When the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and was plunging into the murky depths of the Atlantic, the two thousand passengers on board saw their lives flashing before them in a blur.
The ship sank, taking with it about one thousand five hundred passengers, making it the worst peacetime marine disaster in history. In the final moments of panic and frenzy, many people on board cast about for some semblance of hope and help. In response, the ship’s band began to play the well-known hymn “Nearer My God to Thee”.
Many of the passengers turned to God and prayed. As the British poet George Herbert so aptly put it “He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea”. Disaster, especially maritime disaster, is a real way to test your mettle and test your faith.
But is prayer simply a last resort? A final thread of hope we grab hold of while we’re sinking into the swirling depth of some unknown abyss? Are we much like the sailors, in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, who shrieked “All lost! To Prayers! To Prayers! All lost!”
Prayer is much more than the last hurrah on the way to the bottom. In fact, prayer is the essence of finding a happy and fulfilled life here and now. Why? Because prayer opens up a channel of communication with heaven, that can bring us into direct contact with God Himself.
Prayer can help to relieve your burdens and fill you with peace. Prayer can strengthen you for the tempests and challenges ahead. And perhaps most importantly, prayer can help you cling to the almighty hand of God when the going gets really tough.
Let’s look at a few simple steps we can take to make prayer a more meaningful part of our daily life. Firstly, we need to realize that prayer is simply opening our hearts and talking to God as we would to a friend.
Yes, prayer is talking to God. Opening our hearts to Him and laying before Him our deepest fears and longings. So there’s STEP No.1, TALK TO GOD AS A FRIEND. Secondly, when we pray, it is important that we start with and use the simple ABCs of prayer.
We need to ASK God for what we need by laying our hearts open to him. So, STEP No.2, ASK GOD. Then Thirdly, we need to BELIEVE that He hears us and has promised to answer us. STEP No.3, BELIEVE GOD HEARS OUR PRAYERS. And fourthly, we need to CLAIM the promises He has given us in His word. So, STEP No.4, CLAIM GOD’S PROMISES. It’s as simple as that.
These simple steps will make our prayer lives richer because they make our prayers more authentic and provide us with a genuine faith that is rooted in the promises of God’s word.
STEP No.5, we need to PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS. In John 14:13 (NKJV) Jesus says “And whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son”.
Next, STEP No.6, we should have a specific TIME AND PLACE FOR PRAYER each day. It’s always good to start and close the day with prayer – then we’re more likely to be in an attitude of prayer throughout the day.
And it’s also helpful to have a special place for our personal prayers – a place that we dedicate to prayer. Where you pray and when you pray can determine how you pray. For example, having a quiet, solitary time and place can help you to open your heart to God more freely.
It’s also important to remember that God lays out conditions for answering our prayers. In Psalm 66:18 the Bible says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”.
So, STEP No.7, is to GET RID OF THE SINS IN OUR LIVES. Ask God to forgive our mistakes and give us the power to avoid making those mistakes again.
Then in Proverbs 28:9, the Bible says: “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination”. God calls us to come into harmony with Him by choosing to submit our hearts and lives to His law. God wants us to live by His principles because they are best for us and ensure our happiness and wellbeing.
When we are in harmony with Him, when we follow Him and obey Him, God can hear our prayers and answer them more readily than if we were separated from Him by sin. So there’s STEP No.8, OBEY GOD’S LAW, the Ten Commandments.
Part of being in harmony with God is receiving forgiveness for our sins and choosing to forgive those who have sinned against us. 1 John 1:9 tells us that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
When we are forgiven and we cherish a forgiving spirit, God is able to hear our prayers. So, STEP No.9, is to forgive those who have harmed or hurt us – FORGIVE OTHERS. We need to forgive them just as God forgives us.
Finally, STEP No.10, we need to pray that GOD’S WILL BE DONE. In fully surrendering our will to the will of God we recognize His wisdom and choose to place our trust in Him. This is a powerful catalyst for effective prayer.
And above all, we need to persist in prayer and combine our prayers with action. If at first, your prayers don’t seem to be heard then persist, keep praying, and make sure you act.
Take all the necessary steps that are within your power to hasten the fulfillment of your prayers. For example, it is not enough to pray for those in need, we need to roll up our sleeves and do our part to meet their needs as well.
Prayer requires an open heart, a surrendered will, a persevering spirit, and willing hands. Let us not wait till we are out at sea, tossed and blown in a tempest, to pray. May we make prayer our first resort and not our last.
So, here are our 10 STEPS TO A POWERFUL PRAYER LIFE.
1 – TALK TO GOD AS A FRIEND
2 – ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED
3 – BELIEVE THAT GOD HEARS OUR PRAYERS
4 – CLAIM GOD’S PROMISES
5 – PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS
6 – HAVE A TIME AND PLACE FOR PRAYER
7 – GET RID OF SIN IN OUR LIVES
8 – OBEY GOD’S LAW
9 – FORGIVE OTHERS
10 – ASK FOR GOD’S WILL TO BE DONE
So, there they are – 10 simple Bible steps to a powerful prayer life. Why not start implementing and using them today.
If you would like to find out more about relying on God and the power of prayer, then I’d like to recommend the free booklet we have for you today. It’s entitled, “Reaching Out to God in Prayer – How to Pray.”