Improve your prayer life with these habits
Over the last three weeks, we have established the ground rules for developing a prayer life that will change things. We have looked at what prayer is, what it is not, and the things that hinder our prayers. Now that we have an understanding of what God says about prayer, we will go ahead and look at the basic building blocks that will ultimately lead to a strong prayer life if we choose to build on them. These are the four basic first steps to building a strong prayer life.
1. Start each day with God
This is known by some as quiet time or devotions. This is the most important conversation you will have all day. During this time, we are going to speak to the God who can move mountains. Your ‘quiet time’ may just be five minutes on some days and 30 or 60 minutes on others. Whatever it is, don’t miss it. The Psalmist said: “Lord, every morning, you hear my voice. Every morning, I tell you what I need, and I wait for your answer.” (Psalm 5:3, NCV). Ensure that you set aside time at the beginning of the day to spend with God.
2. Get alone with God
Here is what the scripture says: “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6, NLT). It doesn’t matter where you get alone with God, it just needs to be a place that is quiet – a place you can go every time you meet with God. You can leave your cell phone and make it special – just you and God. Jesus’ place was somewhere in the wilderness. Luke 5:16 (NLT) states: “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” This was a habit for Jesus, and it might not be the wilderness, but it can become your habit as well.
If you want to get God’s vision for your life, hear God’s voice, and get God’s guidance, meet with God daily.
3. Before you pray, read scripture
You can start your ‘quiet time’ with the reading of scripture. God often talks to us through the Bible, and it can set the tone for your prayers. God speaks to us through His Word and often uses it to direct us as we pray. The Word of God cannot be replaced by anything else, even the best devotional. So ‘listen’ to God by reading the Bible, and then respond to Him in prayer.
4. Be yourself with God
You are not attempting to be someone else when you pray. Be reverent, but be yourself. God already knows who you are, so simply talk to God. “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (Matthew 6:7-8, NLT). Work on the relationship. Tell God that you want this relationship to grow, and spend time talking to Him about not only your needs but other things that are happening in your life. Ask Him to teach you to hear His voice and spend some time quietly listening. Every relationship goes both ways, so in the same way God listens to us, we need to pause and be quiet and see if He has anything to say.
God wants us to deepen our relationship with Him in this season. In the Word, He tells us to call on Him (pray), and He will answer us. God is about to do something great. Are you ready?