Everything we do and everything we don’t do shapes our prayer life. The question is whether it’s being shaped for the better… or worse?
Our actions, attitudes, motives, even the way we treat other people effects our prayer life (1 Peter 3: 7)
I have identified four key areas in life that shape our prayer life.
These 4 areas will make or break your prayer life!
1 – Theology
Theology means knowledge or understanding of God. In this context, i’m talking specifically of intellectual understanding.
The need for theology is always a lively debated topic. Some argue it’s the only necessary component of faith whilst others believe it is inconsequential.
An intellectual understanding of what the bible has revealed prayer to be is indeed highly important. But it can work against us at times as well. I know for me, as a high thinker, I am at risk of over analysing scripture thereby paralysing my ability to live it out.
This however is not a justification to cast biblical truth aside, rather a warning to keep a balanced perspective.
I want to know what God has promised in scripture regarding prayer, so that I can go after it’s fulfillment.
2 – Experiences
It’s really hard to believe what the bible teaches about prayer if you have never experienced it for yourself.
Nothing gets you praying more than when you have just experienced God’s grace through answered prayer.
I remember needing money to buy my wife’s wedding ring, but I had none. I prayed that morning for God to provide and I was given the money from a close friend in the afternoon without any prompting.
The other element of experiences are supernatural encounters. Now if theology is a touchy subject, this is an atom bomb. I might have to leave the apologetic’s for supernatural encounters for another blog post though.
For now, it’s enough for me to say I believe in them because I have experienced them.
Supernatural encounters with God are not for the purpose of replacing the daily rhythms of prayer, bible reading or meditation.
Supernatural encounters are stake in the road moments that can set us on a divine course. They can turn people from the most hardened criminals to the most passionate worshiper in your church overnight.
For me a whole new world opened up and wrecked me for the rest of my life, when I encountered God supernaturally.
Encountering God is vital for keeping your prayer life just that, alive!
3 – Hindrances
There are also negative influences to our prayer life, not all of which we have full control over. They are hindrances, not disqualifiers! We all have hindrances that slow down our personal growth, God is not condemning you for that.
Here are some things that you may need to work through to go deeper in your prayer life.
Pride is a balance issue. It’s elevating yourself to a position that God hasn’t given you. Pride resists feedback and input from others. Having un-checked pride in your life means you can only have a one-way connection with God.
False Belief systems
Fear of God, failure, the unknown, low self-esteem, legalism, discouragement and impatience are all belief systems that work against a healthy prayer life.
We live according to what we believe and what we value. You might know God loves you, but you don’t believe it and it shows up in you not praying because you don’t think God wants to hear what you have to say.
Over the last few years, I have watched my wife battle through tiredness, fatigue, pain and mental illness. All of which took its toll on her ability to do what she loves, sing and worship.
Physical health is vital to our prayer life. We can’t always control it though. I’m discussing this because it’s important for people to know…
If your capacity for prayer and worship drops due to poor health that is not something to feel guilty about.
In seasons of poor health, rather than looking to invest energy into outward prayer and worship, maybe spend time in silent meditation or even just praying that your sickness wouldn’t steal your joy.
“I’m too busy to pray.”
We have all said it at some point, maybe not verbally, but we say it with our actions and with what we prioritise.
Busyness is a mentality, more so than a reality. I have seen people with huge work loads that are the least busy people in the world and vice versa, people with little to do but have a busy mind.
I believe prayer is an attitude we carry, not an activity we do. So, when you’re at work, stay aware of God, His presence and His love towards you and your co-workers and you will never be too busy to pray.
To learn more about hindrances to prayer you can listen to Joyce Meyer discuss it here.
4 – Devotion
The thing that balances out the hindrances to our prayer life is our personal devotion to God. You don’t magically get a sound theology, you have to seek it out. You don’t magically encounter God, you need to seek Him out. You don’t magically over come hindrances to faith, you must devote yourself to God.
Our devotion is connected to obedience. Living a life of joyful obedience to God positions us for connection with Him. It’s not earning God’s favour, it’s about being someone God can trust with the greater revelation of who He is.
When we marry together Love and obedience we will discover power. Devotion to God that is motivated by love and obedience will always have an impact on the world around us. A prayer life motivated by love and obedience will always bear fruit.
Living a life of to God is what positions us for connection with Him.
If you were encouraged by this blog would you consider sharing it with friends?