We must ignite our thinking about prayer! In prayer we find ourselves in an environment in which God is the pivotal center of action. Prayer places us in a posture of receptivity before God. He orients us to His person and purposes. As we pray, we become aware that we are taken seriously, we acquire dignity, and we acclimate to hope. Prayer pulls the actions of heaven and earth into correspondence (Revelation 8:1-5).
The following suggestions will enhance the content of your communication with God as you pursue maturity and intimacy in your relationship with Him:
- The Psalms are God’s gift to train us in prayer. Read them sequentially, faithfully, and regularly throughout your lifetime.
- There are various prayers scattered throughout the Old Testament like Numbers 6:24-26.
- Pray your way through the Tabernacle (outer court, Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies), paying attention to the significance of all of the pieces of furniture.
- Take a prayer and expand its translation into your own words or themes. Many have used a passage like Psalm 23 for this.
- Focus on the names of God in prayer.
- Consider Christ’s prayer for believers in John 17.
- Read through the book of Acts and consider the circumstance connected to the early church and how they embraced and/or confronted those situations in prayer.
- There are a multitude of prayers scattered throughout the epistles.
- The entire book of Revelation is meant to be read as a poetic prayer.
- Consider the published prayers of saints who have preceded us.
- Let prayer flow from the person of God to your family, and then to those to whom the Spirit guides.
As our relationship with God grows, it is important to be aware of what we pray (content), and also how we pray (crafting). These thoughts on how, along with those above, are not meant to be exhaustive, only provocative.
- Even though we are to “pray without ceasing” (an abiding consciousness of God), it is important to have a place or a location that you go to regularly to pray (this may also include the outdoors).
- Posture is something to consider (like kneeling or lying face-down). Scripture has much to say about lifting hands in prayer and praise.
- Every time you read God’s Word, do so in an attitude of prayer.
- Pray with silence. Simply present yourself to God and listen.
- Write out your prayers.
- Read the psalms and the other prayers of Scripture aloud.
- Force yourself to pray without cliché.
- Do an expanded translation of any prayer found in scripture.
- Express your prayers through the arts.