Do you struggle with prayer? If so, today's post is for you. It's going to give you the keys you need for GOD to turn your prayer life into a supernaturally-anointed flow of power encounters with Him and His glory.
Here's the backstory:
When I first got saved, I could not pray. I just could not tolerate prayer. I had no appetite for it, no inspiration for it, and no supernatural flow in prayer. Even trying to pray was difficult; it felt like very hard work.
But I wanted to know God better. I was so hungry for Him, and I wanted to be intimate with Him.
- I wanted to pour out my heart to Him and hear Him talk back to me.
- I wanted to be His friend and have Him tell me His secrets.
- I wanted romance and intimacy with the Lord.
- I wanted to carry weight in Heaven.
I knew prayer was a huge key to that kind of relationship, but I could not pray. So in my desperation and from the desire of my heart, I cried out to the Lord for help. And He answered. (Isn't it amazing how God helps us in our weakness?) 🙂
God heard my cry. He began to teach me how to pray. Seemingly out of nowhere, I started encountering God in prayer.
As I asked the Lord to teach me to pray, I started having an actual desire to pray. (Shocking, I know.) 😉 So I'd sit down with God, and all of a sudden words would just pour out of my heart to Him. (Usually silently, but God hears silent prayer.) 🙂
And all of a sudden, things worked. Prayer flowed. It was for very short periods at first, but it still started working! I was amazed.
There was no magic formula, but just pouring my heart out to Him brought me into such awareness of Him. I'd put my head down on my table, and I would just cry as I prayed. My prayers didn't even last long at first, but God touched me every time.
Prayer was suddenly a glorious encounter, not a hard, dry task.
Prayer suddenly became this amazing experience in which the Father called my name, and I turned around and lifted my arms up to my Daddy for a hug, and He swept me up in His arms and hugged me tight … then just snuggled me for awhile.
It was amazing. I had never encountered God like that before. But with every encounter, He wrecked me (in the best possible way).
Over time, prayer became so enjoyable (Daddy's hugs are so fun!) that it became my favorite thing. I was such a messed-up person in my mind and emotions, but my problems didn't bother Papa. He loved me, and just hugged me anyway. Every time I went to pray, He rained down His glory and poured out His heart on me, even if my prayer was only for five minutes.
I couldn't help but respond to that kind of love.
You can't help but be changed by that kind of encounter. So I got addicted.
When I joined my local church, I started attending their intercessory prayer meetings. I learned so much from my pastor who was in charge of those meetings, and I was inspired by the other intercessors there. I wanted to pray with power, and I wanted God to use me in intercession.
So I asked God to teach me. I asked Him to make me a woman of prayer and His Word. I remember driving to and from church and just weeping in my car, begging God to turn me into an intercessor; begging Him to flow through me in prayer. I was so hungry.
Well again, over time, God answered those prayers. He has used me in prayer and intercession, and given me the desire to call others to pray. The desire of my heart right now is to call my nation to its knees, where we will turn back to God through prayer.
But how do you start praying if you don't know how, or don't feel any divine inspiration when you pray?
It's easy. You just pour out your heart to God, and ask Him to help you.
God can and will turn you into a mighty man or woman of prayer if you ask, and there are five specific prayers below that will help you ask. Praying these prayers will give God permission to flow through you in prayer.
But first and foremost, I want you to know that prayer is just simple conversation with God. It's enjoying the pleasure of His company.
“Prayer” is you pouring out your heart to your Father who loves you, and hearing from Him about it. He knows you intimately. He cares about the minutia of your life, and He wants to hear all about it. And when you talk with Him, He will talk back. Every time.
But it's ok to put the heavy lifting on God.
Yes, you have to decide to come away with Him and talk with Him, just like you would any other person you want to spend time with. But you don't have to conjure up some kind of big weighty prayer life. No; just ask God to build you and your prayer life. Let Him do it. And as you ask, He will answer. He will build you a prayer life that is filled with power and glory.
So without further ado …
Here are 5 prayers you can pray that will increase God's glory on your prayer life.
(And by the way, I made you a free, printable bookmark of today's infographic! Download a copy here: 5 Prayers To Increase God's Glory On Your Prayer Life free printable bookmark.)
1. Lord, teach me to pray.
Jesus is an amazing Man of prayer. During His ministry on earth, He would spend entire nights in prayer (see Luke 6:12 for one example). He prayed all the time, and His prayers were a two-way conversation with God, in which God actually talked back. (Again, that's how all prayer should be–simple communion with our Daddy who loves us and is speaking ALL. THE. TIME. It's enjoying the pleasure of His company.) 🙂
Well, the disciples saw Jesus praying. They decided they wanted to be like Him. (I don't blame them; do you?) So they asked Jesus to teach them to pray:
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.' So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one'” (Luke 11:1-4).
