearing God’s voice which may not work for everyone, but I’ll lay it out here anyway. I prefer writing during my prayer time. So I’ll start out my daily entry with gratitude and some prayer requests. Or I might pray on behalf of others for a while.
Then, I put a quotation mark and I wait. I ask God what He would like to say today. Then, whatever I think He is saying, I write down inside my quotation marks. I don’t try to edit His voice and I don’t question whether I am really hearing Him (although I used to). I just write. I trust that the words I write that are more me than God will work themselves out in other ways.
I have been doing this for years! I have been so encouraged by God and what He chooses to speak to me in these times. I usually spend more time listening to Him than talking.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. (John 10:4)
God wants us to hear Him. He is not trying to hide from us. If you have yet to feel like you can hear Him, lean in more. Take more time for listening. Ask Him to speak to you. Ask Him to help you hear his voice. Then, stop doubting. Trust! Believe!
Check what you think He is saying against the Bible. If what you think He said contradicts the Bible, then you will know you have misheard. Throw away those words and try again.
Overwhelmingly, God’s message to me is that He loves me, that He’s happy I’m listening to Him, that everything I’m worried about is going to be ok.
He has the same words for you! Take the time to listen.
Trust that Prayer Brings Change
Actually, prayer changes EVERYTHING!! Steady prayer will leave nothing the same as before prayer.
I have seen people be healed, inside and out, by prayer. I’ve seen chronic depression cease because of prayer. I’ve seen hearts be completely changed because of prayer. I’ve seen relationships restored because of prayer. I’ve seen miraculous provision because of prayer.
Prayer. Changes. Everything.
When we speak and listen to our incredible God, He literally moves mountains. I had one friend describe prayer as that way in which we take part in bringing about God’s vision.
God has given us supernatural power through prayer. He has given us the authority to pray in His name and wield His power in the world.
When we fully grasp that truth and all of its ramifications, we will not be able to get enough prayer time!
As we face a time when the world is just sobbing in pain, we may be tempted to feel helpless. What can we do? We are just one person with limited time and resources. Yet, from our couch, our car, our closet, we can unleash the power of God to bring relief and help to our hurting world.
You don’t have to have a special gifting to pray, you just have to DO IT. Be bold! Believe God’s promises are true and pray until you see them come to pass in your life and the lives around you.
I’m telling you, you’ll have no regrets for the time you’ve dedicated to prayer!