effective prayer

How To Have An Effective Prayer Life

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How do you have an effective prayer life? Do you struggle to stay focused during your prayer and bible reading time? You are not alone! Fervent prayer stays at the top of the list for so many Christians; how to stay focused in prayer! It is a real struggle, but there are ways to help keep you focused and less distracted in your prayer and Bible reading time.

I’m a single mom. I completely get the constant distractions and long to-do list that accompanies motherhood. We wake up, hit the floor running, doing all the things that need to be done, and yet still go to bed with things undone, completely exhausted and we wake up to do it all again the next day.

I understand the feeling of being constantly distracted and the chaos of the kiddos at home. Did I mention I homeschool and work full-time too? This explains my addiction to coffee. I need the Holy Spirit daily to make it through this life!

How Can I Increase My Concentration For Effective Prayer

Do you get easily distracted when you start to pray and read your bible? Most of us have experienced the desire for a consistent and deeper prayer life, but fall short because of all the distractions life throws at us.

What distractions do you deal with? Facebook messages, text messages, phone calls, kids are hungry, the spouse comes asking questions, the laundry needs to be folded, dusting the floorboards, and every other good thing that needs to be done.

Most distractions that keep us distracted during our prayer time are good things. Not evil distractions, but things we need to do and are completely okay to do.

We must be super intentional about our prayer and Bible time! You schedule it. You make an appointment with God and you do not cancel that appointment.

the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective

James 5:16 paraphrased

Learning How To Pray Effectively

6 Ways to Have An Effective Prayer Life

1. Schedule it! Make an appointment with God at a certain time for daily prayer and Bible reading time. Make it happen.

2. Go to a private spot. Is that in your bedroom? Maybe your car or even your bathroom. Do what you have to do to protect this time of prayer.

3. Pray for God’s help before you get started. Be humble, acknowledge that the struggle to stay focused is real, and ask God to help you.

4. Pray, read the bible, and pray again. Pray the scriptures you are reading. Rotate them.

5. Make a list of things and people you need to pray for. Don’t forget to include yourself.

6. Journal your prayers. Do some scripture writing and pray while you write out scripture.

Christians must remember the importance of prayer to keep their minds from wandering or becoming bored.

Billy Graham

How Does Jesus Tell Us To Pray Effectively?

1. Pray in a private space if you can.

2. Do not constantly repeat the same prayer over and over. Pray from your heart as the Lord leads you.

3. Do not pray in a way to purposely be the center of attention; for you to get any glory.

“Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them. Truly I say to you, they have their reward! But whenever you pray, go into your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. When you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:5-8

What Is The Purpose Of An Effective Prayer Life

The primary purpose of prayer is not to change circumstances; the primary purpose of prayer is to change us! But either way, the chief objective remains the same: to glorify God in any and every situation. 

“This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”  – John 9:3

“We pray because it is a privilege. God is far above us, completely holy and only comprehensible inasmuch as He reveals Himself to us. Prayer is His invitation to get to know Him. God allows us to approach Him. In fact, He desires it. Prayer is our way of communing with God. Just as friends and family members spend time talking with one another to deepen their relationships, so prayer deepens our relationship with God.

We can exercise the privilege of prayer because Jesus has made a sacrifice for us – He bridges the gap between us and God. Hebrews 4:15-16 refers to Jesus as our High Priest: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Because of Jesus, we are free to pray, and to pray boldly.” – Compelling Truth

How Do You Have An Effective Prayer Life

Prayer takes discipline, much like keeping a schedule of eating healthy, exercising, keeping the house clean, drinking water, etc. But in our multitasking, instant-gratification world, how can you focus on and make time for the discipline it takes for effective prayer? For effective fervent prayer?

  • Pray and ask for God’s help in staying focused and consistent.
  • Write our your prayer list. Include yourself, your family and friends, your church, co-workers, place of business, and so on.
  • Put prayer in your schedule. Make it a top priority appointment and do not break it!
  • Journal your prayers! Use a prayer journal, like mine below, to help guide and inspire you in your prayer and bible study time.

Like going to the gym, the “muscles” of prayer don’t develop after just one visit to the gym. Every new habit takes time to develop, so be disciplined and “don’t despise the day of small beginnings” (Zechariah 4:10). If it would help you to stay more consistent in prayer, why not ask a friend or more mature believer or a mentor to keep you accountable to your prayer schedule?

Ways To Use A Prayer Journal For Effective Prayer

A prayer journal is a journal, notebook, or folder where you write down the things that you are praying for. Some people just write down short prayer points. Others write out prayers in full and Scriptures too. Whatever way you choose to use it, the important thing is to keep a record of the things you are praying for.

Some of the most profound insights and experiences of life come through prayer journaling. God wants to speak and give us His insights into life. Prayer Journaling may help bring shape and order to everything that we do as we use it to help guide our prayer and bible reading time. It has been an important discipline in my prayer life, helping me to remember what God has done and is doing in my life.

Printable Prayer Journal: Effective Prayer Life

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There’s something soul bearing about writing down your prayers as opposed to praying them silently in your head. Like writing a letter to a loved one, writing down your prayers will help you to express a greater depth of intimacy toward the Lord.

A prayer journal gives you a private space to pour out all your thoughts, feelings, and heart’s cries, and a space to record anything the Lord brings to your mind as you pray.

Keeping a prayer journal has not just helped me stay focused in prayer for an effective prayer life, but has definitely helped me in the grieving process, healing emotionally and to be more consistent in my prayer life.

How Do We Pray Effectively

Prayer Against Distractions

Lord, I want this time with you to be focused and I do not want to give in to the temptation of distractions. You are so Holy and I want my heart to recognize this and stay humble before you. I want to honor you and enjoy this time with you. Help me to strengthen my discipline during prayer and give this time with you everything it deserves. I need you, I need this prayer time and this time reading your word. Forgive me, Lord, where I fail and guide me as I move forward today in a way that honors you. I want an effective prayer life! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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