If we are going to stand strong for Jesus, we must build and cultivate a life where prayer becomes as natural and constant as breathing. You cannot live victoriously while having a weak and erratic prayer life. A. W. Tozer put it this way: “We pray only as well as we live.” When we surrender our lives to Jesus, we will pray more, and our prayers will have more power as our requests align with the will of God.
A life surrendered to Jesus will be filled with prayer. You can’t be all in with Jesus and not have prayer as the central theme of your life. Yet, for many of us, a prayer life that is vibrant and full of power remains elusive.
There is no one size fits all method to ignite your prayer life. Prayer is a conversation with God, born out of your relationship with Him. So, having a relationship with God is the first step. Without it, your prayers will never make it past your ceiling. Nurturing a relationship with God means spending long hours in His presence. You can not develop a relationship with someone you don’ know. David Platt said, “The primary purpose of prayer is not to get something, but to know someone.” Prayer is never about getting what we want in life, but rather seeing God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
There are many ways you can pray. Setting aside a regular time each day is important. It lets God know you cherish the time with Him and guard it with ferocity. I like to start my day in prayer, so early morning works best for me. I enjoy closing my day in prayer, but often find my eyes too heavy for that to be an effective time. You can set intervals during the day to spend a few minutes blocking out the noise and distractions of the world and just talking to your Father. When I was in the corporate world, I would often steal moments in between meetings to close the door of my office or an empty conference room and still my mind with three or four minutes of prayer.
Prayer has always come naturally for me. For as long as I can remember, I have spent my days in constant conversation with God. I do my best to notice both needs and beauty around me and offer prayers and praise as they occur. I also am continually asking for wisdom and direction as I navigate my day. But these are noisy and often distracted prayers. It’s why those dedicated times are so important. We need time to sit and listen to what God is saying instead of always bombarding Him with what we want to say.
I can’t overstate how important a powerful prayer life is to your walk as a disciple. When Jesus is our all, we will be desperate to spend time with Him and get to know Him. We will develop a hunger for His Word and an aching need to spend time in prayer with Him. If you struggle to spend time in prayer, do some work reminding yourself to whom you are speaking. Prayer is an audience with the Creator of the universe, time with the One who gave His life so you could live. As long as your prayer life feels like an obligation and not a privilege, you will not experience how life-changing it can be. If you want to live a life that looks like Jesus, follow His example of spending time in prayer (Mark 1:35). Surrender fully to God. Listen to the voice of Your Heavenly Father and do what He tells you to do.