One of the greatest truths of the Bible is that God hears and answers prayers. Do you believe that? I am confident that you do, and yet, isn’t it strange that with so many promises from God about prayer, so few actually have prayer lives and so few actually really pray. So how can you and I actually have a genuine prayer life that sounds like James 5:16: “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”? May I offer these suggestions.
First, consider designating a place where you can regularly pray. Jesus spoke of entering into your closet to pray. Daniel knelt and prayed three times each day in his house. Jesus often would move to the Garden of Gethsemane or to the Mount of Olives for times of prayer. Having a “prayer closet” may not be as literal as it sounds, but may simply refer to the fact that each of us needs a place designated where we can regularly meet with God in prayer. Perhaps you could designate a place in your bedroom, living room, basement, garage, or office.
You could also designate a daily time for prayer. The writer of the Psalms mentioned praying in the morning, at noon, and at evening. Daniel, as mentioned above, also prayed apparently at specific times. Do you have a specific time that you regularly pray? Do you have a specific place? I recommend both.
I would also suggest that you consider using a list. As I read the writings of the Apostle Paul, I notice that he continually lists things and people for which he is praying. Although he very well may have simply been listing them “off the top of his head,” it would certainly be reasonable that he could have had them written down. I personally use a list and have found it very profitable to do so. In the first place, I am reminded to pray for people on a regular basis. I am also reminded to pray about many things and to find my faith increased when I see God answer specific requests. I actually have a list that I refer to as a daily list. Those are things I try to talk to God about every single day. On top of that, I have a list for most of the other days of the week. On Sunday, I pray for pastors and churches. On Monday, I pray for specific friends. On Tuesday, for evangelists. On Wednesday, for missionaries. I pray over special needs on Thursday and for “impossibilities” on Friday. These lists have been a very special blessing to me and I have been encouraged greatly by seeing God do some very special and some very specific things in relation to my asking.
So how about you? What steps could you take to begin having a “prayer life” of your own. God does answer prayers!