Prayer is one of the most powerful gifts we have. It is an amazing force in our lives which can affect change both internally and externally.
Unfortunately many of us find that instead of always being in a place where our prayer life is constantly improving, we are instead in a place where our tendency to pray weaves and flows with the needs of our lives.
When life is good, our prayers are short because I do not need anything in particular.
When life isn’t so good, our prayers fall flat because we are our of practice. But we are instructed to pray in all situations, good or bad.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
For many of us on this journey to being more like Christ, our prayer journeys are a habit that we constantly work to find balance in. (This is even more so important to me as I have been more intentional about making prayer an integral part of my self-care plan.)
Prayer can bring us closer to God, help us grow in faith and deepen our relationship with others, but we have to remember that the goal of prayer isn’t just to pray more but rather to slow down, and remember that prayer is communication. In this blog post, I’m going share 7 simple tips that will transform your personal prayer life!
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What is the importance of prayer in our life?
As I mentioned in the introduction, prayer is vital not just for how it can effect our external situations, but also in the way that it can transform our internal situations. Prayer isn’t simply a religious discipline that we have to add to our daily to-do lists. It is the source and our ability to speak and communicate to the creator of the Universe!
Prayer changes the way we see our situations. Many times the way we see a situation is limited by our humanity. We can not see beyond our own experience in this world. Prayer reminds us of the bigger picture, that there is a plan and purpose for all things!
Prayer changes the way we feel about our situation. Many times prayer can be in the form of a prayer of praise to God who has given so many gifts into our lives. This redirection allows us to experience life with a more grateful heart
Prayer allows us to open our hearts to hear from the Lord. Because prayer is communication we must remember that that is a two way street. When we pray, and stop to listen, we realize that the Lord is always speaking.
Prayer gives us a chance to learn more about the Lord. Additionally, prayer is important because it allows us the space for the Lord to share more of who he is with us. When we pray and meditate on the word of the Lord through devotion and prayer we get to see more of who he is!
So as you can see there are so many benefits and reasons why prayer is vitally important for us, and why developing an effective prayer life is essential to our human experience.
What does the bible say about prayer?
There are many examples of prayer in the bible. There are also tons of scriptures of the how, what, and when to pray! We are encouraged by prayers such as those prayed by Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:10-16, and Hagar in Genesis 21:15-19 that the Lord is nearest to those who are hurting.
We are also instructed on how to pray by our Savior Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13. In the Lord’s prayer we are instructed to pray not to be seen by others but to be focused on the Lord. We are reminded that prayer is intimate, and that it can be simple and that it should not only include our needs but also communicate where we see need in the world of others!
Additionally there are bible verses about the power of prayer in our lives that encourages us to constantly seek to grow and develop our personal prayer life.
Bible verses about the power of prayer
So why is prayer such a powerful weapon in our lives? Why should we even be concerned with deepening our prayer life? Well there are many bible verses about the power of prayer that speak to that exactly!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
We get direction when we pray. When we lay our hearts and our anxieties before the Lord, he is faithful to show us the direction to go. This is power enough to begin to grow your prayer life!
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:14-16
This again is one of those stand alone bible verses about prayer. It reminds us that there is healing in a consistent prayer life. When we pray for others we can affect their lives as well within the will of the Lord! This verse on prayer also reminds us that there is great power in the prayers of a righteous person.
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it John 14:13-14
Prayer allows us to attribute glory to where it is due and the answer to prayer allows us to glorify the Lord! The beauty and power in this scripture about prayer is the Father is glorified in our answered prayers.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven Psalm 107:28-30
This bible verse about the power of prayer encourages us that safety is found when we pray. The Lord moves on our behalf when we humble ourselves and seek him! Whether it be a storm raging in our physical world or one within us, it stills in the presence of our father!
7 Simple tips to develop a consistent prayer life
Now that you are shored up on the fact that prayer is important to our lives and powerful in our lives you are probably still wondering, how do you develop and deepen your prayer life.
Start by listening to prayers
One of the major reasons people hesitate to pray is because they don’t feel they have the right words to say. When I am given this reason for why some may not pray as often as they may want, I always recommend that they start by listening to prayers. There are many great Christian meditation apps that can really help you to increase your confidence in prayer. One of my favorites, (I still use this one to this day) is Abide.
With abide there are daily prayer meditations with guided stopping points for you to dwell on your own reflections.
Begin Slow and short
Another thing that often keeps us from being consistent is when we make the decision to pray more we also generally decide that we are going to pray LONG! I am very guilty of this. I will shoot for praying in the morning then decide that I want to pray for an hour each morning, and thats how I start, trying to pray for an hour after barely praying the Lord’s prayer every night. This is just not sustainable. What we should focus on instead is consistency.
This means instead of starting out praying for 1 hour every day, try just 5 minutes. 2 minutes of praise and repentence, 1 minute of requests, and 2 minutes of listening. Then as that becomes easy, add on in short increments. Remember, the important thing is connection, not amount of time.
Break your prayer time up
Another tip you can do to help deepen your personal prayer life is to break up your prayer time throughout the day. Maybe you do want to start with 15 minutes a day, but instead of trying to make that 15 minutes up in the morning or in a particular large chunk each day, consider breaking it up into 5 minute increments.
Pray 5 minutes in the morning, then 5 minutes on your lunch break and then another 5 minutes before bed.
Write your prayers down
Seriously, the one habit that really encouraged me to have a more consistent prayer life was to begin to write down my prayers. Using a prayer journal was without a doubt the game changer in my prayer life. When I made it a habit to write to the lord each night what was on my heart I found that I often got lost in the habit and I was much more clear in the words that the Lord was saying back to me.
Schedule your prayer time in
So many times our prayer life gets neglected because we leave it off of the to do list. It may be really un-sexy to add “pray” to your to do list, but if you were to see it, every day, all day on your list glaring at you, you’d probably be more prone to “getting it over with.” Now I know that also doesn’t sound like the most glamorous, but life is messy, and starting a new habit of prayer can also be messy. We have to muddy it up before it becomes something that is beautiful, and the Lord has grace for each of these stages.
Now this is a fun tip for growing your prayer life. Essentially what you are doing is attaching praying to something else that you have to do. One great habit to bundle prayer to is your commute. You can have a prayer power hour by simply dedicating your morning commute to the Lord. Listen to worship music, or the bible app and then pray through the commute. You could also do this with other activities that are necessary, like cooking, or sweeping.
Give yourself Grace
The last thing that you can do to help develop a prayer life is to give yourself grace. Do not think about how many times in the past you tried to start a consistent prayer routine. Instead take each day as a new day to grow closer to the Lord. Remember, he does not expect perfection, he simply wants you to be pressing into him. To seek him and he will surely be found.
Prayer is one of the most important aspects of your spiritual life. Growing your prayer life doesn’t happen overnight, it does take patience and grace to develop a consistent prayer life. Love these tips? Check out our course Quiet time with the Lord for more tips on preparing your schedule, heart, and home for more consistent and intentional quiet time with the Lord.