It can be so easy to feel stuck in our prayer times. We either get stuck praying the same exact prayers everyday or we get stuck by not knowing what to pray.
If you’ve been feeling stuck in your prayer life, if you’re tired of the routine of prayer, or if you’d simply like some ideas of what to pray about - this post is for you. I’m sharing three ways we can take our prayer lives deeper. These are things God’s taught me during my own prayer times, and I’ve been amazed at how my prayer life has grown just by doing these three things. I hope they’re helpful and inspire you to take your own prayer life to a new level, too!
1. Be specific when you pray.
This has been one of the biggest ways I’ve been able to break free from feeling stuck and like I’m only going through the motions when I pray. Too often, our prayers go something like this, “Thank You for this day. Help me to have a good day. Bless my friends and family. Forgive me for the times I don’t bring You glory. Amen.” Am I right???
Being specific in our prayers opens up a whole new level of communication with God because we’re no longer skimming the surface but actually diving deep into a conversation with our Heavenly Father. Think about it: when we talk with acquaintances, we usually just chat on general topics and don’t share too many personal details. We don’t talk about our struggles or what’s really going on in our lives behind the scenes. However, when we talk with close friends and loved ones, we go into detail about what’s really on our hearts and minds.
If we talk deeply with our friends, shouldn’t we talk deeply with our Heavenly Father?
Here are some ways you can be more specific in your prayer times:
Be specific in your requests. This is usually easy for us, but not always something we think about when praying.
“Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.” - Philippians 4:6
Be specific in your thanksgiving. If we’ve been specific in our requests, shouldn’t we be specific in our thanksgiving as well? Once you start listing your blessings, you’ll be amazed at how many there actually are!
“Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ…” - 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Be specific in your confessions. What exactly are we confessing? What are we repenting from? Sometimes saying the word “sorry” can be easy, but actually saying what we’re asking for forgiveness for can be quite difficult and requires tons of humility.
“...if we confess our sins to God, He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” - 1 John 1:9
Be specific in your praise. God has so many wonderful, awe-inspiring aspects of His character and personhood. Just like with thanksgiving, once you start praising Him, you’ll think of even more things to praise Him for!
“Praise our God! His deeds are wonderful, too marvelous to describe.” - Psalm 150:2
2. Thank God in advance.
I know I talk about this a lot, but it’s something we don’t often think about doing. When we’re making our requests, going ahead and saying “thank You” before our requests are answered is a sure way to not only take our prayer lives deeper but to take our faith walk deeper as well.
God already has the answers to our prayers before we even pray them; therefore, if we’re praying in His will, whatever we’re praying about is already taken care of. That’s why we can thank Him for the answer before we receive it. This requires a good deal of faith, not only that our prayers will be answered, but also faith that whatever the answer looks like, it will be God’s best for us even if it’s not what we had in mind.
“We are certain that God will hear our prayers when we ask for what pleases Him. And if we know that God listens when we pray, we are sure that our prayers have already been answered.” - 1 John 5:14-15
3. Pray for others on the spot.
I don’t know about you, but there have been so many times in the past when I’ve told someone, “I’ll pray for you…” and then totally forgot to pray for them.
So now, when I’m saying that to someone who’s not on my usual prayer list and I think there’s a good chance I’ll forget, I pray with or for them right then. If we’re talking live and if the situation allows and they want me to, I’ll pray for them right then - whether in person or on the phone. If we’re communicating online, I’ll let them know I’m praying for them right then, and I actually take a moment to pray.
Developing the habit of interceding for others (and actually doing it!) will not only take your prayer life deeper, but it will also be a huge blessing to the people you’re lifting up.
“...pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them.” - 1 Timothy 2:1
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