For any Christian, prayer is a necessity and should be part and parcel of a Christian life. Therefore, whoever ignores prayer does that at his own risk. The Bible teaches us to watch and pray lest the enemy finds us unprepared. Jesus outmatched all His disciples in prayer and He couldn't take on a journey without it. We are His followers, and therefore, there is need for us to follow His footsteps. Now many will agree with me that, at times, they forget to pray and only remember when they are having dinner. If you are such a person, you are not alone. Many of your brothers and sisters around the globe find themselves in such situations. I am ready to share with you some tips that could help you maintain a life of prayer:
- Your help comes from God. "I shall lift my eyes and look up the mountain, for my help comes from God." That was the declaration of King David in the Book of Psalm. Your success as a Christian doesn't come from the east or west, but from God, Jehovah. One might say, "But I am a peaceful person. I have no enemies so I don't need to be careful to pray like King David." The enemy of a Christian is within and without; it is therefore our duty to be vigilant, pray and seek God's guidance and protection. Having people in high places cannot guarantee you safety and security. Having a protected home is good, but there exist temptations that go beyond it. Imagine a sharp disagreement between you and your children in that safe house. Think of hatred that could exist between you and your wife whom you once called by beautiful names. Back to my point--the enemy is within and without. And your help doesn't come from elsewhere, but from God the Almighty. That should be the starting point, and make you manage your prayer sessions diligently.
- Set targets in your daily life. Don't throw your punches in the air! You will waste away easily. When you go out to pray, you must have targets. It is no wonder many pray at meal times. Sit down in your room and write down your physical desires, emotional standards and spiritual targets that you want God to meet. The Bible tells us to let all our needs be known to Him. Think outside the box--I mean personal needs, family woes, the shortcomings in your town, the challenges in your country, the goals in your church and all that. List them and subdivide according to priorities. Write down four issues in a day; you will be able to pray for about 28 issues in a week, and remember, the prayer of a righteous person does wonders. People go to overnight prayers and cannot go beyond two hours in prayer because they didn't have items to pray for. The prayer session becomes boring and the night is wasted. Have targets. Do not throw punches in the air.
- Pray in a language you understand. Praying in tongues is not bad, but there exists a way of doing it and is explained in the Bible. How can you commune in a language you don't understand? Use the best language you know to express yourself to God. Speak with all your senses--leave behind this Christen fanaticism that people have adopted, quoting the King James Version in their prayers and uttering big words that mean nothing. You cannot go to your father to ask for something and fail to use an appropriate language. If you are Chinese, use the Chinese language; God knows all languages.
- Make it a routine. It not possible to leave your house without brushing your teeth--better be late than do such a thing. The same should apply to prayer--make it a part of your life. Make time for short prayers and intensive ones. You need not do a prayer for all your targets in the morning, but at least thank God for the day and commit to Him all the activities of that day. Set time for prayer and once it becomes a routine, there shall be no struggle. Without such an attitude, you will forget and be vulnerable to the darts of the enemy.
- Update your list of prayer targets. If you prayed for a new car and your wife bought you one, then what is the item still doing on your list of targets? The estimated items you can pray for in month are 28, according to the insight I gave you earlier. Go through the list and strike out those that God has answered. Do not forget to thank God for those answered, even as you update the list by adding new ones and striking out those achieved. Do not give up on those that have stayed on the list for long without being answered--remember God's timing is the best.
- Join a prayer group or network. Unity is strength. If there is a prayer group in your church, join it according to your conscience. By joining a group, you become part of an entity striving for the same goals. The advantage is you will share testimonies and also get new ideas.