Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Easy Steps To A Better Prayer Life

"I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."
Galatians 5:16
In my last blog, I promised you that I would give you fifteen easy steps to discipline your flesh so that you pray more and better. I may have exaggerated., because I'm not sure I'll end up with a full fifteen.  But, if you want your prayer life to get better so that your Christian life gets better, here you go.
STEP 1 - Go To Bed Earlier So You Can Get Up Earlier To Pray
Forget all the mess about being a late night person, or an early morning person. Whenever you go to bed and whenever you get up, if you're going to have a better prayer life, you have to get up earlier (whenever that is) to pray. And if you don't go to bed earlier, you probably won't get up earlier.
STEP 2 - Set Your Alarm For At least 30 Minutes Earlier
STEP 3 - Go To Bed
NOTE:   If you are under the age of 12 over the age of 50, refrain from drinking fluids after 6pm the night before (especially refrain from any caffeinated beverages). If you're under 12 or over 50 you know why.
STEP 4 - Get Up When The Alarm Goes Off
WARNING:  Do not check your smart phone for messages, the weather, or anything else. Above all, DO NOT CHECK FACEBOOK, TWITTER, OR ANYTHING ELSE ON YOUR SMARTPHONE!
STEP 5 - Go To The Bathroom
STEP 6 - Make Strong Coffee Or Tea
NOTE: It is not sinful to go to get up before 5am, to go to the bathroom, or to make caffeinated beverages before you pray. At least I do not think it is.
WARNING:  Do not take this momentary pause to check your smartphone!
STEP 7 - Get Your Coffee Or Strong Tea, Your Bible, And Get To Your Place Of Prayer
NOTE:  Get a real Bible. Do you use your smartphone or tablet.  The temptation to be distracted is too real.  Remember the warnings above.
STEP 8 - Pray . . . asking God to help you to pray as you read His Word
STEP 9 - Read the Bible prayerfully
A good place to start is Psalm 1.  Read until God speaks to you and then pray about what He is saying to you - whether convicted, reminded, or encouraged.
STEP 10 - Begin A List On One Of Those Empty Pages In The Back Of Your Bible
As God lays situations on your heart, people, etc., note them briefly so you can pray for them daily. It's also a good idea to pray for specific things on specific days.  I'll give you a suggested prayer list tomorrow.
STEP 11 - When You've Prayed As Long As You Can, Stop
STEP 12 - Live Your Day And Pray Whenever You Think About Praying
STEP 13 - Return to Step 1
Now, remember this. Your flesh doesn't want to do any of this.  Don't expect your flesh to want to turn off the TV the night before and go to bed earlier. Don't expect your flesh to want to get up early. Don't expect your flesh to just ignore your smartphone. Expect your flesh to resist you kicking and screaming, but also expect God to honor your obedience.
As you walk after the Spirit and NOT after the flesh, you will begin to walk in power and freedom in your prayer life.  You will change and then things will change.