It seems counter-intuitive to say we need greater prayer in our lives as Christians, but it is a fact. Christians by and large are ignoring the power of prayer and God’s open ear and our High Priest.
So what does the prayer life of a Christian look like today? Prayer for many is an afterthought. At best, bare minutes are dedicated to prayer a single day, every day. Studies have shown even pastors tend to spend little more time than others. The most robust in prayer are barely scratching double digits of time towards prayer.
There is a story about Luther that is fitting in this 500th anniversary year of the Reformation. Luther prayed two hours per day, every day. Unless he was really busy and had even more to do. When Luther was overcome with work and commitments he actually added an additional hour to his prayer life because he realized God is capable of doing so much more than Luther could, so it would be a good idea to invest in God first, before investing in anything else.
We are expected to pray. Please pull out your Bible and read these verses:
- Matthew 6:5-9 are four elements of prayer.
- Luke 11:9
- Luke 18:1
- Col 4:2
- 1 Thes 5:17
Now consider how much emphasis we place on prayer, or not. It is shameful is it not? However, you are not going to become a titan of prayer overnight, most likely. What we need to do is add prayer in all the places we can.
- Identify times prayer can be added. Put these in your journal and begin praying during these times.
- Pray while you drive. Many of us spend 1-2 hours behind the wheel every day. This is a great time to pray.
- Pray for other people. I like to work close to far. Family, church, community, missionaries, country, specific locations, the world. I have gone from big to small also, but usually close to away, that way if I get interrupted those closest to my heart will be covered.
- Pray as you read the Bible. One of the funnest things is incorporating Bible passages/verses into prayers. I think one of the best ways to pray is to use the language God has already given us and we find that language in the Bible. These are powerful prayers and my confidence in prayer grows when I use God’s own words within my prayers. I am confident you will find this also.
- Keep track of answered prayers in your journal. Positive reinforcement tends to bring bigger results and more of the behavior. As we recognize those prayers getting answered by God, it gives us even more desire to share with God and pray to Him.