The Secret : The 7 Ways to Cultivate a Better, More Powerful Prayer Life

The Secret : The 7 Ways to Cultivate a Better, More Powerful Prayer Life

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When I was young, our church had people we called prayer warriors. These people had a reputation for praying and getting responses. If we had a serious problem, we engaged these prayer warriors to pray with us. I never saw a prayer warrior turn anyone away. They always gladly participated in praying for others.

Not surprisingly, the prayer warriors were older believers. God always answers prayers, but it takes time and discipline to become considered a warrior in any area of life. While we may not be “mature believers” and may not call ourselves “prayer warriors,” we can aim for that model. We can each develop more power and influence through prayer if we commit the time and humility.

Here are seven ways to cultivate a better, more powerful prayer life.

1. Set Up a Routine

Setting a routine includes having a regular time and space for prayer. Jesus modeled having a special time and place for prayer: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).

Having a structure for our prayer life helps us in various ways. A daily prayer fosters discipline: our relationship with God is a priority for which we will create time. Whether it’s early in the morning, during a lunch break, or before bed, the specific time ensures that prayer becomes a non-negotiable part of our routine. Maintaining a strong and vibrant prayer life becomes easier as the routine becomes a habit. We spend less time thinking about our surroundings more time focusing on the spiritual practice.

While we may not have a prayer closet or special prayer room, designating a specific space for prayer matters. It enhances our focus and reverence: this space is where we take time to talk with God. Ideally, it should be somewhere with minimal distractions: a quiet room corner, a nature spot, or a similar space that encourages reflection. As we pair location with routine, everything comes together: we train our minds to automatically enter a state of worship and reverence whenever we are in that location.

One word of wisdom: we will want to quit at some point. Perhaps we’ll miss a day, struggle to find the best time, or our quiet space will have more distractions than we expected. We are weak and require God’s strength to follow Jesus’ model. We can give ourselves grace when we fail and rest in his power to help us develop the prayer routine.

2. Pray as a Child to the Father

Jesus shared his Father with us and taught us to address him as a loving Father. We also remember that in Christ, we are redeemed and have the Holy Spirit within us. As we remember this perspective, our prayers go from being rituals to intimate conversations with our Heavenly Father. As Romans 8:15 says, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Abba is an intimate Hebrew word for an affectionate father, not a distant figure. Embracing our status as Abba Father’s children deepens our connection with God and infuses our prayers with confidence and love.

Praying as a beloved child to the Father acknowledges our secure identity in God’s family. It shifts our focus from fear and formality to love and trust. Therefore, we can approach God with openness, share our hearts honestly, and seek his guidance with assurance. We bring our needs, desires, and struggles before him, confident that he listens and cares deeply.

As we pray, we can be mindful of Jesus’ presence within us: he intercedes on our behalf and empowers our words. Our union with Christ gives our prayers authority and aligns our desires with God’s will. Galatians 2:20 reminds us, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

3. Pray in Faith

All Scripture teaches that we should infuse our prayers with unwavering belief in God’s power. Jesus teaches us that faith plays a significant role in prayer: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24). We can approach prayer with confidence in God’s ability to act. Our petitions become expressions of trust and expectancy.

Praying by faith means we fully trust God’s power to answer our prayers according to his perfect will. Our minds shift from doubt to assurance, knowing that God can accomplish what we ask and more. Faith-filled prayers are grounded in understanding God’s limitless power and love for us. In faith, we bring our requests boldly before him, confident that he hears and responds.

We cultivate this powerful prayer life by immersing ourselves in God’s Word, which reveals His promises and mighty works. Romans 10:17 says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Regularly engaging with Scripture strengthens our faith, aligning our hearts with God’s truth and trusting in his power. What he did before, he can do again.

Praying and believing in God’s power means we do have to make some changes. We relinquish control and submit to his sovereignty. We believe in God’s perfect time and methods, even when they don’t meet our expectations. Surrender allows us to experience the peace and assurance of relying on God’s omnipotence.

