We have already covered the basics of the daily walk and Bible study, but what about talking to God?
This is the part of my daily walk that I most often take for granted, but I am sure that I am not alone. I hope (and pray) that my own prayer life improves after this study.
James 5:16 reads, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Effectual means “producing a desired effect.” Fervent is intensely passionate. One of the reasons that so many non-believers decry the banality of “Hopes and Prayers” is that it has become a cliché. Most who say it do not follow up with effectual fervent prayer
We pray to the Father THROUGH Jesus Christ using our connection with the Holy Spirit. We are ALWAYS connected to the Lord, which is why we should pray “without ceasing.”
A good acrostic to use as a structure when engaging in a fervent prayer session is ACTS:
Adoration – praising God (Psalm 107:8)
Confession – self-reflection and repentance (Psalm 51:10; 66:18)
Thanksgiving – thanking God (Hebrews 13:15)
Supplication – making requests (Ephesians 6:18)
You should also keep an ongoing prayer list that includes personal requests, church prayer requests, and special requests on behalf of friends and family. Be sure to update changes and praises. One fulfilling aspect of prayer is making note when your requests are answered and can be used as a testimony for the power of prayer.
Making Prayer a Priority – Make Time
One aspect of the daily walk that is often lacking for Christians is making prayer a priority. Again, we should pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17). When prioritizing prayer, we must begin with making time to pray. Once you choose a time, find a place, like a prayer closet. Good times to pray are during Bible study, when driving to work, when taking a shower, or other times throughout the day.
When I see a car accident on the way to work, I say a prayer for those involved and that God will receive the glory from those who survive. I also pray when something negatively affects me at work. When a friend or family member pops in my mind, I try to say a quick prayer for them.
Making Prayer a Priority – Keep Focused
Not only must we make time, but we must maintain our focus in two ways, 1. Avoid distractions and 2. Pray with purpose.
Not all prayer time needs to be lengthy. Those prayers when driving, in the shower, or at random times need not be in depth. In those prioritized times when taking proper time to pray, try to pray in-depth and with great detail.
Here is how to use the ACTS model for a fervent prayer session:
Adore the Lord by speaking on His greatness and praise Him for answered prayers.
Confess specific sins, especially as they come to mind – I know that mine continue to pour in, especially if you ask the Lord to bring them to mind. Discuss both your sins of commission – what you do (lying, stealing), and your sins of omission – what you should have done but did not do (not presenting the Gospel, not studying your Bible).
Thank God for what He has done in your life – Count your blessings; name them one by one (great song, by the way).
Supplication for self, family (including immediate and extended family), friends, and others.
BONUS: Remember to pray for salvation and spiritual health as often as for physical health.
As I said before, improving your daily walk is simple: Study more. Pray more. Grow. I hope I helped with planting new ideas and strategies that will help with your communication with God and engaging your life with a more spiritual mindset. I know that I have experienced a noticeable shift in my thoughts and behavior since prioritizing my daily walk.
I want the same for you. If you struggle in these areas, take heart. It takes work and you can build into it. Consistency is key, so that’s what you should focus on. Find a quiet place, make some time when you can, and start today. Feel free to let me know what does and doesn’t work for you. Reach out to me if you’re struggling. I want us all to grow closer to Christ, and that won’t happen without a daily walk.