Pray without ceasing
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Here are some helpful tips that I have come to learned that will perhaps jumpstart your prayer life:
- Schedule times of prayer in your day
If your goal is to pray and intercede for an hour a day, you will have a much higher chance of doing that if you put it in your schedule to do so. Even if you don’t do it 100% and accomplish maybe 80%, you will probably prayed much more than if you didn’t set your mind to setting time aside to pray. For instance, my goal is to pray to Jesus three hours a day. I have 3 one hour blocks throughout the day on my calendar. I don’t always get to it, but more often than not, because I have to plan around it, I’ll remember to pray.
- Start off times of prayer with worship
Sometimes it’s hard to get into prayer because you don’t “feel” like it. Starting off with singing a sing with a MP3 player or just acapella a favorite worship song, it will quicken your heart and your mind to enter into the place of prayer. Feel free to worship during prayer and after prayer. Or even just worship!
- Ask the Holy Spirit constantly to give grace for a prayer life
If you ask the Holy Spirit to supernaturally birth within you a prayer life, he will do it. He honors weak prayers such as “help me pray” or “help me to have a prayer life.” More often than not, you will find yourself having a hunger for prayer and for intercession throughout the day and for your extended life. If you find yourself not having prayed a lot the last week, ask the Holy Spirit to give you power to pray for extended seasons of your life.
- Ask the Holy Spirit what is on his mind/heart
Prayer is not just bringing a list of needs that we have (although that’s good), but it’s about praying back to Jesus the things of his heart. Part of the point of prayer is to be connected with the heart of God and so when you ask God for topics to prayer, he’ll often start highlighting people, places, situations that will jump start your prayer life. These are often the easiest and best prayers. An easy way to do this is to constantly pray, “Holy Spirit, what’s on your mind? What’s on your heart?” Do this on your car ride, while you’re waiting for the bus, at the grocery store, and you’ll find yourself praying everywhere!
- Use the Word to guide your prayers
God only answers prayers that are in his will. And since God’s Word is God’s will, the Bible is your best tool to have a prayer life. Turn to any passage where the Bible is encouraging something and ask the Holy Spirit for those things. For instance, Eph 4:29 writes, “let not corruption come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up.” Your prayer could look like, “Jesus help me not to say anything discouraging to other people. Give me words to release grace to others. Remove the things in my heart which are overflowing corruptive talk, etc…” God will always answer prayers in accordance to his word!
- Pray with other Christians
Get together regularly with other believers and just pray for the sake of praying. It will make it much easier if you bring a guitar or any other instrument and mix in worship and prayer. Often, the line between the two are not as thick as we suppose. Pray for each other, pray the scriptures together, pray for your churches and your campus together. God is constantly looking for people who will pray to him
- Organize Your Prayer Life
I find that I have much more order to my prayer life when I organize it so that I always have things running through my heart and my mind to pray for. For instance, I divide my entire prayer life into 1) My inner man 2) My circumstances 3) My ministry. Under those categories, I’ll have things I keep on there (for example, for my inner man, I always pray Eph 3:13-20, for my circumstances, I always pray through the events of the day, and I pray for God’s blessings in the spheres of ministry that I’m involved with) You can come up with your own way of organizing, but I find it helpful to diagram it out and to keep it somewhere where you will see it often. It will help you prioritize what’s important and to never neglect the areas of your life of prayer.
- Love Jesus’ Presence
The goal of having a prayer life is not always just getting results, although that’s great. It’s to be in the presence of Jesus. More often the bulk of my prayer life is just conversing with Jesus and pouring out my heart to him. It’s to acquaint your spirit and your soul to be near the Holy Spirit.
- Highly Recommended Resources:
Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer by E.M. Bounds ISBN: 0801064945
Reese Howell: Intercessor by Norman Grubb ISBN: 0875081886
Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill ISBN: 0764229052
Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge ISBN: 0970479107