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Developing Your Prayer Life

We live in a culture today where multitasking and time maximizing have become major keys to success. Although this can be a good and healthy discipline in many ways, there are some things that demand our complete focus and attention. They require both quality and quantity to produce the desired result.

When it comes to time with God there is no substitute for a quality daily devotional time. Knowing the “Principles of Devotional Prayer” will help you to go deeper in your daily devotions. Take 5 minutes to read these through and let your heart and mind be challenged to continually prioritize prayer in your busy life.

The Principles of Devotional Prayer: 
  • Principle - “A fundamental law or truth from which something is derived”

 8 Principles of Daily Devotions

1. Prayer takes Faith in Gods ability.

It is in your times of devotional prayer that you step out in faith and believe for things that are beyond your ability. God enjoys when you believe for “big” things that are only possible with His intervention. 

Mark 11:24   Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 

As you spend time with God in prayer make sure that you focus on his ability and not yours, making faith a practice not just a principle.

Heb 11:8   By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. NIV 

2. Prayer is relating to God, it’s a Relationship with Him.

It’s through prayer that you begin to develop a deeper personal relationship with God where you can communicate your heart to Him and hear the desires of His heart for you. 

Prayer is not about God getting to know you, it’s about you getting to know God!

As you continually spend time in prayer your ability to know and discern the will of God for your life increases. Getting to know the peace of God from knowing his will.

Phil 4:6-7  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Jer 29:12-14  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD

Rom 12:2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV
Renewing = anakainosis (an-ak-ah'-ee-no-sis); to renovate
Renovate=  To restore to new, as by repairing or remodeling.

3. Prayer requires Trust in God’s decisions.

To have a vibrant devotional prayer life you must learn to fully trust in the Lord.  The word “trust” in the Bible means to have confidence, to be confident, to be bold, to be secure, to make secure, to feel safe, and to be reliant. 

 “Faith is believing that God can do something, trust is accepting what He does!”

As you learn to be completely reliant on God you will find that you are able to pray greater prayers. 

Isa 55:8-9   "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.  9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.    

4. Prayer must have Passion 

The term passion refers to “a belief in something so real and valuable that it drives you to action”. 

The Bible tells you to run the race of life with everything you have.  Don’t settle for a second rate relationship with God, but passionately push and fight for one that is not lacking in any way.  

Luke 18:1-2 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' 

Luke 5:16  But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.  NIV

Passion is revealed in the things we prioritize; Jesus would often leave the crowds to go to a quiet place where he could passionately spend time in devotional prayer.

5. Prayer requires that you Ask. 

You can never ask God too many times for something as long as you’re asking with a pure heart.  God wants us to ask and keep asking.  It is a sign of trust in Him.  

1 John 5:14-15  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.  NIV

Often people ask God for help in a situation, and if they don’t get a quick response they go and try to solve it themselves.  In the story about the persistent widow we see that she did not try to do things on her own. She kept asking the judge to help her, and finally he did.  God loves when you make Him the one you rely on for everything.
Luke 18:1-5   Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' 4 "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'"  
It’s important to understand that asking is not prayer itself; it’s only a part of prayer.  You can pray without asking God for anything if you choose to, but asking is a basic principle of prayer that God instructed you to do.  

Ps 37:4  Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

6. Prayer brings Alignment 

We need to be aware of what kind of spiritual shape we are in!  If you know how to go through the motions of prayer but your personal life is out of spiritual alignment, you will find that your prayer life will struggle.  
Isaiah 1:15-16   o when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you;  Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.  Your hands are covered with blood.  " Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
God expects you to live a life that He can bless.  If you get spiritually out of alignment, it affects your relationship with God.  Your actions can either hinder your prayers or cause your prayers to be heard.  

“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late - and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience." 
Author: A.W.  Tozer

7. Prayer is Motivated by Love
When love becomes your motivation for prayer it helps you to not just focus on yourself.  It is so easy to make prayer all about your problems, desires and needs.  

1 Cor 13:1-3   If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 

Luke 6:27-28  "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  NIV

Love causes you to put God’s will first.  It causes you to put others needs before your own.  When you let love drive your prayers, they tend to take a little longer and become a lot more meaningful.
1 Cor 13:4-8  (Definition of Love) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. 
8. Prayer is Purpose Driven 
There is a reason that you pray, and it’s not so you can be religious.  It’s so that you can get to know God and His will for your life.  Not just His general will, but His specific will also.  As you take time to pray you will develop the ability to hear God’s voice as He speaks to you.  When you pray daily you are telling God that you value His opinion and that you desire for Him to lead and guide you.

2 Thess 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

 "Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.”                 
Author: Hudson Taylor


CONCLUSION: As you make a habit of incorporating the Principles of Devotional Prayer into your devotional life you will find that you will have a more effective prayer life.  Your prayer time will no longer be just a two minute conversation telling God what you want Him to do.  Instead, you will find a new freedom in your prayers that really allows you to fully express yourself to God and at the same time really receive all that He has for you in prayer. 





1 comment

  • Thank you for these 8 principles of prayer. In my mind I can hear thoughts and words guiding me to go into prayer more intimately, more deeply. Your blog article is inspiring and enjoyable to read. I did not get lost in too many words or explanations, rather, I followed along perfectly in sync with the path you wrote on. This was an answer to my deepest longings. To pray in a way that causes me to enter into His presence with unity where my heart and mind are filled with His thoughts, and peace and joy are the results.

    Sara Watson

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