The key to a spiritual awakening will not be in a new technique, but in gospel proclamation, earnest prayer, and yearning for the Spirit.

-J.D. Greear

God means for your life to run on the power of prayer. Prayer fuels the engine of your heart and mind. You need God in and through prayer more than you need anything else. We will not do anything of any real and lasting value without God, which means we will not do anything of any real and lasting value without prayer.

We know we need to pray, but we know we don’t pray enough. And we’re not always sure we’re even doing it right when we do pray. Prayer is conscious, personal communication with the God of the universe. Here are some ways to grow in your time alone with our God.

  1. Pick a time and place - The freedom to pray anywhere, though, often leads to praying nowhere. Pick a consistent time and place when you can be alone. It might be in the morning at home, or during a long commute, or over your lunch break, or at a convenient time in the evening.

  2. Listen before you speak - Prayer is truly a conversation. Just as God really does speak to us in his word, he is also really listening when we pray. When you sit down to pray, let God speak first. Let him have the first word. Put his living and active words into your ears, and let them shape and inspire what you say back to him.

  3. Prioritize the spiritual over the circumstantial - Physical needs are important, but they pale in comparison to our spiritual-emotional and eternal needs. We should spend as much time praying for our souls, for the salvation of our loved ones, for the spread of the gospel, and for the establishment of God’s glory and his kingdom as we pray about anything.

  4. Don’t be afraid to stop and pray now - One way to ensure you do pray for someone and their need is to pray right there in the moment. It only takes a minute or two, and more than meeting a need, it draws you both Godward in the middle of a day. It can be a brief and unexpected (and needed) meeting with the Almighty.

  5. Pray BIG - Many of us lack courage and imagination in our prayer lives. In our waiting for something to be "serious enough to pray about," we deprive ourselves of his mercy and power in massive areas of our life and world. Pray BIG to God “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

  6. Be willing to ask one more time - God doesn't want us to lose heart or give up. He wants us to keep asking, keep pleading, keep praying. See the example in Luke 18:4–8. God loves you. He knows what’s best for you. And he’s listening. 

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"From time to time your prayer life needs a jolt out of the rut it has fallen into"

-John Piper

Prayer remains one of the great and glorious mysteries of the universe — that the all-knowing, all-wise, all-sovereign God should ordain to run his world in response to our prayers is mind-boggling. But that is the witness of Scripture. God hears and answers the prayers of his people. Don't neglect this amazing way of influencing nations and movements and institutions and churches and people’s hearts, especially your own.

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