If you are like most Christian men, then you want your prayer times to really count. Time is hard to come by so when you finally get some for spiritual purposes, use it wisely.
There are many benefits to having regular prayer times.
“What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer.” ~ E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer
Being an Active Biblical Man really does mean being a prayer warrior. It means being spiritually exercised with regular prayer times. It’s been said many times, from pulpits across America, “No Prayer, No Power”.
However, proper prayer times will benefit you, the ones you love, your church, and your community. You will be healthier and happier as a result of spending time with your Heavenly Father.
Quick Tip: Never make prayer times a chore.
If you force your prayer life, then you are starting on the wrong foot. Find pleasure and peace in our stressful and fast paced lives, through purposeful prayer times.
Are you ready?
As you read this post, you might want to be ready to save it, and share it, because the principles you will discover here really are powerful. Here we go!
7 Powerful Steps to Better Prayer Times
1. Decide on a Time and Place to Pray
As usual, there is a time and place for everything. The same is true for truly maximizing your prayer times. When it comes to deciding on the proper time, consider that if something is important to you, then you find the time. Don’t be too regimented, or overly strict with the schedule.
Prayer should be a fluid and natural part of your Christian life. When you find some margin in your schedule, take advantage of it. The right place to pray is important too. Preferably, when possible, it’s ideal to be somewhere quiet. At the very least, it should be in a place where distractions won’t be a nuisance.
Once you decide on a time and a place, make it as comfortable and conducive to prayer times as possible. Turn off your smart phone, get your Bible out, and open to a favorite place, like Psalms or Proverbs. Read a few portions of scripture, and settle in for a blessing!
2. Condition Your Heart and Mind for Prayer
Often times when we finally get some time to pray, we begin with a rush, and a list, and an agenda. This is actually counter productive. The blessing is that your prayer times actually serve as a solution, to those very problems. That is another great reason for making time for prayer.
Take a few moments to breathe, slow down, and relax. The scriptures are clear that prayer and meditation go hand in hand.
Psalm 5:1 “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.”
Psalm 104:34 “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.”
Meditation involves both the heart and the mind. So clear away the mental and emotional clutter, and get ready to engage the true and living God in prayer.
You need this time of spiritual growth and strengthening, so take it seriously, but naturally. Let the Holy Spirit begin to minister as only He can.
Take a deep breath, exhale slowly, pause for a brief moment, and begin your prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father…”
3. Approach God Spiritually with Humility and Gratitude
James 4:6 “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
As you approach our loving Heavenly Father, remember who you are approaching. He is the great I AM, the eternally existent creator of Heaven and Earth. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the all knowing, all powerful, and ever present Jehovah God.
He knows who you are, and He loves you.
Too often we approach God and we are full of ourselves. Not necessarily in an arrogant way, but in a real way. Daily life contributes to that reality, and we have to deal with that first.
Consider this great and thought provoking quote from D.L. Moody:
“I firmly believe that the moment our hearts are emptied of selfishness and ambition and self-seeking and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit, ambition and self-seeking, pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. I also believe that many a man is praying to God to fill him, when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray that He would empty us. There must be an emptying before there can be a filling; and when the heart is turned upside down, and everything that is contrary to God is turned out, then the Spirit will come…” ~ D. L. Moody
Remember that God is spiritual, and that those that worship Him will worship Him “in spirit and in truth”. This is the wonderful God that you are reaching out to. While you are praying for the things that are on your heart and mind, He is changing you from the inside out. Only God can do that!
If you really want God to change you, it has to start on the inside. Prayer is the mightiest process to make that happen. It is a God-given scriptural mandate, that has a powerful impact on your very soul!
4. Begin Your Prayers with Thanksgiving and Praise
Once your prayer has begun, and you have called on the Lord, remember that He is worthy!
He is worthy of your admiration, adoration, and affection. He is worthy of power and praise, glory and honor! In all of that, he has blessed you.
As you soak in His presence, take inventory of your many blessings. The Lord loves a heart of gratitude. We are all undeserving recipients of his grace, mercy, love, and acceptance through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Express your gratitude, thanksgiving, and praise to the Lord.
Be specific, and thank Him for some recent blessings, and answered prayers.
Psalm 100:4–5 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
This step will help to prepare you with an attitude of gratitude! Your reliance upon God is acknowledged here, and you are more ready to pray because of it.
Don’t skip this step, if anything make more of it.
5. Pray for Others First
When it is time to begin petitioning the Lord for your requests, start by praying for others. No doubt you have a list of things that people have asked you to pray for. Now is the time to keep your promise to pray for them.
If you have a written list, great, if not then exercise your mind and remember those requests. Some people are list makers. If that is you, then great, make a prayer list. However, don’t let that list bind you to it.
Be ready for the Lord to bring things up by putting something else on your heart.
God’s agenda should always be a priority over your own, no matter how good your intentions are. Your family, each by name, should be at the top of that list. Then, working out from there to extended family, close friends, co-workers, your pastor, and any others that come to mind. As they come to mind, lift them up in prayer by name.
If you are married and have children, now is your chance to pray for them, like you know you should. Realizing that you don’t always have time to pray like this, take full advantage, and use this valuable time of prayer wisely.
6. Pray for Yourself
Now that you have put God first, and others before yourself, it is time for your own personal requests. There are certainly many things that you can pray for, your job situation, your relationship issues, your hopes and dreams. All of that is appropriate to pray over.
However, here are a few suggestions to pray for yourself:
- Ask God to give you wisdom.
- Ask God to lead and guide your life.
- Ask God to perform his will in and through you.
- Ask God to protect and provide for you.
- Ask God to give you peace about troubling circumstances
- Ask God to give you strength to face your difficulties.
- Ask God to forgive your failures, shortcomings, and sin.
- Ask God to make you more like Jesus.
There is a lot of food for thought in those suggestions listed here. Feel free to write them down in the back of your Bible, or in your prayer journal. If you don’t have a prayer journal, there are some great ones listed a the bottom of this post.
7. Always close your prayers in “Jesus’ Name”!
This entire post is written with the assumption that you have already asked the Lord to forgive you for your sins against Him.
It is assumed, that you have believed by faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross for you, and that His blood was shed as the final payment, for your sin.
Some scriptures to consider:
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 10:9–13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
If you have trusted Christ alone, as your only hope of salvation, and not at all in your own good deeds, then you can come to God through Christ in prayer.
But it can only be done in the name of Christ.
Some final thoughts
Prayer is a great privilege that has been given to us by the Lord. It is all for our own benefit, not His. We were created by him, and he wants to have an intimate Fatherly relationship with us.
If you will follow the above recommendations, you will find that these truly are 7 Powerful Steps to Better Prayer Times.
You will have spent a good amount of time in prayer, and will find yourself wishing you had more time.
That is exactly how prayer times are supposed to work. Finding joy, peace, and satisfaction in a healthy prayer life, will bring you back again and again.
However, you will always have to fight for this time to pray. Open spaces in your schedule are quickly filled, and being a prayer warrior, requires commitment and discipline.
The Key – is to start now, take the biggest step that you can, in the right direction!
I also strongly recommend getting a great book on the subject of prayer, and reading it at bedtime each night. Keeping it on your night stand is a great reminder to pray.
Also, you can gain wise and insightful thoughts by reading a good book on the subject.
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We hope you this article on prayer times was helpful.