What have you stopped praying for?
Maybe you thought it was something too small to bring to God… or too big. Maybe you gave up hope that anything would change.
Today, I want to encourage you to start praying again about that thing.
Pray boldly and persistently.
Pray with an expectancy that comes from knowing who you are praying to.
Last week, we talked about the reasons we should guard against complacency. I promised to share six changes you can make that will set your Christian life ablaze. I know these changes make a difference because I have experienced the revival they created in my own soul. The first change I shared was the habit of spending time in the Bible daily.
Today, we’re focusing on prayer. Not flimsy, half-hearted prayer that bounces from our lips, but persistent, bold prayer that pours from our heart. The kind that breaks through. The kind that doesn’t just change you, it changes the situations around you.Bold, persistent prayers don’t just change you. They change the situations around you. Click To Tweet
Why should we pray persistently?
Well, Jesus tells us to. In Luke, he tells his disciples the parable of the persistent widow. In this parable, a widow asks for justice so persistently that an unjust judge grants her request just so she will leave him alone. Like the great teacher that he is, Jesus told them explicitly what the lesson was:
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1We ought always to pray and not lose heart. Click To Tweet
After all, if an unjust judge who “neither feared God nor respected man” will grant a request because of persistence, how much more will our loving Father in Heaven come through for us?
This parable is not teaching that we can ask for anything in the world and get it. Our requests must still be honoring to God and not contradictory to scripture.
If your requests meet those basic criteria, keep praying for them! Keep praying until God says no. Don’t lose heart!
How can we pray persistently?
Don’t get overwhelmed by the next few steps. None of the following ideas are necessary to have a vibrant prayer life! You can just pour out your heart to your heavenly Father every day- no notebooks, index cards, or apps required. If you want more guidance, though, here are a few steps I recommend:
1) List 5-10 priority requests for which you want to pray daily
Save this list for your most significant requests. These are often things that need regular attention, such as your walk with God or your marriage. You’re going to list everything you want to pray for later, but for this step focus on just 5-10 top priority requests.
Consider writing out your prayers for these topics. If you decide to write out these prayers, look ahead to step 4 and then meet me back here.
Lost loved ones
Against specific sins
A heavy burden
Sharing your faith
Your walk with God
I’ve written these prayers out on index cards. This is an example:
2) Organize your other prayer requests
List categories of requests for which you want to pray, such as:
I would encourage you to pray for the important, not just the urgent. You might list multiple requests for the same person, such as a friend’s marriage, health, and salvation. You may also decide to list lots of different things you want to pray for your spouse and your children, beyond the daily prayer you wrote for Step 1.
There are many good ways to complete this step. Examples are all over pinterest. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed, though!
This is the link to the journal I used to help me with this step. It’s from Monica at Daily Dwelling. She listed 20 items for most of her categories. I expanded mine to include 30 so I would have one item from each category for each day of the month.
I’ve organized my requests by day of the month. To give you a visual, this is my card for the 7th day of every month:
3) Design a routine
Consider how much time you are able to devote to prayer every day. Be realistic! Then divide your requests from Step 2 into some kind of routine. Maybe you’ll pray for a different category on each day of the week. Another idea is to assign each request a number from 1-30 and pray according to the day of the month. Or you could just pray for a certain number of requests each day until your list is complete…and then repeat!
Either way, remember you’ll pray every day for the requests from Step 1.
Use a notebook, index cards, or a prayer app to organize these requests. Two prayer apps I’ve tried are Echo and PrayerMate.
4) Add Bible verses to your categories
Incorporating Bible verses into your prayers is an excellent way to gain confidence in your prayer life. When you say God’s words back to him, you are affirming that you believe him and that you know what he can do!
5) Pray every day
Praying persistently means devoting time towards this practice. You may have to sacrifice something else you’ve been spending time on. If you can’t find one big chunk of time, split your prayer time into several smaller amounts of time. Consider turning regular parts of your day into prayer time, like when you dry your hair or drive to work.Praying persistently is one of six changes that will move you from a complacent Christian to a committed one. Click To Tweet
- If you have trouble focusing (like me!) you can list requests in your journal or write key words as you pray.
- Use triggers to create a habit. For example, every time you do the laundry, pray for the people whose clothes you are washing. The laundry becomes the trigger that reminds you to pray.
- Do not exclude yourself! Pray for yourself, too!
- Organize this around your normal life. If you don’t often sit down at home, then having a prayer journal might not be your best organization method. Instead, you might prefer organizing your requests with a prayer app on your phone.
God loves to hear from us. He tells us to bring all our requests to him and cast all of our cares on him. He asks us to come boldly to his throne where we will find mercy and grace to help us.
Connecting to God through prayer is a privilege afforded to us by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It’s a costly privilege and one we should cherish! Praying persistently is a habit that will transform your life.
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If this post helped you, please share with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest! And if you’d like to be encouraged or add some accountability as you build this habit, join the Devoted Disciples of Jesus facebook group. We’d love to have you!
Other Posts in the Complacent to Committed Series: