5 keys to a powerful prayer life

5 Keys to a Powerful Prayer Life

By Stacey Pardoe

A few years ago, I realized that my prayer life lacked the power and fervency I longed for.  Every morning, I prayed over lists of names and needs, but prayer felt like hard work more than a life-giving encounter with Jesus.  I was desperate to uncover some new keys to a powerful prayer life.

The Lord led me on a journey of experimenting with different styles of prayer and approaching prayer in different ways.

Over time, my prayer life gradually shifted.  Instead of praying over every name on my prayer list each morning, I began asking God to show me one person to pray for.  I then imagined lifting the person before God’s throne while I watched to see what happened.

God began to reveal his heart to me through this practice.  He also showed me how to pray for others and drew me deeper into his love through prayer.

Prayer also stopped feeling like grueling work and began to feel like an exciting opportunity to encounter the Lover of my Soul, Jesus.  

I no longer dread prayer time.  I look forward to my morning prayer time, and I long for breaks in the day when I can slip away for a quiet moment with my heavenly Father.

5 keys to a powerful prayer life

5 Keys to a Powerful Prayer Life

As I reflect on my journey into a more powerful prayer life, the following five keeps have helped me shift the way I pray.  I pray these insights will help you pray with power, too.

1. Develop a Consistent Prayer Life

The foundation for a powerful prayer life begins with consistency.  God wants to talk to us all day every day.  He also wants us to find quiet times to meet with him in silence and solitude.

When it comes to powerful prayer lives, consistency is key.  Consider what time of day you could meet with God alone—for even five to ten minutes—daily.

I prefer early in the morning.  I’ve learned that if I don’t begin by day by seeking God in silence and solitude, I will forget to pray to him throughout the rest of the day.  These are the days when I snap at my loved ones, get worked up about long lines at the grocery store, and fail to stay in step with the Holy Spirit.

The first step toward a more powerful prayer life is simply showing up.  

It’s also important to find a place to meet with God that works for you.   A spot with minimal distractions is ideal.  Because I have young children, it’s hard for me to find a secluded place to pray.

For this reason, I sit in the dining room and look out the window while they watch cartoons in the room next to me.  I wear my earbuds and listen to a white noise app that drowns out the TV—and the bickering.  

This time is like an escape into a different world.  I find the space to talk to God, listen for his still small voice, and rest in his love.  Most days, I’m interrupted at least a few times during my prayer time.  When this happens, I simply put the earbuds back into my ears and return to the Lord.

2. Recognize God’s Purpose for Prayer

After finding a time of day and a quiet place where you can pray, it’s important to recognize God’s purpose for prayer.   God wants our prayer times to include more than monologues about everything we need.

God wants us to pray because he loves us and loves spending time with us.  He wants prayer to be the gateway for us to draw near to him and establish deep and loving relationships with him.

When we recognize that God wants us to pray because he is a good Dad who wants to spend time with his kids, our prayer lives change.  We are less likely to approach God only for what he can do, and we begin drawing close to him for the simple joy of spending time with him.

For me, this includes at least a few minutes spent imagining that God is holding me in his arms every morning.  I lean into his love and imagine him smiling at me.  I let him enjoy me.  More than any other part of my prayer life, this practice of soaking in God’s love has transformed my heart. 

3. Improve Your Prayer Life by Listening as Much as You Talk

In addition to resting with God and letting him enjoy us during times of prayer, it’s vital to create space to listen to God.  

I’ve never heard God speak in an audible voice, but he often puts clear impressions on my heart during times of prayer.  These impressions usually come as spontaneous thoughts that I wouldn’t have come up with on my own.  These thoughts always align with Scripture, offer wisdom, adhere to common sense, and bring a sense of refreshment.

Instead of praying through our lists of requests and then moving on with our days, God wants us to bring our requests and then stay with him.  He will show us new insights that we could not know without him (see Jeremiah 33:3).

4. Write Your Prayers

When it comes to making requests, I often write my prayers in my journal.  I then record anything that comes to mind regarding these requests.  This might include impressions I sense from the Lord, questions, or action steps I might take regarding the request.

Writing the impressions I sense I’m receiving from the Lord also helps me to discern whether these thoughts are truly from God or are just my ideas.  After writing these thoughts, I can return to them later to consider whether they align with God’s thoughts and character.

Additionally, writing our prayers creates a traceable record of the requests we have made.  When God answers our prayers, we can return to our journal entries, and we have tangible proof of God’s work in our lives.

5. Pray Scripture to Improve Your Prayer Life

Lastly, our prayers increase in power when we learn to pray according to God’s will.  When we pray Scripture, we can rest assured that we are praying according to God’s will.

Here are a few examples of Scriptures I regularly pray over my friends and loved ones:

“Father, thank you that will finish the good work you have started in my children’s lives” (see Philippians 1:6)

“God, I pray that you will strengthen my husband with all power, according to your glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (see Colossians 1:11).

“Jesus, thank you that even though we are facing trouble right now, you are with us, and you have overcome the world” (see John 16:33).

“Father, help us to humble ourselves and become less so that you might become greater in our lives” (see John 3:30).  

Additionally, consider adding the following Bible verses to your prayers for a more powerful prayer life:

Bible Verses for a Powerful Prayer Life

  • Mark 11:24:  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
  • Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
  • 1 John 5:14: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
  • 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
  • James 4:3: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
  • Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Stick With It

Lastly, don’t grow weary in pursuing God in prayer.  Prayer is not to be based on feelings but on faith.  Believe that God hears your prayers, approach him with a desire to grow closer to him, and pray according to his will, and you will develop a powerful prayer life. 

Let’s conclude with a personal prayer to help us begin on the journey of praying powerful prayers:

“Lord God, thank you that you invite us to draw near to you in boldness.  We pray that you will continue to mold us into your image through our prayer lives.  Align our hearts with your heart through prayer and help us to pray according to your will.  We want our lives to flow from your love, and we want to carry your love into the world.  Amen.”

Meet the author

Stacey Pardoe

Stacey Pardoe is passionate about equipping others to live purpose-filled, empowered lives. She lives in western Pennsylvania, where she is a writer, mother, mentor, and teacher with a master’s degree in education. A lover of forests and open skies, she enjoys hiking, camping, jogging, and chasing adventure with her three young children and her husband Darrell. Above all else, the love of Christ has forever captured her heart, and she is devoted to helping others encounter his relentless love. She writes weekly at staceypardoe.com

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