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Praying for a more vibrant prayer life

Victoria sent us the following request:

Pray For me to become a prayer warrior. I have the desire to pray but lack discipline and the words and the faith in God answering. And that I would surrender easily to the Lord my need to control everything and the fear and worry when I can't.

Improving your prayer life is a noble goal and is vital for developing a deeper relationship with God. The Bible offers several guidelines and principles that can help Christians become better at praying:

  1. Start with Honesty: In the Psalms, David is a model of brutal honesty before God. Whether he is joyful, angry, or broken-hearted, David lays it all before the Lord. Being honest in your prayers is the first step toward a meaningful conversation with God.

  2. Be Specific: Jesus encourages us to ask specifically what we need. "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:14). The more specific we are, the more glory God receives when those specific prayers are answered.

  3. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (ACTS): This acronym is a helpful model for keeping your prayers balanced. It stands for Adoration (worshipping God), Confession (admitting your sins), Thanksgiving (expressing gratitude), and Supplication (asking for what you need and desire).

  4. Pray Continually: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 advises believers to "pray without ceasing." This doesn't mean you need to spend every moment in formal prayer, but rather to live in a constant state of awareness of God's presence.

  5. Intercession: Paul encourages Timothy to make "requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone" (1 Timothy 2:1). Interceding for others is a powerful way to exercise your prayer muscle.

  6. Pray God's Word: Using the Bible as a prayer guide is a potent way to pray. Pray the Psalms back to God, or use Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1 or Colossians 1 to guide you.

  7. Pray in the Spirit: Ephesians 6:18 says, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." This suggests being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in prayer.

  8. Quiet Time: Jesus often withdrew to quiet places to pray (Luke 5:16). Having a designated time and place free from distractions can deepen your prayer life.

  9. Persistence: The Bible contains several stories about the power of persistent prayer. In Luke 18, Jesus tells the Parable of the Persistent Widow to show that we should always pray and not give up.

  10. Seeking His Will: Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (“not my will, but yours be done” - Luke 22:42) is a model for aligning our desires with God’s will.

  11. Gratitude: Make a habit of thanking God for His blessings, as it's easy to focus solely on what we need or want. A thankful heart sets the stage for deeper communion with God.

  12. Corporate Prayer: The early church was characterized by communal prayers. Acts 1:14 describes the disciples as being “continually devoting themselves to prayer.” There is power in praying with others.

Improving your prayer life is a journey, one that brings you closer to God as you practice these biblical principles. Remember, the goal of prayer is not just asking for things but developing a deeper relationship with God.

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