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April 29, 2024

4 Keys to a More Powerful Prayer Life

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

How's your prayer life? Do you ever feel like you're not getting through when you talk to God? Duty has replaced desire, and lately your prayer time feels dull or routine.

Perhaps you want to pray more consistently but you get busy or distracted. And, when it seems like nothing is changing in your circumstances, you wonder if your prayers are even working.

I get it. We all face obstacles in our prayer lives.

Regardless of how you feel, or how things seem, God is always at work. He is always there. He loves you and wants His best for you. The love and mighty power of the Lord can quickly and easily move mountains.

Perhaps it's time to get connected—or reconnected—to the true Source of power, provision, and peace. By doing so, your prayer life could be positively transformed.

So let's look at what prayer is—and isn't—and consider a few ways to power up your prayer life.

What Prayer Is—and Isn't

Prayer is talking with God. It's a holy conversation of both speaking and listening. Your words don't have to be perfect or rehearsed, just authentic and from your heart. Tell God how you feel and what you need. When you don't know what to say, even the simple prayer of, "Help!" will reach the loving ears of the Lord. Prayer is powerful because God is powerful. Through prayer, we allow His Holy Spirit to empower and energize our lives.

Prayer is multifaceted. Sometimes it's a calming oasis, a place of silence and solitude where you can find hope for a revitalized life. At other times, it's a wrestling ring, where you struggle with competing desires—and, in surrender, find freedom. Prayer can also be a celebration as you thank God.

Prayer is not a magical set of words to get what you want. You don't have to say things perfectly or in a certain order. Or coerce God to move. Instead, you can speak from your heart, trusting God with faith that He will come through in the way He sees best.

Here are four keys to a more powerful prayer life:

1. Get connected. The foundation of prayer is relationship, a holy conversation. It's a dialogue of talking and listening with the Lord, the One who loves you the most. He wants to know you and be known by you. Talk with God as you would speak with a close friend. You can be yourself, and know that He always wants to hear what's on your heart.

2. Pray in faith. When you pray, believe that God will answer. Surrender your control of trying to make things happen on your own. You can have the assurance of knowing that your request will be answered. You may not know how or when, but pray with hope and expectation that things will change. You can choose to let go of the outcome and have peace—even as you wait—knowing that God loves you and wants His best for you. And He will answer you—yes, no, or wait.

3. Pray the Word. Praying God's Word is powerful. Read a Bible verse (or a few verses) and pray those words back to God, making them personal. For instance, you could read Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Then, pray from your heart from the words in that verse. I would pray something like this: "Lord, thank you for your Word. I choose to trust you with everything—my heart and my life. Help me not to lean on my own understanding of how I think things should be. I want Your will for my life. I choose to surrender to you, trusting that You will lead and guide me every step of the way. In Jesus' name. Amen."

4. Pray with gratitude. A thankful heart is a joyful heart. And it pleases God to hear "thank you" from His sons and daughters. There's always something for which to be grateful. Thank God for all of his blessings, for what He has done, and what He is doing today.

A prayer-filled life is a powerful life. It will help you to stand strong in tough times. When you pray, your life—and the lives of those around you—will be forever changed. You will be inspired to live with greater peace, restored hope, and more freedom.

In your prayer times with the Lord, you will discover a hope so unexpected, yet so wonderfully good, that when you begin to grasp it your life can be transformed into one of startling kindness, lavish love, and limitless possibilities.

The economy may fluctuate, your bank balance may rise and fall, and your circumstances may ebb and flow like the ocean tide, but know this: God will take care of you. He is totally reliable, willing, and more than able to meet your needs.

A powerful prayer life is possible. Pray on!

The first Thursday in May is the celebration of National Day of Prayer in America. For more information about how you can pray for our nation or watch on livestream, click here.

For more helpful prayer resources, check out these books by Living Single Today host, Jackie M. Johnson: Power Prayers for Women and Praying with Power When Life Gets Tough.