5 Ways to A Better Prayer Life
In this blog, I want to share with you how I am becoming better at prayer. I feel that I have always struggled with ‘how to pray’ or ‘when to pray.’ Through this blog, I want us to learn together how to have a better prayer life through talking to God, being yourself, viewing prayer in relation to quality over quantity, having a prayer list, and drawing prayer circles.
Prayer is talking to God!
When you are talking with a friend, you typically start a conversation with “hello” or “how are you.” This is the beginning of prayer; a simple acknowledgment of God’s presence. A simple, "Hey God, it's me. I am here to talk with you" is all that is needed. As you begin to pray, acknowledge God and talk with him like your are talking with a friend because God is the ultimate best friend.
Be bold; be yourself!
It is easy to become discouraged that your prayers are not good enough or you aren’t saying the right things or praying at the right time. But God doesn’t want you to be someone you aren’t; to say things that aren’t on your heart or think that there is a specific time and place for prayer. God’s desire for us is an authentic and personal relationship with him. He doesn’t want us to be someone we aren’t, or to talk to him like someone we aren’t. He created you and I with our own gifts, talents, needs, and wants, so own them and show God that you are worthy of them. He wants to shine through us uniquely in each aspect that he created us to be. So, come to him in prayer just as you are and just where you are. There is no right time or right place or right thing to say. Just be yourself and pray what is on your heart no matter where you are. When praying, remember that, “Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.” (Mark Batterson)
Quality over Quantity!
It is far more important to get more out of something than to gain fewer things that are high quality. To me, this is how I see my prayers with the Lord. I want for my talk with God to be of the highest quality; meaning that I talk with him about the good, the bad, the ugly, the happiness, everything. To me, a good quality prayer leaves nothing out. I talk with God in full depth. We know that God already knows about everything, so in prayer, let it all out. There is nothing to hide from the Lord. A good quality prayer doesn't have a true definition. It is simply your personal talk with God; a quality prayer is one that benefits you to the greatest and spiritually connects you to the Lord allowing you to have faith in Him. You may find yourself saying, “I have spent five minutes in prayer, so tomorrow I am going to spend 20 minutes.” Although there is nothing wrong with the desire to pray longer, maybe we should focusing on the quality of our prayers, short or long ones, instead of the quantity of prayer. Spend quality time with the Lord. Do not only give him your request but pray His word back to him. Let your prayer transform you. “If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.” (Mark Batterson) The importance of deep quality in prayer is because God wants you to pray the impossible; prayers that provide him opportunity to show you He is listening. There is nothing more that God loves than powerful prayers in which he can perform miracles. So pray the impossible; pray with immense quality.
Prayer list are new for me. I always thought these lists wouldn’t benefit me or better my prayer life, but oh how I was wrong! My prayer lists include prayer request for friends, family, and others. Your prayer list doesn’t have to be highly developed or structured or color coded or nicely written. For me, my prayer list would look like a jumbled mess of chaos to anyone but myself. But that is my way of bettering my prayer journey. It enables me to pray more regularly and consistently.
Draw prayer circles!
Ever heard of prayer circles? Well me neither until I started reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. Drawing a prayer circle starts with identifying the promises of God, the miracles God wants you to believe in, and the dreams God wants you to pursue. I started drawing prayer circles after I began reading, The Circle Maker. (Which I HIGHLY suggest reading if you are truly trying to dig deeper into your Christian life and your prayer journey with the Lord.) Drawing prayer circles means finding what it is that you are praying for and claiming it in Jesus’ name. Drawing prayer circles can have different meanings for every Christian, but for me, drawing prayer circles means that I bring out my prayer list and I literally draw a circle around who/what I am praying for. In doing this, I am devoting my prayer to this particular person/idea and I am claiming it in Jesus’ name. Mark Batterson does a phenomenal job explaining the concept of prayer circles. Batterson says, “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.” Your prayer circles may look different than mine or the prayer circles that Batterson discusses, but no matter your way of drawing prayer circles, you are circling your dreams, people, ideas and lifting it all up to the Lord, trusting Him to do great things. Drawing prayer circles allows me to pray more specific prayers, giving God the glory that he deserves to receive. If you circle what is needing prayer, God will deliver on it.
I know how hard it can be to develop a prayer life that you think is “acceptable” to the Lord. But God doesn’t have any requirements for prayer; He doesn’t give you an unacceptable after you pray because you think it wasn’t ‘right.’ There is no right or wrong to prayer; there is no "acceptable" way to pray. God simply calls us to talk with him, to be ourselves, to lay down our hearts to him, and grow in our relationship with him through prayer. I have been a Christian nearly my entire life and have found that praying honestly and authentically to the Lord is the best way to pray. When I pray, I want to pour out my heart, my struggles, my everything before the Lord.
How important is prayer in your life? Do you struggle with ‘how to pray’ or ‘when to pray’?
Leave a comment and I will add you to my prayer list! I would love to add you and lift you up to Jesus!
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’” - Luke 11:1