By Mary Llewellyn
Part one of this blog focus on the definition of prayer, explaining the difference between prayer and meditation and practical steps to start on your own prayer journey. Part two will focus on the key concepts surrounding prayer. Relationship, being Intentional and Consistent.
Prayer is Relational
From the beginning of time, we were created for relationship with God. God wants a people that would genuinely love Him. Not from a place of obligation. The word of God says,
“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart”. Jeremiah 24:7 (NASB).
Our daily prayer to God is our communication with Him. Many of David’s prayers were captured in the book of Psalms, such as,
“Make glad the soul of Your servant, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You”. Psalms 86:4-5
Our approach to prayer needs to be intentional. In the natural, when we want to get to know someone, we make time in our schedules to spend time in their presence. We intentionally reach out to them via text, phone call or social media. We want to keep the communication lines open. That should be our approach with God. If we have purposed in our heart to get to know our creator, we have to be intentional with how much time we spend with Him. I completely understand that time is our greatest asset. There are so many demands for our time, spouses, family, friends, social media and internet. We are often in a fight to find time for ourselves. However, if we ever want to grow in our relationship with God, we have to intentionally make time for Him. When is the best time of your day? For some it is in the morning for others it is at night. Could you carve out 15 minutes of your day for God? Think about it. You spend at least 15 minutes on your Facebook or Instagram feeds looking at images daily. Could you see yourself giving those 15 mins to God? In the word of God, Jesus was always intentional with time with His Father.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 (NASB);
Our prayer time should be consistent
One of the challenging areas of our lives is consistency, especially, when it comes to prayer. For some of us, we can be focus and pray consistently for about 5 to 7 days, then life gets really busy and we get “off track” as you would say and we become least consistent. Often when we are in a challenging time in our life, a place where only God can help us. We must become motivated to be more consistent with our prayer time. It is God’s plan to build relationship with us during our mountain top and valley experiences. He wants to be with us during the high and low point of our lives. If you think about it, most of your closest friends and relatives have seen you through your victories as well as your disappointments. They still love you unconditionally. God wants to be that for you. In the word of God it says,
”but, there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” Proverbs 18:24 (NASB).
Daniel set consistent prayer times even when it was not popular. Daniel always prayed to God three times daily. Three times he bowed down on his knees to pray and praise God. Even though Daniel heard about the new law that required him to only pray to the king (Daniel 6:7-8), yet he still went to his house to pray. He went up to the upper room of his house and opened the windows that faced toward Jerusalem. Then Daniel bowed down on his knees and prayed just as he always had done. “Daniel 6:10 (NASB). To the point of disobeying the law of the land, Daniel remained consistent before God.
How do I start?
Now that we have discussed the key concepts of prayer, a common question would be “How do I start?”
First, make an intentional choice that you want to deepen your relationship with God.
Second, determine in your mind to you are willing to carve out time in your day to pray. Below is a simple path of prayer taught to me by pastor, Dr. David D. Ireland years ago. Praise and Thanksgiving, purify, pray, praise. It’s simple and effective. This path gives you an opportunity to insert the word of God during the prayer. Note, at first you might feel awkward as you are learning this path. However, if you are consistent in the process, you will see your prayer life and your relationship with God grow.
Below is a simple example of how the path of prayer would look like on paper. Take this format and make it your own.
- Praise and Thanksgiving: Psalm 34:1-4.
- Purify: Psalm 51: 5-6.
- Prayer request:
• Financial: Genesis 22:14, Philippians 4:16, Ephesians 3:20
• Healing: Isaiah 53:5
• Decision Making: James 1:5.
Lord, thank you for answering prayer. Job 22:28
Note: as you pray, remember that this is a relationship builder tool with God. You are praying to God and you are also listening to hear God’s voice speaking to you. One of the most frequently asked questions of new believers is “how do I hear God’s Voice” or “How do I know it’s God or it’s my own thoughts”? When you think you have heard from God, always go back to the word of God to confirm what you heard.
Below are links to tools you can use to start a consistent prayer life
10 times prayer changes people lives.
Smith Wigglesworth: On Prayer, Power and Miracles – Compiled by Roberts Liardon