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3 Ways I Learned to Pray Powerful Prayers.

Apr 9, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Does prayer really work? 

This is a common question that many people wrestle with--whether they follow Jesus or not!

If this is a question that you’ve asked, we want to encourage you that YES! Prayer does work! As a ministry and a community, we've seen God move in incredible ways as a response to prayer. We've learned how pray boldly and confidently, and we're passionate about sharing the goodness of God so here are 3 simple ways that we think could help you have a thriving prayer life! 

1. Pray often.

We pray often because Jesus did! We see throughout the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) that Jesus often withdrew from the crowds in the midst of his ministry to be alone with God.

However, like other things in the Christian life, prayer can easily become something we do out of routine to check it off the to-do list if we’re not careful. Maybe you only pray once a day in the morning or at night before bed, but the Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), which can seem daunting! The great British evangelist Smith Wigglesworth once said:

“I don’t often spend more than half an hour in prayer at one time, but I never go more than half an hour without praying.”

Instead of overthinking it, keep it simple! Praying often could look like just stopping for a moment every hour during the day to thank God for how He is working in your life. This can certainly be a challenge while we're living in a world that is offering more distractions than ever, but prayer is crucial to cultivating an intimate relationship with God and bringing His kingdom to Earth! 

2. Pray Patiently.

Have you ever prayed for something and didn’t get the answer you were hoping for? Or seemingly no answer at all? It can be easy to ask God ‘why?’ in these times and it's even easier to become frustrated. Something that helps in these times is remembering that God is the Creator of the universe! His perspective and His insight is so much grander than we know. In the book of Isaiah, God says

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

It can feel inconvenient for us that God doesn’t always operate by our perception of time. Yet, His timing is perfect, so we can  trust that He knows best when we don’t get the answer we were praying for in the timeframe we were looking for.

You might be praying for healing over a sick loved one, or for someone you know to be saved, or for breakthrough with a sin struggle you’ve battled with for a long time. It can be discouraging to not see immediate results from prayer, but no matter what you perceive in front of you, don’t give up, keep praying! God hears you and He cares.

3. Pray BIG prayers. 

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever prayed for? Ephesians 3:20 says God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”, and Jesus himself said “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

The biggest prayer we can think of is nothing in comparison to the great God we serve. If we only pray prayers that seem totally possible from our human point of view, there isn’t much need to depend on God to answer that prayer!

However, when we pray for things that only God could make happen, our intimacy with Him grows and we step out in faith to believe He can do the impossible!

In my time working with YWAM, I have seen God answer many impossible prayers ranging from turning back a hurricane from hitting Hawaii, saving a group of boys trapped miles deep in a cave in Thailand, sending rain to put out raging wildfires in Australia! We’ve heard incredible stories of God performing signs and wonders through teenage DTS students in foreign nations. Even in this past year of 2020, God healed my dad of cancer! Don’t underestimate God; He is willing and able to answer the biggest prayer in your heart. 

Prayer was never meant to be an afterthought in the Christian life! It is our lifeline of communication to Father God who is the Creator of all things and knows all things. The renowned Scottish teacher and preacher Oswald Chambers said

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”

Sometimes we may view prayer as the means to an end, a way of getting where we want to be in our journey with God, but I think what Chambers is saying here is that prayer is the most important activity we can participate in when following Jesus. No matter where you find yourself when it comes to your prayer life, I want to encourage you today to pray often, pray patiently, and pray big prayers! 

Our Discipleship Training School (DTS) is just one of the incredible ways that you can be encouraged and equipped to become excited and expectant in your prayers. Nothing teaches you how to depend on God than stepping out of your comfort zone and having to trust Him for everything! 

If you want to spend 6 months of intentional time growing with God and sharing the good news of the gospel in nations around the world - then DTS might be perfect for you!

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