Everything begins with preparation. Becoming an effective prayer warrior first means preparing yourself every day for serious, intimate communication with God. That is when breakthroughs can happen in every area of life.
God’s earnest desire is to have a rich, vibrant, and enduring fellowship with His children; but how can we enjoy such communion with all its blessings and benefits if we don’t know how to pray effectively? Prayer is primarily our communication with the Lord. Communication has purpose, and the purpose usually determines the mode and relevant details for the communication to be effective. You must prepare your heart for prayer by creating an atmosphere that makes it easy to commune with God.
Prepare by finding a quiet place to be alone in the presence of God.
1. Wait Quietly Before the Lord
Learn to make your presence known to God, then wait until you feel Him nearby. James 4:8 (ESV): Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. God is already there, waiting for your heart and mind to come into tune with His.
Moses, Ezekiel, the prophets, and Jesus Himself came into God the Father’s presence with stillness, calmness, and serenity. You can, too.
Moses was a great intercessor. When God chose to respond to the cries of His children in Egypt, He sent them a deliverer who truly knew how to intercede on behalf of a sinful people. As a matter of fact, Moses could be described as one of the most powerful intercessors found in the pages of Scripture. What characterized his intercession when he was praying for the Hebrew nation?
First of all, Moses was a great listener. His spiritual ears were always attentive to God’s voice. The more he listened, the better he became at knowing not only God’s will for the nation but also His heart toward the nation.
Second, Moses had tremendous faith. It’s one thing to know God’s will, but it is quite another to boldly act on it. Again, this marks a great quality of an intercessor—the boldness of heart to pray, speak, and then even lead others to walk according to God’s plan.
Third, he centered his appeals to God on the basis of God’s own reputation. Moses believed that if God did not complete what He initially intended to do in delivering the Hebrew nation from Egyptian oppression, those who watched from the viewpoint of neighboring nations would question God’s power and love.
Finally, as an interceding leader, Moses was willing to identify himself with the obstinate people for whom he prayed. God had spoken of destroying the rebellious Hebrews and starting over with Moses. Yet Moses so loved both the people and the God against whom they had sinned, that he was willing to stand in the gap between the two, staking his very life on the graciousness of God.
We have a horribly one-sided concept of prayer. We think that we are the ones who initiate prayer. But most often, if not always, it is God.
Moses knew this. God would put him in situations that created a need. Such needs were orchestrated by God to drive Moses to Himself.
When Moses responded to God’s call, the Lord gave him the most wonderful, encouraging words, not only for himself but for the whole nation. These are the kinds of things God longs to communicate to His children if they will wait before Him in dependent, expectant prayer.
Have you ever thought that God longs for prayer more that you do? Read Prayer is Your Compass. He knows that you cannot do His will and glorify Him fully if you are not in communion with Him.
God is knocking, calling, throughout each and every day. Certainly, the dramatic needs around us for revival and spiritual awakening are His invitation to extraordinary prayer.
You must wonder what God has waiting for you and those around you if you would respond to His invitation—often disguised as a need.
2. When you Spend Time with God, He Reveals What He Wants You to do Next.
We spend most of our time during the day trying to figure out what God wants us to do, and we waste the whole day.
Are you willing to sacrifice a portion of your time to meet with God each day? This is a vital key to a powerful Christian life. It unlocks the treasure chest of God’s wisdom, His guidance, His power, and His blessings.
You need to get alone with God today. Remove the distractions and turn off all the noise around you, listening only for the voice of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord waits for you to share your dreams, concerns, and fears with Him. In His presence is fulfillment and freedom like you’ve never known before. He is not far off, but right there waiting to meet your deepest needs.
So, get alone and quiet your soul, for it is in solitude with God that you will learn to depend on Him alone. As you meditate on Him and open the Word of God, you will hear His gentle words of affirmation and instruction. His truths will no longer be mere head knowledge, for they will be written on your heart.
Gaining New Strength
God will pursue you relentlessly until He is the love of your life, because He knows He’s the answer to every need you have. As you tell Him of your joys and hopes and desires, you’ll receive back His answers on the questions that once paralyzed you with indecision. He will calm your fears, give you His perspective, and fill you with peace and rest—even when the world seems to be going crazy all around you.
In those quiet times, the Lord will comfort you in His loving arms and touch you with His grace. Your heart will become one with His as you wait on Him. You will gain new strength and soar above life’s storms like an eagle (Isaiah 40:31).
God has promised to lead you beside still waters, to give you rest in green pastures, and to restore your soul (Psalm 23). As you make an appointment to spend time alone with Him each day, He will make certain that nothing can separate you from His love. Even on the day of battle, you will have overwhelming victory (Romans 8:31-39).
God has opened wide the door to His throne room (Hebrews 4:16). Don’t let anything stop you from finding the place of prayer. Will you answer the call to prayer?
To help you pray more, I’ve copied Tim Keller’s “Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy With God”.
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Click below to download the Prayers as a single PDF.
We find in Scriptures (Proverbs 18:21) that our words have the power of life and death. And God wants us to choose life. As women of faith, we have the privilege to pray Scripture filled prayers and speak life over our lives and the lives of our loved ones.
www.biblegateway.com – useful for reading large passages of scripture in different translations
www.biblehub.com – useful for comparing parallel translations of the same verse at once, and for researching the original meaning of the Greek or Hebrew of a particular word.
www.bible.com – app for mobile devices, useful for reading the Bible on the go. Try the audio versions to listen to scripture as you go about your day, or try one of the many reading plans they offer.
www.blueletterbible.org – useful for in-depth study of the Bible, with access to cross-references, commentaries, and dictionaries.
BOOKS & THINGS
Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Minds, by Jen Wilkin
Essential Atlas of the Bible, by Carl Rassmussen
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, by Chad Brand and Eric Mitchell
The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, by James Strong
The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary, edited by Gary M. Burge and Andrew E. Hill
The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook, edited by J. Daniel Hays and J. Scott Duvall
The BE Series Commentary Bundle, by Warren Wiersbe (Kindle version…individual paperbacks also available)
NIV Journal the Word Bible, Zondervan
VERSES TO PRAY OVER AS YOU STUDY THE BIBLE
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
Proverbs 2:1-5 – My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God.
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.
James 1:5 – Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.