“Thank you for Daddy’s car, and we pray that it keeps running okay.” My daughter’s words struck a chord. It was just a few weeks earlier that I told her about the need to pray for my car. Someone in our family was in the market for a new vehicle, and while I was a tad jealous, I tried to set an example for our daughter by saying that we should ask God’s blessing on the vehicle I drive. Long story short, it’s not the prettiest car in the world, and even though the body moans and groans the engine runs just fine. That is, for now.
After my daughter’s prayer, I recalled hearing a sermon about ways to improve your prayer life. It may sound simple to some readers, and some fans of One Million Dads may be like the lady in War Room making frequent and emotional intercessions. But therein lays the lesson for people not praying like they want or should.
If you want to improve your prayer life, pray more. Take time and write out a list of people and things to pray for, be it daily, weekly, etc. Jotting down the names of people mentioned in Sunday school or prayer meeting can add to your list. Afterwards, set a time to pray, whether it’s in the morning, during your lunch hour or just before you pillow your head at night. When that happens, let ‘er rip. Eventually things will start to flow easily, things you may not have even thought about with your prayer planning.
Another good way to improve your prayer life is to pray with a senior saint. He or she has been in your shoes. As a result, that brother or sister in the faith (Galatians 3:26) can teach you a thing or two. You just have to be willing to listen and learn. Who knows, it could be that is the reason God put you near or with that elder. Speaking of elders, I remember being a teenager and hearing an adult always mention God’s Will and not ours. He then went on to reference The Lord’s Prayer or model prayer, ending it with “as Christ knew in the garden (Luke 22:42).” Unfortunately, I never really gave that much thought. Had I done so, it would have said me a lot of heartaches. Trust me.
One other area to improve your prayer life is to pray with a child. Listen to the simple, basic and downright sweet things kids ask or tell God. It could be as elementary as ‘Thank you for my ham and cheese sandwich’ or ‘Thank you for Gram’s new car.’ It might be that a child gets deep and prays for a classmate’s father to find a job. Regardless, there is a lesson there, not just in being thankful but on the child-like we should have for our Father in Heaven.
I’ll end with this note. Be willing to accept the following answers from God. He might say ‘yes,’ but he could say ‘no,’ ‘later’ or ‘instead.’ After all, it could be that you are asking for things you do not need, or things that will not help you (James 4:3). That is all the more reason to pray, be it alone, with an elder or a child.
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)