5 Steps to Strengthen Your Prayers
- Julie Gillies Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2017 1 Feb
Whether you’re facing an impossible situation, stepping out into a new area, or trusting God for a miracle, prayer is arguably our most potent weapon as believers.
Prayer is not only a privilege and a blessing, but through prayer our hearts are strengthened and encouraged. Through prayer the atmosphere of our homes and our hearts change. Through prayer God brings our hearts into alignment with His. And through prayer God works in surprising and incredible ways.
One of the best investments we can make is taking time to strengthen the foundation of our prayer lives. Here are five steps to strengthen your prayers.
1. Know who you are.
When we surrender our hearts and lives to the Lord, everything changes. We change. We are now children of the Most High God (Psalm 82:6). We are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20), and we are joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
This places us in a position of unspeakable privilege. A position of authority (Mark 3:15). When we know who we are and Whose we are, we can pray from that vantage point, knowing we have the legal right to challenge the enemy’s authority, and the relational right to ask in faith.
2. Know God is always listening.
There’s nothing worse than spilling your heart to someone who is not giving you their undivided attention. But we not only have God’s heart, we have His ear. Jesus, speaking to His Father, said, “Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me” (John 11:42). Because we are in Christ, we are assured that He always hear us, as well.
We can be confident that “He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him” (1 John 5:14). Scripture also assures us that “if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7)
3. Pray God’s Word.
The most powerful prayers we can pray include Scripture. If God’s Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), and it accomplishes the purposes for which God sends it (Isaiah 55:11), then praying Scripture is the wisest and most potent weapon in our prayer arsenal.
One of the ways to do this is by personalizing Scripture. For instance:
"I will advance steadily toward spiritual maturity." (2 Corinthians 13:11)
"I will be constantly aware of Your unfailing love and live according to your truth." (Psalm 26:3)
"Spread Your protection over ________." (Psalm 5:11b)
"Show ______ Your unfailing love in wonderful ways." (Psalm 17:7a)
4. Write it down.
Most of us have prayer lists as long as our arms. I’m constantly thinking of something or someone to pray for or a situation that needs my prayers, but unless I write it down, there’s no guarantee I’ll remember to pray.
The truth is we can’t hit a target we don’t see, so it’s wise to keep a notepad near your prayer chair (or wherever you tend to pray) and keep an ongoing, regularly updated list. I keep my note pad paper inside my Bible so I’ll see it every morning. Alternatively, prayer lists can be kept on smartphones, index cards, or sticky notes.
5. Know He knows you.
I love that when we pray, we aren’t bowing our hearts before a distant God who knows nothing about us. The truth is that the very hairs on our heads are numbered (Luke 12:7). That’s an intimate picture of how well our Creator knows us, down to the tiniest detail.
And even if we feel like our prayers fumble and are far from eloquent, it’s okay. God knows us and He knows our hearts. He always understands what we mean. Psalm 139:1 says “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.” That’s potent reassurance that we will never be misunderstood because our heavenly Father knows us intimately.
We can pray real prayers. Raw prayers. Angry prayers and desperate prayers. We can pray from the depths of our being knowing we are known, valued, and loved to the highest degree.
Please pray with me:
Lord, I bow my heart before You and give You honor and praise. Oh God, strengthen my prayer life. Help me to pray more. Nudge me to pray when I’m doing mindless tasks. Help me to truly know who I am in Christ, to understand that You always hear me, to know Your Word so I can pray it, to write down my own prayer needs and the needs of others, and to know that You really do know me. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.
Julie K. Gillies is the author of the devotional, Prayers for a Woman's Soul and From Hot Mess to Blessed: Hope to Propel Your Soul and the Promises that Change Everything (coming August 1 from Harvest House Publishers). Healed from a traumatic childhood and awed that God uses even a far from perfect high school drop out to do the most unlikely things, her message helps women pray with boldness, confidence, and the certainty that God hears. Julie is the joyful wife of Keith, mom of three and Grammy of four. She loves baking from scratch, bicycling with her hubby, any day without humidity, and hanging out with the entire family at home, especially on days when her house is clean. Find FREE resources and connect with Julie at: www.JulieGillies.com
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: February 1, 2017