“Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving.
COLOSSIANS 4:2 AMP”
Prayer is one aspect of my walk with God where I struggle a lot. I struggle with concentration, I struggle to make time for it, I struggle with consistency, you name it… My struggle is endless but I have learned a couple of things that has helped me to grow in this discipline of prayer. Prayer is a discipline because it is work. It is a work that your flesh and the devil would not want you to do. They would not want you to do it because of the blessings that comes from it.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
JAMES 5:16 AMP”
It is important for you to note that prayer is one way you give God the permission to intervene in your affair. And the beautiful thing is that He delights in listening to and answering your prayers.
“For the eyes of the Lord are [looking favorably] upon the righteous (the upright), And His ears are attentive to their prayer (eager to answer), But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil .”
1 PETER 3:12AMP
The fact that God delights in listening to and answering your prayers should encourage you to pray more often. You can develop the discipline of prayer by doing the following:
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the desire to pray and to help you to pray: The truth is you cannot pray effectively without the help of the Holy Spirit.
“In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.
ROMANS 8:26 AMP”
When you ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you in the place of prayer, you will discover that prayer will be less of a struggle but a time of communion with your Heavenly Father who loves you deeply.
2.Choose a time and place: Make prayer a priority in your schedule and pick a place you wouldn’t be disturbed to do it. Having a specific time and place will help you fight against procrastination. Immediately you choose your time and place, make sure you show up to your appointment with God and pour out your heart to Him. It might be a struggle at first (remember the enemy and your flesh wouldn’t want you to do it and they don’t give up easily) but keep at it. It gets better.
3. Use a prayer journal: You will find this helpful if you struggle with concentration and consistency in prayer like I do. The act of writing your prayers will help you tame your wandering mind and help you keep track of God’s faithfulness in answering your prayers. It also helps you to keep the prayer request of your family and friends.
4. Prayerfully choose a prayer partner: Your prayer partner should be someone who has a similar desire to pray. Prayer should be your priority in your relationship with the person. Your prayer time shouldn’t be spent doing any other thing other than prayer. Your prayer partner can be one of your friends or a seasoned believer in the faith. I would advice that you choose a female as your prayer partner since you will have to spend a lot of time with the person and you don’t want the emotional attachment that comes from spending too much time with a member of the opposite sex. Having a prayer partner helps to keep you accountable and encourage you to keep praying on days you don’t feel like it. Make sure whoever you choose as your prayer partner is faithful and trustworthy. The person must be trustworthy because you will have to be open and vulnerable in your relationship with her. And you don’t want a gossipmonger as your prayer partner. Be wise!
5. Read books with the ability to whet your appetite for prayer: Books like Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, Becoming a Woman of Prayer by Cynthia Heald, Power of persistent prayer by Cindy Jacobs, Why Revival tarries by Leonard Ravenhill, The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz, The Watchman Prayer by Dutch Sheets and Fire Brand by Debola Deji-Kurunmi are few of the books I’ve read over the years on the subject of prayer. And these books have helped me to be better equipped to pray.
Prayer can be something you look forward too if you are diligent to start where you are. Pray until your joy is full. Pray until prayer becomes your life. Pray. Pray. Pray!