Would you consider yourself one of those people who spend way more time reading books and doing Bible studies about prayer than you actually spend praying?
Yeah, me too!
If I’m really being honest, I would tell you that I’ve spent most of my life feeling like I should have done so much more when it comes to prayer. The one thing that reassures me a little is that I’ve never met anyone, even those I’ve considered great prayer warriors, who say they believe they’ve got this prayer thing down pat.
And maybe we’re not supposed to. Maybe we’re supposed to always crave more when it comes to spending time with the Lord in prayer. Maybe we, like Brother Lawrence, should be “practicing the presence of God” … longing for a continuous open line of communication rather than brief one-way monologues of pleas and petitions.
The other morning I was reading a devotion in Andrew Murray’s book, Power in Prayer: Classic Devotions to Inspire and Deepen Your Prayer Life, and well, I can’t stop thinking about the following quote:
Through prayer, God has given to everyone the right to take hold of Him and His strength. It is on prayer that promises wait for their fulfillment, the kingdom for its coming, and the glory of God for its full revelation.Andrew Murray
Prayer must be to the glory of God, in full surrender to His will, in full assurance of faith, in the name of Jesus, and with a perseverance that refuses to be denied.
I wonder how often I’ve failed to go to the Lord and let Him hold me close … filling me with the peace and strength I’ve needed. I wonder how often I’ve missed promises God wanted to fulfill in my life just because I didn’t ask. I wonder how often I failed to give Him glory because I was just too focused on myself.
Even with all my wondering, it was the second sentence that really grabbed my attention.
Because I wanted to know the Biblical truths behind Murray’s “must”s for prayer. So, I went to the Word because I want to know … if these are truly things that could make a difference. And when I want to know, that’s where I go.
And I believe these things can and will inspire and deepen my prayer life and I believe they will bless your prayer life as well. So, here are:
5 Important Things You Need to Bless Your Prayer Life
1. Pray to the Glory of God
Do you remember the first sentence in chapter one of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren?
It’s not about you.
Only God could take a book that begins that way and turn it into an international bestseller.
And the second chapter…
You were made for God’s pleasure.
Bring all who claim me as their God,Isaiah 43:7
for I have made them for my glory.
It was I who created them.
My prayers change when I believe I was created for God’s glory. Whatever He allows, wherever He leads, whatever He asks … I simply pray that He will go with me that I might be used by Him for His glory.
2. Pray Fully Surrendered to God’s Will
Surrender was always hard for me and honestly, I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily easy now. But I do believe that whatever God wills … He will give me the courage and strength I need to trust and obey.
Much of being able to pray the following words of Jesus…
“Abba, Father,” He cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.”Mark 14:36
Is trusting that He is able to give us everything we need to endure. We can stand with Paul and say…
I can do all things because Christ gives me the strength.Philippians 4:13 (NLV)
With God’s help, and the strength only He can give, you and I can pray fully surrendered to His will.
3. Pray Trusting God is Who He Says He Is
You and I have to know who God says He is if we are going to trust that He is who He says He is. And if He isn’t, why do we pray to Him at all?
I gathered 35 “I Am” Verses – God Is Who He Says He Is. Here are a few of my favorites:
“From eternity to eternity I am God.Isaiah 43:13
No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.
No one can undo what I have done.”
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”John 14:6
“The Lord God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega. I am the One who is and was and is coming. I am the Almighty.”Revelation 1:8
When you and I trust God to be who He says He is, His promises become life-giving power for every need and circumstance.
4. Pray in the Name of Jesus
God met our greatest need in and through Jesus who lived the perfect life we are unable to live, suffered and died to take our punishment upon Himself and rose to life again proving God’s ultimate power over sin and death.
But thank God! He [Jesus] gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 15:57
And because of the victory Jesus knew we would have in Him, He said…
I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and He will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.John 16:23–24
You and I pray in Jesus name … not as some magic formula to get God to fulfill our self whims and wishes but in faith, praying to give God glory, to follow His will, trusting His promises—confident in the name of Jesus, the Father will give us everything we need.
He’s already met our greatest need. He gave us Jesus to bridge the gap that sin created.
5. Pray Without Ceasing
So, back to practicing the presence of God … that is praying without ceasing.
I can be persistent in prayer when I trust and believe that God is with me.
- When my circumstances are hard.
- When I’m grieving.
- When I’m afraid.
- When I’m filled with joy.
- When I’m at peace and when I’m stressed out.
- When I’m washing the dishes and doing the laundry.
- When I’m sitting in church and when I’m not.
- When I’m running errands, sitting in traffic, or on the job.
- Wherever I am…
Even when I walkPsalm 23:4
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for You are close beside me.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”Matthew 28:20 (NLV)
“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and He’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth.”John 14:15–17a (MSG)
When I am aware of God’s presence, trusting that He is as close as my beating heart … I will simply talk with Him throughout the day.
That’s praying without ceasing.
Bringing every overwhelming or seemingly insignificant, my own or someone else’s to the “I Am” … the One who is, was, and always will be Lord of all.
The One who says…
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28
That’s prayer – the kind of prayer that is inspired and deep … the kind that changes lives.
- are for God’s glory.
- are surrendered to God’s will.
- trust God is who He says He is.
- are in the name of Jesus.
- are persistent.
Prayers that come before the Father with child-like faith … humbly trusting His perfect unfailing love.
I believe by God’s grace these things will inspire and deepen my prayer life and I believe they will bless your prayer life too.
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