Why and How To Create an Effective Prayer Strategy

Prayer

The previous weeks’ posts have been focused on goal setting and/or creating your life plans. But there is one important aspect of setting goals that I want to highlight today, that is, the importance of having a prayer strategy. In the Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner I discuss the importance of connecting the word of God to your goals by speaking what God says about you.

Over the years, I have titled this method in different ways such as … “My daily confessions of faith” or “Pray the Word” or “What God says about me” or “My prayer strategy”. Prayer Strategy? What’s that? Simply defined prayer is conversation with God. And a strategy is also defined as “a plan, method, or series of manoeuvres or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result”. Therefore a prayer strategy is basically a set of guidelines you use when in prayer in order to see God’s will and purpose established in your life.

You may be wondering, “Do I have to plan how to prayer too?” Actually, yes. This isn’t something that the Lord Jesus wouldn’t approve of. After all, He gave us a model of how we should prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13). For years now I have used the Model Prayer along with creating my own prayer strategies. I have experienced the benefits of doing this:

More focused time – I am less distracted when I have my notes (prayer strategy). Whether on my phone or in a mini note book it serves as a point of reference to revert back to if I get side-tracked. And you and I know that sometimes when you set out to prayer distractions tend to come either because our minds drift off to something else or some other interruption occurs.

Purpose-driven prayer – I create prayer strategies based on the promises, commands, warnings and life examples found in the word of God. This way, my prayers are not based on what I want but on what God’s will is for me. They are focused on His plans for me.

Stronger faith emerges – As I pray according to His word, sometimes it wasn’t always faith-filled. But the more I spoke the word of God (Romans 10:17), the more I believed Him. The more I became certain that what I was hoping for would become a reality in my life (Hebrews 11:1, 6).

Develop persistence – When you know what you are praying about or for and you have the help of your prayer strategy and the Holy Spirit, you zero in more on those life issues that need to be addressed with tenacity and passion until the answer to your prayer is received (Luke 18:1-8).

Answers to prayer are received – This I can attest to that as I have prayed for God to work on in specific areas or circumstances in my life He has been faithful to do so. Even though my prayers are Biblical based they are also include my goals or life areas I need to develop or improve. I can do nothing without God so I rely on Him for all things.

Become more thankful – Certainly as I have seen God at work in my life, I have become more thankful and appreciative of His goodness and His love toward me and others. Answered prayers not only cause you to develop a grateful heart but also a faith-filled one.

Establish God’s will in you and others – The beauty of developing a prayer strategy based on God’s word is that you are saying to God, “Come kingdom of God, be done will of God in my life and in the lives of others.” Furthermore, you are less likely to go to God complaining but rather you desire to see God and His righteousness in your specific situations. Also, you are less likely to pray amiss because your heart condition become one in which you seek the will of God rather than your own.

You know what to prayer – Whether you’ve been a Christian for many years or just give your life to the Lord Jesus sometimes you find yourself lost for words to say to the Lord. You can become frustrated with yourself if this happens regularly and may find yourself drifting away from spending that essential time with the Lord. Please don’t give up. Use your prayer strategy to help you express your heart to the Lord and also ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray effectively.

But you may be wondering how to create a prayer strategy. Here a few simple steps to help you get started.

  • Review your goals for this year or a few years ahead
  • Examine your life and write down what you don’t like or rather what doesn’t line with God’s will and is causing frustration, sickness, stress, or anything negative in your life
  • For each of the above you’ve listed (some will overlap), search the Scriptures. What does God’s word say about each of these areas? Write out the Word of God that resonates with you for each area. Two or three verses for each issue would be a good start.
  • You can personalize the Word by creating confessions of faith or faith declarations or simply use the verses you found to remind you of God’s will when you are praying on specific matters
  • Make time daily to prayer using the prayer strategies to assist you. Some days you may cover every aspect of the prayer strategy and other days only a few areas as the Holy Spirit guides you.
  • Listen for God’s direction. This is not just an exercise in you doing all the talking. Let God speak. Ask questions and listen. Speak and pause for His response. God has much He wants to share with you to help you prosper through life. As you do this, please obey His direction.
  • Try to involve others in the process. Pray with a trusted friend or two. Jesus promised that as you agree with others in prayer, our Father God will do as you ask (Matthew 18:19-20). You can do this by either in person, by telephone or even online meeting. Get innovative about prayer. There is greater power in numbers.
  • Post your list where you can frequently see it so that you are ever mindful of what needs to be sent up to the throne room of heaven. You can put the prayer strategy in your dresser mirror, closet, home office, fridge door, computer screen or wherever you frequently go to pray. During my study I normally write and then type and print out my prayer strategy. I keep my prayer strategy in a folder close to my bible and notebook. I have even posted it in my Evernote account or my phone’s note app so I can reference it when I am on the road and have some moments for prayer. Of course, there are apps that you can use to assist you but keep it simple. Do what works best for you.

