Monday, August 1, 2016

4 Keys to developing a Powerful Prayer Life!

Hi friends,
Hope you're doing fine. Sharing an article written recently for a magazine. Hope it blesses you! 
Note (The celebrities enlisted below are from Indian background as the church was from there. However, as we are Kingdom citizens, we have no racial or national parameters :)  you may choose any celebrity of your choice!)

4 Keys to Developing  a Powerful Prayer Life!

 Let me begin by asking you a question. Who is your favorite celebrity, the one who inspires you the most? Maybe a cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar or a film star like Amitabh Bachan or Rajnikanth, maybe a leader or maybe a woman icon like Kiran Bedi or PT Usha. Now suppose you get a free ticket to meet with your favorite celebrity for about 30 minutes, how excited you would be! What all preparations you would make! You would immediately start planning what to wear, where to go, what to ask. Also you would definitely carry your camera with you to take as many photos as you can to treasure the memories of that meeting forever.

Now let me ask you another question, what if instead of that celebrity, you got an invitation to have a friendly chat with the God of this Universe? What would be your reaction? Would you be as thrilled or maybe even afraid? Would you be making the same plans we discussed earlier? Most likely the answer is NO. We are given an Invitation every single day by the biggest and the best celebrity in the whole world, our Lord Almighty and yet sadly, most of us choose to either ignore or postpone His invitation to spend time with Him.
Some people may say, I’d be happy to accept the Invitation someday but not right now, I don’t feel ready enough. The truth is we will never be ready enough so let’s go to Him today just as we are. Others will say yes, I’d like to but what can I talk about? Here are 4 keys from my personal experience that may help you. God wants everyone of us to  develop our own close prayer walk with Him.

√ KEY NO 1 : A Time of  Prayer - 

We can pray whenever we feel like as God’s lines are never busy. However, it is a good discipline to set aside the first & last portion of our day for prayer. Gradually we will learn to make prayer our lifestyle meaning we connect with God all through our day for eg: when we are driving to work, when faced with challenges during the day, before our meals, etc. (Psa 5:3, Psa 3:5, Psa 4:8)

√KEY NO 2: A Place of Prayer- 

It is good to find a quiet & comfy place where there’s less chance of being distracted/ interrupted. (Math 6:6)”But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.”

√KEY NO 3: A Way of Prayer- 

There are no hard & fast rules for prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God from our heart & listening to what God has to say. The imp thing is to be honest & simple as God loves the childlike prayer the best. We don’t have to impress Him, He already knows us since He made us.(Jer 1:5) We can relax in His presence as He loves us just as we are. We can even ask the Lord to teach us to pray. In Math 6:9-13, we see the Lord’s prayer where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray.

Let me share with you 4 main elements of a Powerful Prayer:

This can be summed up in the acronym ACTS- they are : Adoration , Confession, Thanksgiving & Supplication

a) Adoration: means praising & worshipping God for who He is – His attributes- Faithful (1 Corin 1:9, 2 Tim 2:13), Holy (Psalms 22:3, Isa 6:3), Sovereign (Job 42:2,Eph 1:11), Love (1 John 4:8, John 3:16) etc & what He does (His works). During this time, we can sing songs of Praise & Worship.

b) Confession: means looking into our life & checking if there is anything displeasing in the eyes of God. Ask Him to reveal that to us & to forgive us because of the holy blood of Jesus. (Psalm 139:23,24, I John 1:9)

c) Thanksgiving: means expressing our gratitude & thanks to God for His blessings in our life. (1 Thess 5:18)

d) Supplication: refers to our prayer requests to God. This can be for our needs or for the needs of others (Intercession) (1 Tim 2:1-3, Heb 5:7.)

√KEY NO: 4  A Record of Prayer- 

Journaling what God speaks to us or keeping a written record of our prayer requests and ticking them as God answers them can be a great source of encouragement in our prayer life. (Habakkuk 2:2)

I am sure that if we apply these principles, our prayer life will become such a joy that we will actually look forward to having more chats with our Heavenly Father.

Let me end with some favorite quotes on prayer:

Ø  Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Ø  “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.”-The Kneeling Christian
Ø  “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” - Corrie Ten Boom
Ø  “Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.”- John Bunyan
Ø  Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wishing you a blessed prayer life,
Sparky Laurie