“Go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Prayer is to the spirit what breathing is to the body—and according to the apostle Paul, it should happen just as often.
Paul instructed us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) and to always be “continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Rom. 12:12; Col. 4:2).
If you’re like me, you see a world with so many issues, and people with so many concerns, you feel you should never leave the prayer closet!
It can be so overwhelming, in fact, that you may be reluctant to pray at all, not knowing where to start—let alone end!
God never intended prayer to be a burden.
Prayer is not a burden, but a burden lifter: “Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7).
God designed prayer as a way for you to invite Him to invade your space—as well as a way for you to invade His with the cares of your heart.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
There is no situation, no family member, no government, no disease, no thing or person who is off limits or out of the reach of prayer.
Your place of prayer is your place of power.
How can you neglect such an incredible opportunity to transform your world? What simple step can you take right now to tap into this limitless source of power?
You’ve heard me say that you are always one decision away from living the life of your dreams—and today I’m telling you that you are just one thought away from accessing the power of heaven.
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Prayer is simply a conversation with God; a conversation that takes place at the speed of thought. Yet before you can communicate—or commune—with your heavenly Father, you must first enter into His presence.
This too takes place at the speed of thought. An attitude of gratitude will transport you right into the very Throne room of your Creator—the Source of all you could possibly imagine, desire, or need.
Actively pursuing God’s presence—and deliberately inviting Him into yours—is one of the most precious privileges you have been given as a believer.
Prayer begins with setting your intention, and attention, on heaven.
Do you know what Google Hangout is?
It’s intended to be a place where friends log on and just “hang out” online as they do whatever they are doing in front of their computers.
In many ways, God’s invitation to us is to enter prayer like that—He invites us to hang out with Him. And that’s where a real lifestyle of prayer begins.
Prayer is as simple as practicing the presence of God.
In prayer, you have the ear of the Creator of heaven and earth—the One who said all things are possible if you believe.
Prayer gives you the confidence of knowing that you have His ear no matter what is concerning you—and that He has your ear whenever He has something to say to you.
It’s as much about the short breath prayers we lift up throughout our day—“Lord, help me through this,” “Father, touch that angry man with Your love and peace,” “Oh God, be with my child today as she takes her test,” “Please help my boss come to know You”—as it is attending prayer meetings or long sessions of intercessory prayer.
In addition to hanging out with Him, we can also “instant message” Him with whatever tweaks our heart at any moment of the day or night.
Prayer takes place at the speed of thought.
As you breathe out your requests before God in prayer, take time to breathe back in from the Spirit of God.
Focus on the truth that God is right there with you in the moment.
Inhale His goodness and the grace you need. Release your concerns into His hands and breathe back in His peace and faith for what you face.
Out goes the anxiety; in comes His joy, confidence, and hope.
Prayer is saying, “God, You are here in this moment. You are here with me and promised to never leave me or forsake me. I trust You, Lord.”
Prayer pleases God more than any other discipline of our faith.
Why? Because God likes hanging out with us more than we could ever imagine.
Prayer is not a chore, although for many, that is all it may ever be—but it doesn’t have to be for you! And that is certainly not how it is intended to be.
You can transform prayer from a perceived duty into an exciting way of life.
Prayer fitness is much like physical fitness.
Everyone knows if you’re out of shape physically, you will go through a phase of real and painful struggle to get back into shape before enjoying the benefits and making healthy habits a lifestyle.
If you’re overweight, you will struggle through a difficult time of changing how you eat, disciplining your appetites, and making time to exercise every day before you will enjoy a stronger, fitter body.
So it is with prayer.
To build a stronger prayer life, you must discipline yourself to pray.
If your prayer life is out of shape, weak, and flabby, you will tire easily—you will get bored, discouraged, and perhaps a little sore.
Every time you do pray, however, you build stronger spiritual muscles.
It’s a matter of consistency.
Just like you wouldn’t expect to run ten miles if you’ve never run one—so it is with prayer.
Doing a little every day—rather than nothing at all—will cause you to do a little more and then a little more, every time you put on your tennis shoes or enter your prayer closet.
Here’s a simple prayer you can pray right now to jumpstart what I hope will become a life-transforming routine:
Lord, help me to exercise my prayer muscles. I trust Lord that You will bring me to a place of greater spiritual strength and power as I make time to pursue Your presence each and every day. Thank You for being my personal trainer as I endeavor to make this a priority and way of life. Amen.
Praying is the only way to pray.
When you begin to experience how prayer really works and what prayer actually does, you will want to make it a lifestyle.
Nothing beats talking with your heavenly Father in the comfort of His home, face-to-face, in His Throne room.
Prayer is the doorway between God’s home and yours.
His door is always open—is yours?
Never forget the unique privilege that prayer is: The privilege you have of practicing it in every moment and of carrying God with you into every situation.
The great preacher Charles Spurgeon once said,
“Prayer is an art which only the Holy Spirit can teach us. Pray for prayer. Pray until you can really pray.”
Whether you keep a prayer journal, pray over a set of Scriptures, or read from a series of proclamations, taking just fifteen minutes every morning to acknowledge Who is first in your life versus what, will transform your day.
We all need to take time every day to lay our requests before the throne of Heaven and listen to what God has to say to us.
We should take as much time to listen as we do to speak.
When you pray regularly and practice the presence of God wherever you go or in whatever you do, it will make the spiritual world as alive to you as the physical world—and that’s when life becomes a more exciting adventure!
“Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new.
Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way.
Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.”
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG