Hey, friend! If I asked you to describe your prayer life, what would you say? Would you say it’s rich, deep, and something you miss if you don’t do it? Or would you say it’s lacking, stale, and inconsistent?
I get it. Prayer is an amazing aspect of the Christian life. But it is also one of the things people struggle with the most. Sometimes there is confusion about what you should pray, how you should pray, and how often you should pray. In this episode and in the next two, I’ll share my thoughts about how you can develop the discipline of prayer.
In episode 181 of Live It Out, I will share four requirements of prayer found in the Bible. Understanding these requirements will help you begin to develop the discipline of prayer. So grab your favorite beverage and settle in as we talk about prayer.
Before we dive in to learn how to develop the discipline of prayer, we probably should start with a definition of prayer. Prayer is simply how we communicate with God. We talk to Him through prayer, and we can also listen to Him through prayer.
So now that we understand that prayer is communicating with God, let’s talk about some things that the Bible says about prayer. I’m going to share four verses that give us insight into some things that are required in prayer.
1 John 5:14 says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” We can be confident that God hears our prayers. You’ll see that there is a requirement for Him to hear us, though. We have to ask according to His will. Now that does not mean we have to know some super secret will that God has. I think this is more about understanding what pleases God and praying accordingly.
And how do we know what pleases God? We have to be in the Word consistently. God shows us Who He is and what pleases Him all throughout the Bible. So if we’re not reading the Bible regularly and fully, meaning the whole thing, we will miss out on what is important to Him.
Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” This verse shows the importance of being faithful in prayer. We only need to look to Jesus to see how this could look in our everyday lives. He always prayed to the Father in all situations. We can do the same.
Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Ok, this is not a name-it-and-claim-it promise. Some people use this verse to justify the prosperity gospel. But it is a call to believe when you pray in accordance with God’s will, then He will hear your prayer and will supply what you need. It may not be the exact thing you prayed for. He may answer in a different way. Prayer requires faith. Even as little as a mustard seed.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “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.” This verse shows the importance of humility when we pray. We should submit to God and His authority, acknowledging that His way is best. Humility is an important aspect of prayer.
Let’s put together what we’ve learned from these verses. We can know that God will hear our prayers if we pray according to His will. That means we need to be in God’s Word consistently so we can learn what His revealed will is for us. We are to be faithful in prayer. This requires us to pray at all times about all things. God wants to hear our prayers. Prayer requires faith. We have to have faith that God will hear our prayers and answer them according to His will, not ours. Prayer requires humility. God hears the prayers of the humble.