Developing A Prayer Habit
…Steadfastly maintain the habit of prayer (Romans 12:12-J.B. Phillips).
The Father wants us to develop our intimacy in prayer with Him. He wants prayer to become a habit. A prayer habit will be one habit that can transform the atmosphere of your life.
E.W. Kenyon in his book In His Presence says: Prayer should be as natural as breathing and as enjoyable as eating. Prayer should be as unconscious as our communication with one another. He goes on the say: You can’t spend any length of time in prayer without being affected by it. The quietness, the unshaken faith, the deep unsounded peace that pervades the Godhead, will overflow into the prayer’s life.
Many people find prayer to be a great challenge. The flesh struggles with relating to a God you can’t see. But the Bible says that God is the Father of spirits. He relates to our spiritual nature, not to our mentality and emotions. Here are some tips to help develop the prayer habit.
First of all, the foundation of a close personal prayer life begins with knowing that we are righteous, or in right standing with God. When we are born again, our sin debt is cancelled and God sees us just as though we had never done wrong. Our sins have been completely paid for by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and God actually sees us as pure as Jesus before Him! It’s as though we have never committed a sin!
Secondly, we must know that the Father loves us as much as He does His own Son Jesus. In John 17:23, Jesus prays that the Father will reveal to us the fact that You have loved them as you have loved me! We must know that we are endeared to the heart of the Father, and that He wants our companionship and fellowship.
Knowing that God has completely forgiven our sins and that He loves us deeply sets the stage for us to have a heart to heart talk with Him. Our fellowship with God is based on faith in what He says in His Word to us and is not based on our feelings. We should take some time to get alone and just tell Him that we love Him and tell Him how glad we are to be saved from sin and redeemed from hell.
Then, we remind Him of what His word says about us, and of what His word says about answered prayer. We talk to Him in specific terms about every single concern we have in life, and ask Him specifically to help us.
I sometimes begin praying this way: Father, thank you so much for your love for me. Thank you for sending Jesus to pay my sin debt and give me freedom here in Your presence. Then I just spend some time worshipping Him and praising Him for making me a brand new person in Christ, for giving me the Holy Spirit to be my helper, and for all of His promises to hear and answer my prayer.
You see, we relate to God on the basis of His Word, not according to our feelings. So many times I will just remind Him of scripture after scripture where He has promised to listen to and answer my prayers (see Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9-10; John 15:7; John 16:23-24; ! John 5:14-15).
After this, I begin sharing my thoughts and concerns with Him. Philippians 4:6, J.B. Phillips Translation is so rich: Don’t worry over anything whatever, tell God every detail of your need in sincere and thankful prayer. I tell Him exactly what is bothering me and how it makes me feel, Then I ask Him to solve the problem, and I thank Him in advance for doing so. I share with Him my concerns, my weaknesses, and all of the issues I wrestle with, and ask Him to help me.
I then take some time to pray in the spirit, in other tongues. You see, our spirit, in communion with the Holy Spirit, will pray God’s perfect will in all areas of our lives (see 1 Corinthians 14:2,14-15).
I end my prayer time spending some time praising and worshipping and thanking God for hearing me and answering my requests.
It is wise to start slowly with your prayer life. You may pray to begin with for five minutes ten minutes. That’s just fine. If you keep this up every day, you’ll find the desire will form to pray longer. You’ll find it easier and easier to express your heart and you’ll begin to want to take more time.
I have also found that if I start my day with some time reading the Word and then praying, then soon a habit develops and I actually want to start my day this way. Twenty one to twenty eight days of doing something repeatedly is the beginning of forming a habit.
Developing a habit of prayer will become a partnership between you and the Father. You’ll begin to talk over every problem, every challenge, and every circumstance, the good and the bad, with Him. And before long, you will have developed and unconscious communion with Him that will erase fear and worry from your life.
Prayer will become an unconscious act of communion throughout your day. Daunting impossibilities will turn into opportunities for your Father to show Himself strong in life. You’ll begin to fulfill Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.