By Donald Schmidt, Senior Pastor, Lakeland Baptist Church
Spending quality time praying to our Heavenly Father is one of the most important spiritual investments we can make as Christians in this new year.
If you don’t have a well-established prayer life, consider implementing the following prayer principles.
One, remember the goal of prayer. Above all, we pray to spend time with God and grow in our relationship with Him (Matt 6:5-6). So, when beginning your prayers, tell God that your heart desires to know Him and commune with Him in your time of prayer.
Two, schedule a daily time for prayer. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:11 that as His followers we are to spend time praying to the Father every day.
The best way to make sure we obey Jesus’ expectation for daily prayer is to schedule a time every day to pray. As the saying goes, “When we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” To make sure we are a praying people, we need to plan daily prayer times.
Depending on your schedule, the best time for you to pray may be in the morning (e.g., Ps 5:3), in the evening (e.g., Ps 119:62), or somewhere in between. Pick the time that works best for you. After you set your daily prayer time, aim to spend at least 10-15 minutes in prayerful communion with your heavenly Father.
Three, designate your place of prayer. In Matthew 6:6, Jesus teaches us that one of the keys to an effective prayer life is designating your “inner room” where you can go to pray to God. Your “inner room” may be on a bench on your back porch, your car on your commute to work, or a literal room in your house. Wherever you choose to pray, make sure your “inner room” is a place that is free from distractions and listening ears, which allows you to spend focused, uninterrupted time talking to God.
As you put these prayer principles into practice, may God grow you in your prayer life and in your relationship with Christ.
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