March 4, 2019
5 Powerful Steps for Growing Your Prayer Life
March 11, 2019 | Pastor Steve Huffman
Have you ever read these following verses and thought, "What does praying continually, or praying always even look like?” I have…
Luke 18:1 “Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and never give up”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
Over the last few years, I've been exploring exactly what it means to “pray always” and “pray continually." I’m certainly not perfect at this but as I've dove deep into those verses, here are a few of the things that I've learned.
#1. Find a consistent time and routine to pray.
This may seem obvious and almost any book on prayer will tell you the same thing. It takes anywhere between 21 days to 66 days of consistency to develop a habit that sticks. Jesus regularly went off by himself to a quiet place to pray and many times it was early in the morning. Put time in your calendar to go off to a quiet place, like Jesus, and prioritize prayer.
#2. Become “prayer opportunity” sensitive.
When you are in your normal daily routine and something does not seem right, or something is not going right use it as a moment to stop and pray. Your prayer could be a short invitation for God to intervene in a situation, or a few minutes of time to separate yourself from the world to pray and listen. To move towards praying always and continually you will need to pray even when it is not on your calendar.
#3. Pray scripture.
This is such a helpful practice but it takes lots of practice. When you are reading your bible and a verse sticks out or a verse is relevant to your situation then pray that verse over yourself. Make the scripture personal over you and over your situation. Dwell on that verse throughout the day.
For instance Ephesians 1:17 has a great prayer that states “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” A prayer that I have prayed over myself from that verse is “Father, give ME a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may know you better.”
#4. List praying.
List praying is a wonderful tool to make sure you cover certain prayer targets. Some find list praying boring or monotonous as you hit the same things over and over again. Here are some tips to help your list prayers.
- Get 50x more specific with your list details. This may allow you to see God’s activity if you get more specific in what you are praying for. For instance, if you are praying for a family member, what could you pray for specifically that you might see God move through this week. This can make your prayers much more specific and detailed.
- Make a day a specific target – set aside a specific day for a category of your prayer list. For instance, Monday could be your family members, Tuesday could be your co-workers, Wednesday could be the leaders of the church, etc.
- Use an app – Technology can be your friend and there are many prayer applications that can be used to enhance your prayer life. Echo prayer app is an example that is becoming more popular.
If you do not currently journal I would recommend you try it out. Journaling your prayers, answer to prayers and conversations with God are ways to improve your prayer life. I use an electronic journal and try to write a journal entry to God as a prayer regularly. It can be beneficial to also share in the journal things you hear from God and what answers you received from prayer.
Using one or a few of these practices has helped me move closer, yet still, a ways away, from praying always.
Pastor Steve Huffman oversees a number of areas including leadership development, campus development, and prayer ministries. He has been at Vineyard since 2012 and joined our staff in 2015.