How to Grow your Prayer Life
Don’t give up praying.
Keep moving forward in your prayer life.
Recently I realized that I have a growth plan in a number of areas in my life-
- I have an eating plan to maintain my weight.
- There is my walking program to keep healthy and fit.
- We have an ongoing program to de-clutter our home.
- I have a reading program to satisfy my passion for learning
These are all designed to improve myself in these areas. They are growth plans.
But do I think about growing in Prayer?
Do I have a Prayer Growth Plan?
It’s easy to get discouraged in prayer, isn’t it? We question whether God is listening or acting on our behalf.
Don’t feel discouraged. I discovered that it is ok to start small – We all must start ‘somewhere’. In fact, God knows that it is a process.
The thing is, when that ‘somewhere’ is practiced daily -it becomes ‘something’. It changes from ‘fig tree’ praying to ‘mountain moving’ praying.
Fig Tree Praying – God, please show up today
That is what happened to Nathanael in John chapter 1- he was sitting under the fig tree, probably praying for the Messiah to turn up (according to the scholars).
Which is an awesome prayer request and I realised that is what I pray for most days. God, please turn up in my messy real life today. Show me that you exist. Show me that you are in the middle of the messy details of my life.
I dare you to practice praying this.
But make sure that you remain watchful during the day for God’s fingerprints.
They will be there. God will turn up – just like he did for Nathanael – which completely freaked him out. Check out John 1 – Jesus met Nathanael where he was at. Just sitting under the fig tree asking for the Messiah to turn up.
No one knew where Nathanael was or what he was quietly praying under that old fig tree. But Jesus knew. And Jesus knows what you prayed this morning.
He knows what you prayed before you went to sleep last night.
He knows your deepest cry that you haven’t even voiced yet.
He can show up in your day today – Just ask him too, like Nathanael did.
That is your starting place – asking God to turn up. That was Nathanael’s starting place.
Your Prayer Growth Plan starts with you asking God to show up in your day.
To make you more aware of his presence. More conscious of his light and truth in your daily dealings.
It’s an opening up of a daily dialogue. No pressure – just talking to your heavenly father. Try it.
Don’t be surprised if God encourages you higher – to move on from your starting place.
After Nathanael exclaimed amazement at Jesus’ knowing what he was doing – Jesus said – that’s nothing – You will see greater things than this. (John 1:50).
Greater things is the ‘something’. We start ‘somewhere’ – maybe under a fig tree. Then God encourages us by showing up in our day which spurs us on to greater things.
Fig Tree Praying – God, please remove this useless fig tree
There was another story that involved a fig tree and prayer in Matthew chapter 21. Jesus got annoyed at a fig tree that had no fruit. He cursed it and it died suddenly. The disciples were amazed when they passed the fig tree again. Jesus was showing them the power of asking for something to be removed – something small and insignificant like a unfruitful useless fig tree.
Jesus considered this level 1 on the Prayer Growth Plan. Fig Tree Paying.
Do you have anything small that is taking up space in your life – it’s useless but it is cluttering up your life?
It could be a sin.
It could be a bad friendship.
Maybe it’s an activity that is not the best for you right now – certain tv shows?
Mountain Moving Praying
Fig Tree Praying is great – it’s a good starting place but as always Jesus wanted his disciples to grow. He promised that if they add faith without doubting to their prayers – they will move mountains.
And Jesus answered them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you sat to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea” it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive , if you have faith” Matthew 21:21-22
This is the promise of more. The upward turn in your Prayer Growth Plan journey.
Keep talking with your father in heaven during the moments of your day.
Keep watching for his fingerprints. And when the mountain moving opportunity comes along your faith will be strong.
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