Now, my point isn't that we should always repeat these exact words, although we certainly should pray this prayer a lot; it's an awesome prayer!
But my purpose here is to show that Jesus answered the disciples' request right away. He taught them to pray when they asked. Likewise, if Jesus taught the disciples how to pray when they asked, He will definitely teach you and me how to pray when we ask!
So why not ask God right now to teach you how to pray? Here's how:
Heavenly Father, I come before You in Jesus' name. Thank You, Father, for Your word. Thank You for giving me the disciples' example. Thank You for showing me that it's okay to ask You for help, even in this basic area of knowing how to pray.
Father, I feel like I don't know how to pray. And I can't pray without Your help anyway, because Your Word says that without You I can do nothing (John 15:5). So Father, please teach me how to pray. Call me to prayer, and help me to answer. Make me a person of prayer like Jesus is, who ever lives to make intercession for me.
Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name, amen.
As the Lord teaches you how to pray, you will begin to feel Him drawing you into prayer. Each time you answer His call, you will notice Him helping you pray, and you'll notice that you entered deeper into encounter with Him than you could before. That's God Himself teaching you. So be sure to answer when He calls… you won't want to miss out on what He has for you each time!
2. Lord, pray through me and intercede for me.
God is so good. We literally cannot pray without His help, and even if we try, we don't know what to say or ask for. But did you know that God Himself has promised to pray through us and intercede for us?
Romans 8 tells us:
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. I've found that when I ask Him, He will literally pray through me. It's like He gives me the words, the passion, and the unction to pray, and they just flow out of my spirit to Him.
When the Holy Spirit helps you pray like that, you notice. You know that it wasn't you praying those prayers. You notice that there's a power and glory in your praying that wasn't there before. You also know that the Holy Spirit is translating anything you may pray imperfectly into perfect prayers in God's ears. He's just promised to do that.
This passage in Romans 8 also talks about the great mystery of travailing prayer through the Holy Spirit.
There IS actually a kind of prayer that comes out as actual moaning and groaning. It's commonly referred to as travail or travailing prayer.
This kind of prayer isn't something you can ever conjure up just because you want to. (And you shouldn't just start moaning and groaning randomly; this is truly a work of the Holy Spirit.)
Travailing prayer is something the Holy Spirit divinely chooses to use you for at certain times. When He chooses to use you in this way, you will enter so deeply into prayer that the agony of your spirit–agony of longing for Him or agony of love and burden for someone else–can only be expressed without words.
This has happened to me several times, and I wish it happened more. (I need to pray for God to use me in this area. Talk about glory! It's intense.) But anyway, travailing prayer feels very much like you are giving birth in the spirit realm. And whenever it happens, it gets incredible results.
So are you ready to ask God for the Holy Spirit to pray through you and for you? Here's an example prayer:
“Heavenly Father, in Jesus' name, I thank You for Your promise to help me pray. Father, I ask in Jesus' name that the Holy Spirit would help me pray. I ask that He would pray through me and for me, and that You would give me Your prayers to pray back to You so that Your perfect will can be done.
And Father, I ask in Jesus' name that You would use me in travailing prayer. I ask that the Holy Spirit would pray through me with moanings and groanings which cannot be uttered. And I know that You who search the hearts will know what the mind of the Spirit is, for He makes intercession for the saints according to God's perfect will.
Thank You, Father. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Thank You for praying through me and for me. In Jesus' name, amen.”
I ask God that the Holy Spirit would pray through me and for me every time I go to pray. If I don't, my prayer time can be dry and shallow. But the instant I ask the Holy Spirit to pray through me and intercede for me, woah! Instant depth, instant flow, and instant encounter with the Father.
‘Nuff said. Ready for Prayer #3?
3. Lord, increase my capacity for prayer and for Your Word.
How many of you know that little bitty children can't eat anywhere near as much as an adult can? We aren't born with the capacity to eat big meals. It takes time and growth to be able to handle much food.
Well, growing in prayer works the same way. We don't start out with a huge capacity for prayer or for studying the Bible. If you're anything like I was, you start out with almost no capacity.
Seriously. I'm not joking. After I first got saved, I would read about two verses in the Bible each morning, and that was all I could handle. I'd pray over those two verses and ask God to help me do whatever those verses talked about. But that was all the capacity I had.
But my lack of capacity for prayer and the Word bothered me. A lot.
I was so hungry for more. I wanted God–my Father Himself. I was desperate for Him.
So I began to ask God to increase my capacity for prayer and the Word. And you know what? He answered.
Little by little, I started reading and absorbing more Scripture. Little by little, my prayer time increased from two minutes to five minutes. I remember clearly the day when I set a goal to pray (looking at my watch!) for ten whole minutes. And it wasn't easy! But God helped me pray for those ten minutes, and He kept on helping me day after day after day.
