7. Practice Both Personal and Partnered Prayer
Slide 3 of 3
While the Bible affirms personal prayer times to be an indispensable part of walking with God, Scripture also highlights the value of praying with other believers. Look through the book of Acts, and you’ll notice how often major events, miracles, and growth in the early church occurred in the context of believers praying together.
Ways to amp up your prayer life with others include attending prayer meetings, praying with family, joining a small group or Bible study which prays, or simply finding a few friends who are willing to pray together. In university, for instance, I loved meeting a friend every week to walk around campus and pray for the students, faculty, and needs we saw along the way.
The particulars will look different for different individuals. But when you find the group prayer styles that work best for you, you may be amazed at how your relationships—and your faith—grow!
8. Combine Prayer with Worship and Scripture Study
Whether alone or with friends, another way to steep your life in prayer is to listen to God-centred worship music. If the lyrics are directed toward God, then the song itself becomes a type of prayer. Listening to ‘prayer-style’ worship songs—or letting them play in our heads—allows part of our minds to pray even while we’re engaged in other tasks.
Because the book of Psalms contains the ‘hymnal’ of Scripture, we can also incorporate worship into our prayer times by praying through the Psalms. Instead of simply reading psalms to ourselves, we direct the words toward God or compose our own related prayers based on the concepts we’re reading. We can do this with other portions of Scripture too, infusing opportunities for prayer into our regular Bible reading.
9. Combine Prayer with Fasting
Along with worship and Scripture study, another spiritual discipline to power up our prayer lives is fasting. Jesus spoke of the rewards of both prayer and fasting in Matthew 6:5-18. He also modeled these disciplines by retreating to the wilderness to fast before beginning his ministry (Luke 4:1-2).
Some manuscripts of Mark 9:29 and Matthew 17:21 also suggest that prayer and fasting unlock a door to certain spiritual victories. When Jesus’ disciples were unable to drive out a demon, Jesus answered, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29, NKJV).
Other passages throughout Scripture likewise reflect the importance of fasting and prayer before important events or decisions. Esther, for instance, entreated God’s people to fast before she approached King Ahasuerus to prevent the genocide he’d approved (Esther 4:16). Later in Acts 13:2-3 & 14:23, we also see the church fasting and praying before appointing ministry leaders.
10. Find What Works for You
Because God has wired us as unique individuals called to specific situations, the ways we can best exercise disciplines like fasting, scheduled prayer, and group prayer will look different for different people.
For instance, you might like to write your scheduled prayers in a journal, or simply journal about your day in a way that’s directed toward God. Or you may find it useful to structure your scheduled prayer times using a list of written prayers or prayer requests. You could post these requests in a place you like to pray or write them in a notebook to take with you anywhere.
Maybe you find early mornings work best for your scheduled prayer, so that you can pray for the day ahead, asking God to guide your words and actions. Maybe you pray best while walking outside, or kneeling in a ‘prayer closet,’ or curling up in your favourite chair. Or maybe you like to post verses and prayer points in places you’ll see them throughout the day, to help spark spontaneous prayers.
Whatever the specifics, find what works for you and enjoy the new level of intimacy with God that results.
He might just revolutionize your life.
Related: Listen to our FREE prayer podcast, Teach Us to Pray with Christina Patterson. You can find all the episodes at LifeAudio.com. Here's Episode 1:
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Vadimguzhva