Does it sometimes seem nearly impossible to find a relationship where you can openly and honestly express yourself without feeling judged? You don’t have to look any further when you know Jesus. He offers you this, and more.
It’s usually we who choose to hold back. We hold back our true, raw emotions from him. We think he can’t handle it or that we will offend him, but more than anything he wants us to pour out our hearts to him.
This expression will cultivate a prayer life that leads to a deep personal connection with him. It will allow you to know that no matter what happens he is with you and his comfort is always available.
Why Is Prayer Important
Prayer is simply talking to God about everything and anything. You can do it anywhere and at any time; God calls you to always be praying.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24, NIV)
We should pray according to his will with great faith. This is so important because, without constant prayer with him, you’ll feel void, lost, discouraged, stuck and overwhelmed by the pain and hurt of the world and be powerless when hard circumstances come.
Prayer keeps us connected to him—his will—and allows us to hear his words, which are life giving. Keep praying all day, always giving thanks to him for who he is, what he has done, and what he will do.
How to Pray Effectively
Jesus speaks of how the prayer life of a Christian should look in the Bible. Daily effective prayer doesn’t mean praying publicly, so you look good to others, but in private. A private prayer life is what matters to him (Matthew 6:5-7).
He gives us an outline of what you should include in your prayer life:
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”’” (Matthew 6:9-13, NIV)
Prayer should strengthen you, and make you feel met, seen, and known by Jesus. It should not feel like a task but a privilege: to be in the presence of God who created it all. You should be in awe and leave feeling renewed by his love because of the ability to be transparent with him.
This type of prayer life allows you to love God, love yourself and love people—submitting to the greatest commandment.
Prayer Life of Jesus
In the Bible, Jesus gives you “how to pray” examples:
- Jesus prays from his heart and expresses his real thoughts by always looking to do the will of the Father. You can see this when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’” (Matthew 26:37-39, NIV)
He keeps praying and shows you the necessity of prayer, to be prepared for what is to come. Each and every day you need to be prepared through prayer to be connected to Jesus.
- Jesus prayed by himself after being with a large crowd.
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone…” (Matthew 14:23, NIV)
Prayer fills you and gives you the ability to give the Father all glory, honor, and praise. You should take time alone to be with the Father, as Jesus did.
These two examples of ways to pray are powerful; it’s important to follow the prayer life of Jesus. Study it!
How to Develop a Consistent Prayer Life
A consistent prayer life means knowing why you need prayer and the power of it to change everything in your life and heart.
It starts with the posture of your heart. Do you know that when you pray, things will shift and that your prayers are heard without a doubt? Do you know your Savior desires to hear from you all day and cherishes meeting your desperate cries of help?
“I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” (Psalm 66:17-19, ESV)
You can have a consistent prayer life when you focus on these truths and know how much Jesus wants to hear from you.
Prayer holds power; it connects you to God in a profound way that changes your life. Below you will find 3 ways to cultivate a prayer life that will connect you more deeply to Jesus.
1. Be Committed
You need to commit to prayer. This means that you commit to knowing it is the answer, always, in all situations.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2, NIV)
Committing to prayer means you pray all the time. You rejoice in prayer, praying for your decisions (big and small) and for friends and family. You pray when life is hard; you express your heart, knowing you are heard by Jesus, and it brings the comfort and peace you need.
Prayer is the first thing you need to do, even when it feels hard, when something good happens or when you’re in trouble and need help.
2. Be Humble
Going to Jesus in prayer is humbling. It shows that you know you need him and can’t do this life alone. Bare it all to Jesus and admit honestly that you can’t do it.
“… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV)
Praying needs to include going to Jesus for repentance when you mess up, not just when you need guidance. Have a humble posture and you will always go to him.
3. Don’t Stop Praying
When you don’t see your prayers being answered right away, sometimes you want to stop… or you actually do. An effective prayer life is one where you keep praying, no matter what.
You need to have faith that he is moving and working in ways you don’t understand.
“… pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, NIV)
Keep praying and keep thanking him, because he is working. Giving thanks is powerful and it assures this truth in your heart.
Prayer for success in life includes being committed, having a humble heart and always praying. This type of prayer life allows you to be connected to Jesus in a profound way for a deeper relationship with him. Keep praying all the time!