7 Ways to Strengthen Your Prayer Life

Before I became a Christian, I didn't understand how prayer worked or why people thought that by saying words out loud, asking God for help, that something would actually happen.  So, when I became a Christian, I had no idea how to pray, what to pray for and whether or not I was doing it "right".  Let me say, there is no right or wrong way to pray.  Everyone has their own style, and that is okay!

One of the first things I did when I wanted to know how this prayer thing worked was by turning to the Word.  What does the bible say about prayer?  God instructs us in Philippians 4:6, "Do not worry about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

God desires to hear our every prayer, to rely on Him through the tough times and praise him during the good times.  Having a prayer life is something that doesn't just happen overnight.  Like any other muscle, you've gotta work it out constantly to make it stronger.  Below are 7 ways you can strengthen your prayer life!  

1. Start Each Day With Prayer

But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. - Psalm 88:13 

Give your mornings to God.  This is one of the easiest ways to ensure you devote your days to Him.  I have found that having a routine I follow makes my mornings feel like a warm up for a great day, rather than a burden.  When your alarm goes off, you can put on your favorite Christian Spotify station while you're getting ready.  Read a chapter of the Word while you eat breakfast.  Once your ready, use a prayer journal to focus your thoughts on the day ahead.

Think of writing in a prayer journal as faith-based goal setting.  Spend a few minutes talking with God in prayer.  Thank him for giving you life and another day to bring Him glory.  On your way to work, listen to a Christian podcast.  And just like that, you have allowed God into your life from the moment you woke up without any extra work.  Following this routine each day has helped me feel grounded, stronger, and more in tune with God's hand in my life.

Need more ideas on how to start your mornings with God?
Check out 5 Ways to Have a Faith-Filled Morning by clicking the picture below!

2. Make Your Petitions Specific

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. - Mark 11:24

When you make general prayers, for example, "I pray for happiness, love and no stress.", it is difficult to watch God work in your life.  Rather, make specific prayers about your stress, obstacles, feelings, and loved ones.  These specific prayers that you will (I hope!) write in your prayer journal help you help God be able to speak into your life.  Instead of praying for happiness, pray that God will open your eyes and heart to your heavenly calling.  Rather than praying for love, pray that God guards your heart from men who are not right for you and that he continues to make you over in His image so that when you meet your future husband, you can be the iron that sharpens his.  And, instead of praying for no stress, pray that God works in the heart of a troubling coworker, or that he will open doors to lead you to financial stability.

Get the idea?  It may be a tough thing to do to pin point your specific needs in prayers, but doing so allows you to see when God answers them and when he wants you to be patient and allow his plan to unfold!

3. Keep a Prayer Journal

I cannot recommend this enough!!  The changes in my prayer life after starting a prayer journal have been truly amazing.  Because I write in it every day, I am able to look back at past prayers and see how my spiritual maturity has grown, what prayers God has answered and see where God wants me to refocus.   I have created a free printable prayer journal called Pray Without Ceasing.  This journal can be filled in in less than 5 minutes each day and can help you to be reflective in your walk with God.  By subscribing today, you can receive your free copy of Pray Without Ceasing directly to your inbox!  Just print and start praying!

Rather a hardbound journal right now?  I have added some links below to some awesome prayer journals you can purchase right on Amazon!*

*If you purchase one of these journals, I earn a small commission at NO extra cost to you!

4. Set the World Aside for Prayer

I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 7:35

I don't know about you, but my mind is constantly running.  Things I have to do, people I need to talk to, checking social media, worrying about this or that wears me out every day.  Because life is filled with a revolving to-do list, we need to remove EVERY distraction from our mind and reach so as to give our full attention to God during prayer.  Put your phone in another room, turn off the TV, close the door, and allow your self to step into God's realm.

While this can feel like an easy thing to do, it's much easier said than done.  Our world is overwhelmed with stimulation.  Social media, TV, radio, music, gossip, ect. can take us away from our walk with God.  A way I have found to really give my time to God is that while praying alone in a room, I talk out loud to God, just to make sure my mind doesn't wander to dinner plans or what show I am going to watch on Netflix.  Give God the time and attention He desires and He will speak into your heart!

5. Pray Without Ceasing

 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thess. 5:16-18

Often times, prayers are messages we send to God asking him to help us.  First, let me say, this is totally okay and wonderful!  God wants us to ask Him for His help.  He wants us to need Him.  But, only talking to God and asking for His hand in your life during the hard times is not what we are called to do.  We are called to pray without ceasing, meaning to call on and talk to God through the low AND high seasons of our lives.  We are to rejoice in times of prosperity and pray in times of doubt. We should use prayers to talk to God about everything.  Thank him for answering your prayers, for removing a worry or stress in your life, for giving us a beautiful sunrise, for helping a friend through a difficult time, and so much more.  God gave us the sun, moon and the stars, and we should praise Him for it!

Yes, many prayers we send to God will be asking for his help, love and guidance.  But, don't forget to send him your thanks too!  Recognizing God's love during the good times is just as important as when things are tough.

6. Pray For Others

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. - 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Prayer is a powerful tool.  I have seen prayers answered in my own life that I never thought were possible, but came to fruition with God's help.  As Christians, we can use prayer as intersessions in other peoples' lives.  What does this mean?  Well, it means that not only do our prayers work in our own lives, but they work in others' as well!  We can pray for a friend's interview to go well, a neighbor's dog who is sick, political leaders to be guided in their decisions, for nations dealing with disaster, the possibilities are endless!

I'm sure you have seen posts on Facebook or Instagram that ask for prayers by your friends to be sent their way.  Do you just keep scrolling?  Does doubt enter your mind saying "So many others will be praying, so I don't really need to."  Don't listen to this voice.  This is Satan trying to lure you away from talking to your Heavenly Father.  You may not feel like God will hear you when you pray, but rest assured, He does.

7. Pray With Others

So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. - 1 Corinthians 12:25-27

Praying with others is just as helpful and important as praying for them! Having support in prayer, especially when the subject of our prayer is difficult, can provide the little push that gives us the courage to let the flood gates down.   When we are surrounded by prayer warriors, holding our hand, and whispering to God under our words, we feel emboldened to open up and allow others to lift our requests to God.

These prayer warriors might also be able to provide some insight into our prayer request.   We alone can't have all the answers, but by surrounding ourselves with strong Christians, we can feel heard.  You might not have known that a girl from your prayer group went through the same thing just a few months before.  Or that someone else has been feeling the same feelings of doubt and grief.  They may be able to give you advice or talk with you about how God helped them through it.  Allowing others to hear your deepest requests of God builds relationships and community in faith.

Let's wrap it up, shall we?  Start your mornings with God, narrow down your prayer requests, give Him thanks, keep a prayer journal, remove distractions, pray with and for others, and pray without ceasing!

I'd love to hear from you?  Do you keep a prayer journal?  If so, which one do you use?  Have you found it to be helpful?  Leave a comment below!

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