Living on Purpose: Developing an effective prayer life

Dr. William Holland

Posted May 2, 2022

By Dr. William Holland

Prayer is a familiar word that we hear every day and is usually associated with something being wrong and needing to be fixed. I receive emails and texts on a regular basis from those who are having a crisis and call on me to pray for them and I certainly do. For Christians, being in agreement with the prayers of others is a blessing and responsibility as the power of God is increased and multiplied. For those who are not familiar with talking to God, it’s common for them to call others who they believe can plead with the Lord on their behalf.

It’s an honor for people to ask someone to pray as they trust this person knows God, but the truth is that everyone has the opportunity to be as close to God as they desire. This is not the most popular statement but nonetheless true. Prayer was never intended to be a last resort option that is used in an emergency like calling the fire department. The miracle of Christ being crucified and resurrecting from the dead, restored the broken relationship between God and mankind that happened when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. God gave His Son so that we could be saved and communicate with Him.

To begin, we must pray for a desire to pray, for if we are not interested in praying it will not happen. Everyone does what they want and prayer will never become a habit until we become determined to make it a lifestyle. Designate a time and a place. When we become serious about spending quiet time talking and listening to God, our life becomes more focused, filled with meaning, peace, purpose, and confidence. We do not arrange our prayer time around our life, we must be determined to arrange our life around our time with Him. Learn all you can about self-discipline. When you make a decision about the best time and place to pray – stick to it! This will be much more of a personal challenge than you ever dreamed. Remember, the enemy will do all that he can to discourage, distract and prevent you from advancing in your relationship with God.

Open your Bible and ask Him to reveal His word. Prayer is not always closing our eyes and just asking for things. It’s a time of sharing our deepest thoughts with God and this includes giving Him an opportunity to respond. Listen intently and write it down. Silence is golden in His presence. Prayer has no substitute. Many have thought that attending church or listening to Christian music is our “quota” of spiritual nourishment. These are good but not enough. We can do all these things and actually grow distant from the Lord if we are not spending personal quiet time with Him. Prayer is our lifeline to His throne and the fountain of our joy. Prayer is progressive. When we decide to enter into this deeper walk with God we will comprehend the true meaning of praying without ceasing. The beauty and ultimate goal of daily meditation is developing a constant awareness of His presence. This is where we grow stronger in our spiritual wisdom and discernment.

Begin a prayer journal. The word of our testimony is a wonderful way to keep track of our burdens, petitions, and victories. What a faith-builder when we make a record of answered prayers and how the Lord manifested a miracle when the situation seemed impossible. Also, study about the armor of God. The Christian life is a battle and make sure you do not step into the front line unarmed. It’s no secret that the devil and His demons are not threatened with lukewarm religion, but they target anyone that makes a decision to pray. Our words contain power. Silent prayers are fine but praying out loud is even better. Confessing and decreeing God’s word is being in agreement with His will. He has promised in Isaiah 57:19 that He would create the fruit of our lips and in Matthew 18:18-20 Jesus speaks about the authoritative power of binding, loosing, and agreeing in faith with His desires. Prayer and obedience are powerful weapons. Yes, we have a nature to worry, be afraid, to wring our hands and speak negative, but this has never helped anyone, it only makes things worse. If we invest the same amount of time praying that we do worrying, we would see more of God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven.

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