Fast forward fourteen years.
I'm still asking God to increase my capacity for prayer and the Word, but He's already done a marvelous work. There's nothing I love more than being alone with God in prayer and the Word, and I spend as much time with Him as I possibly can, every day.
THAT, my friend, is a testimony to God's grace and answered prayer. I never could have forced myself to enjoy prayer. I could not have made myself love or absorb the Word of God. The Bible tells us that the natural man cannot receive spiritual things; we need God's help to eat from His table!
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
The things of God are spiritually discerned, and only God can help us learn, digest, and absorb them. But if we ask, He will give us His divine empowerment to seek Him in prayer. He will give us the desire, hunger, inspiration, and motivation we need.
And if we are hungry for God, Jesus promised we would be filled:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
So are you ready to pray? Pray this with me:
“Heavenly Father, I come before You in Jesus' name.
Father, I thank You for promising to help me with everything I need. Lord, I confess to You that without You I can do nothing. Nevertheless, You have promised that I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13), and that Your strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Thank You, Father, that Your strength and power are working in me right now.
Father, I desire more of You. I long to know You better. I want to be so, so, so close to You; closer than I've ever been before.
And Father, I know that in order to grow closer to You, I need to spend more time with You. I want to seek You, Lord; and for that, I need more hunger. So please help me. Help me to hunger and thirst for You and for Your righteousness. Help me to be so motivated to seek You, and so inspired to get alone with You, that I run to You and to Your company all the time.
Father, in Jesus' name, please increase my capacity to seek You. Increase my capacity to know You. Increase my capacity for prayer, and for studying Your Word. Help me to receive Your love, and to love You back; give me a heart for intimacy with You like Jesus has.
Father, I ask in Jesus' name that You would help me to seek You out on purpose. Please help me to get alone with You every day, and I pray that You would help me to enjoy our time together more than any other thing. Help me to enter deeply into awareness of Your presence every moment of every day. There's nothing more enjoyable than the pleasure of Your company, and I thank You for being with me always.
Thank You, Father. I love You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
In Jesus' name, amen.”
God will answer that prayer and do a marvelous work in your life, every time. His heart longs for intimacy with you just like yours longs for Him. So prepare to have your capacity for Him increased, my friend. The Holy Spirit–the Hound of Heaven–is coming to your rescue right now.
4. Lord, help me remember and pray Your Word.
As I discussed here in How To Get Your Prayers Answered 100% Of The Time, the Word of God is our best vocabulary for the most effective prayer.
This means that God's Word contains His highest and best will for our lives. So if we read the Word of God, so we never have to wonder what to pray for. What God wants for us is spelled out perfectly within the pages of His Word.
So do you want to fill both your prayer life AND your all-day-every-day life with the glory of God? Pray God's Word back to Him. Here's how:
Pick any Scripture passage to which the Lord leads you. As an example, I'm going to use Ephesians 1:17-20, which says:
… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:17-20).
Wow! That's a power-packed passage for sure. If you were praying through this passage, you would just ask God to make each of these points reality in your life. You would ask Him:
- that He would fill you with His glory, since He is the Father of glory and His Holy Spirit dwells in you;
- that He would give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him;
- that the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened;
- that He would fill you with His hope;
- that you would know the HOPE of His calling deeply and intimately in your heart and spirit;
- that you would know the riches of His glory in all God's people;
- that you would know, become familiar with, and experience the exceeding greatness of His power working in you, since you do believe in Him;
- and then you would thank Him for Jesus, and stop and adore Jesus awhile (Who is seated at the right hand of God in heavenly places).
Make sense? If you pray through the Scripture passage above and mean it, I guarantee God will touch you. This is, after all, His best plan for your life–that you would be one with Him through Christ and filled with His Spirit, power, and glory.
When I pray God's Word back to Him, I feel like I am transported into another dimension in prayer. Literally.
Often, when I pray His Word, sometimes I actually feel physically in my body like I am lifted up off the earth into another, higher dimension with Him. It's awesome. If you learn to pray God's Word too, He will show you what I mean. 🙂
The Word of God transcends time and space, and using God's words as your vocabulary for prayer will transport you into newer, deeper, and more powerful encounters with Him every single time.
So are you ready to ask God to build your prayer life in this area? Here we go:
Heavenly Father, I come before You in Jesus' name.
Father, I thank You that Jesus is Your Word become flesh (John 1:14). You love Your Word so much that You sent Him to die for me. Somehow Jesus and Your Word, the Bible, are the same thing; and You have magnified Your Word even above Your name (Psalm 138:2).
Father, I confess that Your Word is perfect. Your words change and convert my soul, conforming me to Yourself. Your testimonies are sure, and You use Your Word to make me wise. Your principles are 100% right in every area, and they make my heart rejoice.