4. Practice Gratitude and Praise

Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. In faith, we begin prayer with praise and gratitude. Psalm 100:4 instructs us, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” We’ve been invited into God’s very throne room through the Son and the Spirit. Starting our prayers with gratitude and worship acknowledges God’s greatness, setting our hearts in the right posture to approach him.

When we begin prayer with thanks, we remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness and blessings. This shifts our focus from our problems to God’s goodness, fostering humility and appreciation. We don’t deny our problems; neither does God. However, thanking God for what he’s already done and has promised to do places our situation in the proper context.

When we praise God at the start of our prayers, we enter a state of worship. By declaring his greatness, holiness, and love, we invite his presence into our lives. Praise not only honors God; it strengthens our faith, reminding us of his power and sovereignty. This practice transforms our prayer time into a meaningful encounter with the Almighty.

Incorporating thanksgiving and praise prepares us to present our requests confidently, knowing that we speak to a God who is worthy of all honor and capable of all things. Worship sets the stage for our next practice: praying big.

5. Pray Big

We approach a God who has raised the dead, parted the Red Sea, delivered whole nations, beat death and sin, and more. We should pray big.

Ephesians 3:20 affirms, “Now to him who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us.” This scripture encourages us to pray grand and audacious requests, confident in God’s limitless power and willingness to act on our behalf.

When we pray big, we acknowledge God’s ability to surpass our expectations. We can expand our vision and trust the Father’s power to work miracles. Praying boldly, we ask for things impossible by human standards, knowing that nothing is too difficult for God. Praying for what only God can do invites Him to work in extraordinary ways.

Praying big strengthens our faith as we witness God’s responses to our bold requests. We learn to rely on his strength rather than our own, fostering a deeper dependence on him. We open ourselves to experiencing God’s abundant blessings and transformative power by stepping out in faith and asking for more.

Asking big goes beyond ourselves. We should intercede on other’s behalf, desiring God’s best for each person. When we ask God’s abundant blessings for people, we behave like our Father and begin to see him powerfully move for our family and friends.

6. Keep Prayer Journal

Keeping a prayer journal helps cultivate a deeper, more effective prayer life. By documenting our prayers, we record our spiritual journey, letting us see how God moves and answers. Habakkuk 2:2 encourages this practice: “Then the LORD replied: ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.’” Recording God’s messages and our prayers enables us to reflect on his faithfulness over time.

A prayer journal empowers us to pray better. Writing down our thoughts, requests, and praises prevents our minds from wandering. It keeps our conversations with God organized. This practice encourages us to be specific about our needs and grateful for our blessings. All these elements together foster a structured, meaningful prayer experience.

The prayer journal can also encourage us in hard times. We can look back and remember God’s faithfulness: how God has answered prayers, provided for our needs, and guided us through challenges. Reflection strengthens our faith, encouraging us to trust God with our current and future concerns.

The prayer journal also helps us ponder ways to grow. Recording our prayers and God’s answers reveals recurring themes in our prayers, highlighting struggles that return over time. It can help us identify patterns, areas we must grow in, and places where we need to seek God’s guidance more earnestly.

7. Corporate Prayer

We all live for God, but none of us do it alone. As sons and daughters, we have brothers and sisters and are one with them in Christ. Praying with others enhances and strengthens our prayers. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus emphasizes that collective prayer has strength: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Yes, God is omnipresent. Still, there is a unique presence and power when Jesus’s followers pray together.

Corporate prayer builds unity and community among believers. We share our burdens, joys, and needs, fostering a supportive and loving environment. Prayer’s communal aspect strengthens our bonds with one another, helping us grow in empathy and compassion. It also encourages accountability and consistency, making us more likely to develop a disciplined prayer routine.

Coming before the throne with other believers broadens our perspective and deepens our understanding of God’s work in others’ lives. Hearing fellow believers’ prayers and testimonies can inspire and strengthen our faith, reminding us of God’s faithfulness and power. We also learn new ways of praying and praising our Father.

Finally, praying together amplifies our petitions’ power. When we join in agreement, our prayers carry greater weight, as Jesus assures us in Matthew 18:19: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

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