I believe in prayer. I believe in the power of prayer. But prayer for me is hard, sometimes. However, I have no doubts about the importance of prayer in my life.
Despite my certainty, I am just not very good at prayer. Praying does not come naturally or easily for me. Although I consider the practice worth the effort, I have to admit I am still struggling with prayer after all these many years.
In writing my prayers I have found a key that opens a way for me to speak to God that engages my eyes, heart and mind. The practice of writing helps me pour out my heart to God when my mind won’t cooperate.
Let me share how the Lord unlocks my prayer life daily.
Begin the day with God
My relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship in my life. I have a regular place in which to meet with Him each morning. This is my ‘tent of meeting’. I wake expectantly each morning knowing my first appointment is with Jesus.
With a note book which I call my ‘prayer journal,’ my Bible, devotional notes, a Bible reading guide, a pen, and a Bible highlighter to mark my Bible, I meet with Jesus. My journal is a simple note book to write my prayers to God. I tell the Lord of my love for Him and my desire to be His faithful servant. I bring my family before Him. I write my questions, identify my struggles and honestly confront my sinfulness. I express my fears, uncertainties and confusion. I rejoice over victories and weep over defeats. My journal is written prayers – my communion with God. I record verses of Scripture which specifically speak to me or insights from the Word that touch my heart. And when I am conscious of the Lord specifically speaking to me, I write what I believe He is saying.
Go through the day with God
I was challenged some years ago to move my prayer life away from an unhealthy inward focus, to one that shows the love of Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). During the day, I focus on His Kingdom in the following ways:
Kingdom Opportunities is praying for the opportunity to “share Christ” daily. I believe God called me to begin to invest wisely in the lives of those around me when I moved back into secular employment. I keep these secular opportunities in mind to motivate me not to miss the divine heavenly opportunities to do eternal good. I pray simply each day “Open the eyes of my heart Lord to see and seize those “opportunities of a lifetime” for Your glory.”
Kingdom Praying is simply making kingdom prayers a priority. Each night after work I “Pray for the Unreached World.” It is putting God’s work ahead of my own needs and desires consistently. In general, the basis of kingdom praying is the expansion of His kingdom. My prayers are for missionaries (I have a brother and his family on the mission field), nations, people groups, world leaders, persecuted Christians, local and global mission.
In this current season, the Lord has placed a passion in my heart for Bhutan and South Asia. This region has been described as “the greatest concentration of lostness in the world.” This gives me a clear focus of how and where to direct my kingdom prayers.
Conclude the day with God
At the end of the day I draw aside for a few moments to read a Psalm. This is time for reflection and being still before God. I also aim to read a chapter of a book each night. I am an avid reader who loves reading. I want to know Jesus more each moment of each day. Many of the books I read are for my growth and edification on knowing God, intimacy, prayer, testimony of saints, etc. The books once read are usually well highlighted and written all over. These times give me great perspective as God uses this time for revelation and illumination of my soul. It is a great way to end the day.
The very method of communication that Jesus used to talk to God is my goal daily! And if Jesus needed to pray, wanted to pray, was compelled to pray … what made me think I could ever live without it?
I am living proof that if you discover for prayer for what it really is – a conversation with the One who loves you most – and decide to pray using a design and key for prayer that keeps you coming back, you will be a passionate, powerful and effective pray-er!