I talked to the youth group tonight about how we need to grow in the area of prayer. If we don’t ask God to move powerfully in hearts and lives this year, then we’re doing everything from our own strength.
One opportunity for a prayer focus is going to be something we’ll call “The Prayermobile.” Each Saturday night from 9-10 pm we will be driving the mini-bus to various locations around town so we can pray specifically for those places. (Examples of locations are schools, city hall, firestations, other churches, Planned Parenthood, etc.) I’m committed to this: you can meet me by the buses every Saturday at church at 8:45 sharp. We’ll return by 10:15.
Also, during my lesson on prayer tonight, i handed out my list of prayer exercises, which also might be useful for some of you who weren’t there, so i’ll post it below.
21 IDEAS TO IMPROVE YOUR PRAYER LIFE
Chose several to experiment with.
1. Write down a relationship goal, declaring where you want to be in your relationship with God. Admit where you’re at, make things right, pray toward that goal.
2. Purge your prayers of routine-ness. Make each one fresh and one-of-a-kind.
3. Pray out loud, or at least move your lips to involve more of you and to avoid distractions.
4. Use a variety of body positions. Kneel for confession. Open your eyes and look heavenward for requests or praise.
5. Get uncomfortable. Don’t let sleepiness keep you from focusing. “A desire for God which cannot break the chains of sleep is a weak thing and will do but little good for God after it has indulged itself fully.” The Power of Prayer by EM Bounds
6. Sing a worship song or listen to a CD, while thinking about the words. Don’t sing praise songs with your heart disengaged. (Matt 15:8)
7. Write out prayers to help you focus and to measure answers later.
8. Set a minimum time goal to make sure you’re not neglecting God with your time.
9. Take occasional extended times in deep prayer, rather than short, shallow prayers.
10. Give Him your firstfruits: For many this is at the beginning of your day.
11. Write down everyone and everything you believe God wants you to be praying for regularly. (i.e. start a prayer list.)
12. Force yourself to pray for only eternal things if you tend to get caught up in the here and now.
13. Force yourself to submit mundane decisions to him if you tend to not involve God in your daily life.
14. Never say “Amen” for a whole day, keep a continual prayer going all day.
15. Simply thinking about God, his Word, and his creation is a type of prayer called “meditation”. (Examples: Ask: what has God rescued me from? Count your blessings. Think about some attributes of God. Reflect on how God’s love is different from man’s. Be thankful A-Z through the alphabet. Think about people God has blessed you with. Think about what Jesus went thru for you. Think about your specific sins.)
16. Pray with someone else, which helps if your mind tends to wander and it also gives you a glimpse of how they relate with God. Ride the Prayermobile!
17. When praying with others, focus on their words & agree with them. Prayermobile!
18. When someone asks for prayer, pray immediately, on the spot!
19. Practice praying FOR your enemies.
20. Go to a specific location for a different prayer focus. Ride the Prayermobile!
21. Read a good book about prayer, such as “the Practice of the Presence of God” by brother Lawrence or Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala, books on prayer by EM Bounds or a biography of a prayer warrior like George Muller.