"Instead of it being something we do every day, like breathing, eating, and walking and talking, prayer seems to have become like that glass covered box on the wall that says, "break in case of emergency." It is absolutely true that so very often we associate prayer with crises in our life.
To say prayer is communication with God is correct but that is really an oversimplification.
Prayer is the sincere desire of our souls expressed to God.
Prayer is what allows us to establish intimacy with the Creator.
Prayer creates an awareness of God’s constant nearness to his people.
Prayer is also how unbelievers, recognizing their sinful nature and need for salvation, reach out by faith to receive God’s gift of eternal life.
Prayer is the expression of praise to God
As essential as we know prayer to be, we may still struggle to pursue the vibrant prayer life which we recognize we need. Sometimes we can all use a little fresh inspiration to pray. "In that post I gave you several ways to amp up your prayer life they were to:
- Guard your relationship to God
- Try different types of prayer
- Try both scheduled and spontaneous prayer
- Practice both personal and partnered prayer
- Combine prayer with worship and scripture study
- Combine prayer with fasting
Thanks to Vivian Bricker a contributing writer atCrosswalk.com here are four more ways to ignite your prayer life.
1. Talk to God As You Would a Friend
One way to reignite your prayer life is to talk to God as you would talk with a friend. Sadly, many of us think of God as an imposing, wrathful God. This isn’t true as God loves us, cares about us, and desires our greatest good. We don’t need to be afraid to talk with Him. He wants us to come to Him with all our thoughts, feelings, and pain. The next time you pray, talk with Him just as you would talk with your friend. You don’t need to use fancy speech or eloquent words. Just be yourself and be honest with God.
By talking with God in the same way you would talk with a friend, you are going to be able to be more honest and vulnerable in your prayers. Rather than worrying about saying the “right thing,” you are going to be more concerned with spending time with God and telling Him about your thoughts, worries, and fears. God wants you to come to Him with all these feelings and to pour out your heart to Him. He loves you dearly and wants to hear from you. He doesn’t want a rehearsed prayer—He wants the raw and vulnerable you.
While you can talk to God in the same way you would talk with a friend remember that he is the most powerful being in and over the universe. He sees all, knows all, directs all. There’s no court of appeals that can undo the decisions he makes. Knowing that we have the ear and the favor of the most powerful being in the universe should make us humble.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 NIV says Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven, and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
2. Write Down Prayers
A second way to reignite your prayer life is to write down your prayers. We start our prayers with the honest purpose of talking with God, discussing our struggles, asking for His guidance, and confessing our sins, yet our minds quickly transition to work, chores, or troubles in our lives. Even the most subtle background noise can distract us from staying focused on our conversation with God.
Try to ignite your prayer life by writing down your prayers. This can be a terrific way to keep your thoughts focused on God. If you use a prayer journal it is an excellent way to look back and reflect on how God has answered your prayers and guided, you through each season.
A third way to ignite your prayer life is to be inspired by others' prayers. I'm not talking about the prayers you hear at church, in a small group, or prayer meeting. Instead, I suggest that you read other believers’ prayers, such as prayers of missionaries, theologians, or everyday Christians.
Life As A Vapor by John Piper. It is a thirty-one-day devotional. At the end of each devotion, Piper includes a prayer that relates to the topic he discussed.
Rather than simply telling you to recite a specific prayer, these resources guide you in ways to create your own prayers that are focused, full of conviction, and soul changing. Through reading Piper’s prayers at the end of the devotions, you will be inspired to go deeper in your prayers with God and not to be afraid to ask for something that you deem as being “too big” or “not important.” Another good book with inspiring prayers is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Either way, you are bound to be inspired by their prayers which allow you to be challenged in your own prayer life.
Remember, prayer is our key communication with God. Just as we ask for guidance from others regarding marriage, finances, and work responsibilities, let's seek godly counsel in our prayer lives above all else.
4. Pray Scripture
A fourth way to ignite your prayer life is to pray Scripture. This is a terrific way to engrave God’s Word on your heart as well as to ignite your prayer life. For example, you could be praying for the Fruits of the Spirit to manifest in your life. If this is the case, turn to :
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Pray for the fruits to be developed in your life. As another example, you could be struggling with anxiety or fears.
Philippians 4:4-8 NIV Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
One caution though we should not pray Scripture in a mindless way, we can use it as a springboard to ignite our own prayers. By looking to the writers of the Bible, we can be inspired to follow their example and be led by the Holy Spirit in our prayers. The Bible contains everything we need to live, grow, and deepen our relationship with Christ. We never need to doubt the power, authority, and life-changing grace of the Bible.
If we allow ourselves to pray Scripture and are intentional about doing it, we will become more familiar with what the Bible says and what it means to us personally. If we are praying Scripture, then we are reading it. What truly matters is we are engraving God’s Word on our hearts, and we are aligning our wants with His wants.
Find What Works for You
Find what works for you. Who knows? Igniting your prayer life might just revolutionize your life.