A recent movie was released called “War Room” that has done very well at the box office. The main point of the move was to show the importance of consistent prayer and its effect on our lives and circumstances. In the movie the major figure Elizabeth Jordan and her motherly mentor Miss Clara did something literally that Jesus spoke of “go into your inner room (KJV closet), close the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” Mt 6:6.
In the movie both women developed a prayer room (war room) in a literal closet but whatever physical place is used for consistent prayer it carries the important spiritual point, prayer is essential in following Jesus. Prayer is like oxygen to our body. Without it life will deteriorate.
In Mt 6 Jesus is speaking of Pharisees who expressed relationship with God in public but did not do so in private. That is an important point of prayer. Prayer is our ongoing communication with God. Like any relationship communication is important. Prayer is the ongoing expression/communication in our relationship with God. We are no more authentic, spiritual, or mature than our real ongoing prayer life with Jesus. It is where our life with Jesus is cultivated, sustained, and is the Genesis point of all Kingdom advancement in and through our lives.
Christians often face great challenges in developing a consistent prayer life. We have an enemy within us and an enemy outside of us that does not like it when we pray. Our flesh (the enemy within) likes to lead and call the shots, It usually resist prayer. There is also the demonic (enemy outside) that hates it when we pray and will do everything to discourage us.
I remember how difficult it seemed in my early years of serving Jesus to gain a consistent prayer life. I remember a book by Andrew Murray called “The Prayer Life” as well as other books on prayer that really helped me reach the tipping point in going from an inconsistent to a consistent prayer life.
You can read Murray’s book prayer life free online athttp://www.onread.com/reader/1145974.
The first thing we face in prayer is that it is a spiritual experience. In prayer we are forcing our mind to focus on things outside of the five sensory realms. Our mind is use to operating based on stimulation from those realms. With the proliferation of our online devices our ability to focus is limited due to the consistent stimulation. The more we pray in a disciplined fashion and follow the Scriptural directives, the more prayer will become natural and consistent. We literally retrain our senses to focus on God’s Spiritual realm. Here are some essential tips if we are going to be more effective in prayer.
Tips for the prayer closet
- It is good to have a regular time. As with anything else it is better to set a consistent time every day and get into a habit. In doing so we fit our life around prayer rather than trying to fit prayer into our life. If we simply try to fit prayer into our life it will be inconsistent. The Bible puts a premium on Morning Prayer. It is a first fruit time in which we are the clearest before the day begins.
- Use real language remembering it isn’t our religious eloquence that counts. Prayer is above all communication with God. Jesus always seemed to frown on religious language but wanted real communication from our heart.
- Find a private place where you can be alone and undistracted with God. This is what Jesus met by the prayer closet. As He said it is the “secret place” before for the Father who “sees in secret.”
- Thanksgiving praise and worship are essential to entering God’s presence and staying alert there.
- These things work to draw us to God and keep us alert in His presence.
- Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
- Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving
- Shouting is a good way to create alertness and focus. Shouting is by far the most common expression of praise, and interacting with God in the Scripture. It is used 265 times. Shouting brings our foggy mind to a sense of focus and alertness.
- Psalms 95:1-2 us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
- Psalm 77:1 My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and Hewill hear me.
- Psalm 142:1 I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD; I make supplication with my voice tothe LORD.
- It is good to alternate praying in the Spirit (praying in tongues) with praying in your understanding. This helps cultivate a Spiritual atmosphere and engages us with the Spirit of God.
- 1 Corinthians 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
- Use Scriptural Prayers as a pattern and example. I have all the prayers of the Bible recorded on my computer and I regularly pull them up and pray them. It is part of Jesus’ instruction about His word abiding in us as we pray in John 15.
The biggest thing is to just do it. Prayer is not just a good intention or a good concept. It is a practice. The only way to develop a consistent prayer life is to consistently pray
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