Making Prayer Intentional and Effective

Don’t let the title fool you. I am not a prosperity preacher teacher and I am not going to give you a five step plan on getting your prayers answered over night. There is NO magical formula on prayer.

While I don’t believe that prayer should be put in a box or smoldered because we don’t believe we are “doing it right”, I do believe that we can be more intentional with our prayers and in turn make our prayers more effective.

Again, no magic formula to follow. I have tried many ways of praying and all are good. Just making the time to pray and talk with God is a step in the right direction. I want to give you a few ideas of how to take you prayer life deeper and instead of praying the generic acronym P(praise). R(repent). A(ask). Y(yield), be more specific and intentional with the time we have to communicate with God. There is nothing wrong with the PRAY acronym. It is a great place to start if you are new to any kind of prayer life, but for those of us who have called ourselves Christian and worked in service to be like Christ, we can do more and go much deeper in our prayer life.

Take a minute and think about where you pray. The place where you spend time with God holds great significance. It is where God is going to answer you an speak to you, not that He can’t speak to you in the shower or while you are shooting your bow, because He has and will, but with this being about intention let’s just think about it. The place in which you communicate with God is sacred. Bear with me…this place marks tears cried for circumstances and people, it’s a place where God meets you right where you are and wraps His arms around you to let you know that He is still there and He is still listening and He is still answering. It is the place where you can go to meet Him and know that He is still God.

Some questions about the place where you pray…Is where you pray in a place free from distraction? Do you feel that you are ale to hear God’s whispers above the surrounding noise? Can you focus on your prayers? Do you feel that your faith is strong when you are praying in your place?

We all have busy lives. Some of you are up to your elbows in raising infants and toddlers. Your prayer time may be while the babies are napping and you need to fold that basket of laundry. Others of you work full time outside of the home and your prayer time is in your car during your commute to and from work. These are all places and times that God can and will use to speak life and truth into you. So how do we make this time more intentional?

First, let’s make it a place where we can focus on specific prayer. Take away the distractions that we can control. Turn off the radio and sit in silence during your commute or being to pray aloud or sing your own praise to Him. While you are doing those daily tasks with kids under toe, turn the tasks into your prayers. “Lord, thank You for these dishes that I am washing. They mean that You have entrusted to me people to provide nourishment and substance for. Thank you for my family.”

Constantly bring your mind back to prayer about everything. I mean everything. Did you know that you can pray all day and about every single thing? It really doesn’t matter how significant you think it is or not. That copier isn’t working right, pray over it. The baby just threw her bowl of spaghetti on the floor and wall and now you are frustrated and have to clean, pray about it. I am not saying that you need to stop mid stream and kneel in prayer. A prayer in thought is still a prayer. You can pray for people in your office as you wait on the elevator or pass them in the hallway.

Be specific with your prayers. Yes, thank Him and praise Him because He deserves all our praise and worship. He is so good. God also wants to hear the very distinct desires and longings of our hearts.

Imagine with me, if you will, a young woman wants to go on a mission trip. She prays, “Lord, I desire to go on a mission trip.” While it’s good that she is going to God in prayer and stating her desire, she could be much more specific and, in turn, when God answers her prayer there is no doubt in her mind that He is the One who answered and provided. “Lord, I desire to go on a missions trip to Mexico. I need a financial blessing of $1500 to able to go and I nee the first half by September 30th. I ask that You provide a way for this to be reality within Your will for me. Thank You for always caring about my desires and needs. Amen.”

And then, keep praying. Don’t stop praying because you don’t get an answer in five minutes or two days. Pray until God answers no matter how long that takes. When God does answer, thank Him for whatever answer He gave you, even if it is a “No.”

This is just a very short article on a topic that many books have been written on, but it really is simple to apply. This isn’t something you need to devote hours of study to learning. Prayer is simply talking to God, but we can make every prayer more intentional and effective by taking the time to get rid of unnecessary distractions, pray about everything, and be specific with our prayers.

Some fun and exciting news:

On September 20th we are launching a 40 day prayer challenge. This is a personal commitment that we can do together. our team is in agreement that God is going to begin a good work within each person who decides to complete this challenge. You are going to see God move in great and wonderful ways. We are excited to hear now God is changing lives throughout the 40 days challenge. We are here to pray with you and would love to hear from you via email or leaving a comment below. We are believing great things from God and we want you to join us.

Lord, our very hope is in You. We desire to hear from You and watch as You move mountains that have been an obstacle to bear. As we take the challenge to pray intentionally, we pray that You show yourself in even greater ways than we can imagine. Heal those who are hurting. Ease the pain of the suffering. Lord, bring back Your children to You. In You name, amen.

Tara DeMaris

Tara is the founder and president of Titus II Ministry as well as a contributing writer and speaker. She is the wife to David, eighteen years, and the mother to their five children. Together, they make their home in Missouri. She is a graduate of Crown College and most passionate about reaching the hearts of women globally through mentoring, friendship, and God’s Word. She is also the co-author of Journey In Faith. “Make history with God and He will make history through you.”

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