Editor's Note
: The following is a report on the practical applications of Peter Lundell's new book,
 Prayer Power: 30 Days to a Stronger Connection with God, (Revell, 2009).    

When you pray, do you sense God listening to you, or do your prayers seem to just float off into the air unheard?  Do you hear what God has to say, or do you struggle to discern any message from Him?  Do you pray frequently because you love to do so? Or do you often neglect to pray because you’re discouraged or worried that you’re somehow not praying correctly?

If your prayers seem ineffective, you can strengthen them to experience more of God’s power when you pray. Here’s how you can build a stronger prayer connection to God:

Develop a hunger for God. Ask God to help you want Him more than anything or anyone else in your life. When you’re hungry for more of God, you’ll naturally be motivated to meet with Him in prayer.

Seek intimacy with God. Be willing to make drawing closer to God your top priority. Make whatever changes you need to make in your life to allow yourself to spend significant time with God daily in prayer, and regularly confess and repent of sin that blocks your intimacy with God. Deliberately build the rest of your life around your relationship with God.

Pursue God with passion. Overcome complacency and distractions that can cause you to cut back on how much you pray. Simplify your life as much as possible so you won’t be too exhausted to invest lots of time and energy into prayer. Whenever you encounter challenges, view them as opportunities to pray and discover more about God’s plans for you. Ask God to give you a passion for the people and situations that burn in His heart, so you can pray with passion for what matters most to God.

Start a dead engine. Sometimes you may not feel like praying but know that you need to pray anyway. If you crank your prayers to life like you would a stalled engine on a car, your prayers will then begin to flow more naturally. Recognize problems as opportunities to tap into what God can do in your life; pray about whatever problems you encounter, no matter how frustrated or discouraged you are. Use written prayers (like the Lord’s Prayer) to start praying when you don’t have an idea of how pray about something on your own. Play praise and worship music – especially a song that proclaims what you’d like to pray about aren’t sure how to pray yet. Use a prayer notebook or a list of prayer topics to give your prayers clear substance, focus, and direction.

Get a faith lift. When you’re discouraged by challenges you’re facing, don’t give up praying. When you don’t understand what’s going on, keep trusting God. Ask God to give you more faith to help you hold on through the challenges.

Clean house. Lingering sins in your life can block the answers to prayer that God wants to give you – and also lead to spiritual lethargy, emotional turmoil, and physical illness. Clean out your soul by regularly confessing and repenting of whatever sins you know about, and ask God to reveal the ones you don’t so you can deal with them, too. Let go of grudges and forgive other people regularly. Ask God to keep your relationships with Him and others right.

Invite God to strengthen your character. Struggling through hardship gives you a valuable chance to grow in your character if you’re determined to trust God in the process. Pray for God to use your struggles to change you more into the person He wants you to become – someone who is more like Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to heal, correct, and transform you from the inside out.