Understanding Prayer: The Practice of Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
It is said that early African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, “Brother, the grass grows on your path.”
There is no substitute for personal prayer. It is a discipline that every Christian must develop; there are no two ways about it! Show me a powerful man or woman of God and I will show you a man who spends time in consistent personal prayer.
For you and I to grow and mature in our Faith, we MUST spend time in prayer. In fact, the bible tells us to pray without ceasing. That means to always be in an attitude of prayer. As much as we all know that, prayer remains a struggle for many people. In this generation, where everything is crying out for one’s attention. Maintaining consistency in prayer is quite a challenge.
So how do you and I maintain consistency in prayer? How can we pray without ceasing? Here are some tips to help you along the way;
Set a specific time to pray and ensure that you keep the appointment. We are creatures of habit and once we form the habit, it kicks in and forms us. Some people prefer to pray early in the morning, others early evening while others love waking up in the middle of the night to pray. Whatever time works for you keep it. Daniel, David and even Jesus had specific times of prayer.
The other thing you can do is have a plan of the different things you want to pray for. Write them down this will help give structure to your prayer life.
Keep a prayer journal; it will help you keep track of Gods faithfulness. You will be surprised at how God answers prayer.
Also engage in spontaneous prayer. There are times the Holy Spirit will prompt you to say a prayer for someone or drop their name in your heart. Pray for them don’t wait or postpone. Also there are times friends or family or church members ask for prayer and we say we will pray for them but we never get to the praying part. Don’t wait, take a minute or two and pray for them when they request for prayer.
Take advantage of corporate prayer seasons like all night prayers and prayer meetings and fellowships. Be there and participate.
As they say at the gym, no pain no gain! The best way to know how to pray is to pray!
Reflective Thoughts
How consistent have you been in your prayer life?
What is your attitude towards prayer, is it a joy or a burden?
What changes do you need to make to begin the journey towards a consistent prayer life?
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