Your commandments are pure, enlightening my eyes. Your judgments are always true and righteous altogether.
Father God, I confess that Your Word is more to be desired than gold or any other fine thing. Your Word is sweeter than honey and honeycomb. It is my food and drink. Your Word teaches me and instructs me concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie. And Your Word carries with it great reward (Psalm 19:7-11). Thank You, Father.
So Father, because I desire Your highest and best for my life–and because I desire to grow as close to You as I can possibly be–I ask right now in Jesus' name that You would help me embrace Your Word in my prayer life. Lord, help me to study and obey Your Word. Help me to remember it, and teach me how to pray it back to You.
I pray that, every time I go to read my Bible, You would pour out on me Your spirit of grace and supplication. Inspire me to pray Your words back to You as I read. Grip my heart with Your Word, and sear it into my heart like a brand. I pray that You would forever change the very fibre of my being to match Your Word. Word of God in, Word of God out; so help me to absorb Your Word and pray it back to You in every area.
And Father, as You lead me and help me, I ask You to make me a doer of Your Word, and not a hearer only. Make me like You, and conform me to the image of Christ as I seek You and honor Your Word in all things.
Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name, amen.
5. Lord, make me an intercessor. Use me to intercede for others.
You will never be more like Jesus than when you intercede for someone else. Jesus Christ came to earth, lived, died, and rose again as the Great Intercessor for mankind. He gave His life as a ransom for many. And because we are all called to be like Jesus, we are ALL called to become intercessors.
I taught a seminar to my church's prophetic team about the ministry of intercession recently. The seminar contained three messages:
- The Call Of Intercession: How to answer the call, intercede with power, and become more like Jesus (the Ultimate Intercessor);
- The Challenge Of Intercession: What you can gain through intercession, and 7 ways to gain it with dramatic results; and
- The Cost and Crown Of Intercession: About the reward God will give you for the seeds you sow in intercession. This message contains stories of revivals past, present, and future, and how God used and will use prayer to release His Kingdom on earth.
If you haven't already heard these three messages, I strongly encourage you to download the MP3s TODAY. They are collectively THE most powerful sermons I have ever preached, and God really sat down on them. The MP3s are only $4 apiece (and they are worth much more than that as far as anointing and inspiration go), and you can download them instantly here at my Gumroad store.
YOU are called to be an intercessor, and intercession is incredibly fulfilling.
Intercession will conform you to the image of Christ. Intercession will bring the glory of God down on you every time. If you want to know more, get the MP3s. 🙂
Are you ready to ask God to make you an intercessor? Pray this:
Heavenly Father, I come before You in Jesus' name. I love You, Papa God. Thank You for loving me and saving me.
Father, I know You sent Jesus to earth to become an intercessor for me. And Your Word says that Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).
Father, I desire to become just like Jesus in every way. I want to conform to the image of Christ. I want to look like Jesus, smell like Jesus, talk like Jesus, act like Jesus, and live like Jesus. I desire earnestly that Christ would be formed in me.
Abba Father, I want Jesus to have His inheritance (Isaiah 53:11-12). Jesus suffered so much, Lord, and I could never thank Him enough. But I do want to work in Your harvest field. I want to help bring Jesus everything He bought and paid for with His blood.
So Father, in the name of Jesus, please fling me out as a laborer into Your harvest fields of intercession. Teach me how to intercede. Make me an intercessor like You desire me to be. Show me how to pray. Teach me how to see people the way You see them. Give me Your eyes and Your heart in every situation. Teach me how to love people like You love them, and use me to intercede and bring Jesus more of His inheritance.
Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. I give You all the praise and all the glory. In Jesus' name, amen.
The one thing we know the Father commanded Jesus to pray for was that the nations would be delivered into His hands (Psalm 2:8). Likewise, the great prayer request of Jesus was that we should pray the Lord of the Harvest to fling out laborers into His harvest (Matthew 9:38).
As an intercessor, you are a laborer in God's harvest. And for that reason, God will never say no if you will ask Him to use you in intercession. Intercession is His will for every man, woman, and child.
Those are the five prayers I prayed, asking God to build my prayer life. They are the five prayers that God has used to transform me and my prayer life.
And they are five prayers God will answer to build your prayer life too. If you will pray and ask for Father's help, He will fill your life AND your prayers with His glory.
I'll finish with this parting Scripture:
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7, emphasis mine).
Ask God for help, and He will answer you. He'll increase His Kingdom and glory in your life because of His own love for Jesus and His own zeal for His glory. May you seek Him and be filled with His glory in your life in every area through prayer!
Does this message speak to you and encourage your heart? Do these prayers resonate with you? If so, please leave a comment below and let me know. Hearing from you makes my day!