One more thing, set reminders for yourself to pray. You can become so bogged down with life that at times when you should be praying you are trying to solve the problem or fight the battles of life on your own. Set reminders for a few times a day – it could be to rest, to pray, to read the Word, to listen to some gospel music. A 15-minute break or two during the day dedicated to things gospel would make a significant difference in your life. It will help you to lead a life of praying without ceasing.

A prayer strategy will help you to focus on what matters. Your prayers will be aligned with the will of God for your life and for those persons and circumstances that you bring before the Lord. In my journey with the Lord, the more I consistently prayed about the matters that concerned me, the more I saw the hand of the Lord in my life. The more I saw the Lord working through every situation to bring it into His will and plan for me, the more grateful I am. Also the more I prayed, the more my faith grew and I developed a resoluteness that what God promised in His Word, He would perform.

As you prayer the word of God you will see the will of God expressed in your life. Therefore, make your time with the Lord your must-do and not just another to-do. Through your essential time of prayer; the Lord will strengthen, encourage, empower and guide you. You will enjoy His love and His peace.

So, what do you do to ensure that you spend time in prayer?

From Tenacity to Success

The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. —Proverbs 13:4 (NKJV)

It’s April already! Time flies. As my grandma often reminded me, “Time waits on no man.” So true, isn’t it?

Many of us started of this year with a bang. Full of excitement about what is ahead. We created our goals and looked forward to a productive and wonderful year, no doubt. Now we are into the second quarter of the year, and you may have slacked off from pursuing our goals or doing what the Lord has instructed you to do.  On the other hand, you may have become distracted or lost your focus. Maybe you faced with challenges that were unexpected or not anticipated. For me, it’s a bit of all the above but I am still excited. I feel encouraged rather than discouraged. Why, because the year isn’t over yet! It’s just the end of the first quarter. I believe that with God’s help I can keep moving forward to accomplish what He wants me to do and some of what I desire to do. You too can succeed!

Recently when preparing to lead a prayer session at church, the Lord reminded me of the need to remain tenacious. Life requires tenacity. A certain amount of stick-to-itive-ness is required in order to succeed in life or to overcome life’s hurdles, to solve problems (yours and others). An inward stubbornness (so to speak) or persistence is needed. I know that is easier said than done but we’ve got to make the effort. If we press forward, we will gain the prize we have long dreamed for.

Personally, one way I keep moving forward is by revisiting or re-evaluating my goals. That does not mean that I give up on them if they are not progressing as I hoped but I rework some of them in order to get the desired effect I want. This is the time that I also celebrate – I create my season every quarter – to be thankful to God for all He’s done and will do in my life. It’s a time for me to reflect on what I have done, where I am and where I want to go. It’s time to recommit myself to the Lord and His will for my life. Through this God imparts His grace to stay tenacious.

Jesus encourages us to be tenacious in prayer. We must always prayer and don’t give up until we have an answer from God (Luke 18:1-6). In Matthew 7, Jesus also speaks of the need to keep keeping on – always praying, always seeking, always knocking. Jesus promises that if we be persistent in these areas, we will receive, we will find what we are looking for and we will have open doors or opportunities made available to us.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. —Matthew 7: 7-8 (AMP)

This tenacity in prayer affects every area of our lives. How is that? Prayer covers any and every thing pertaining to our lives and our walk with God. So what do you need to be tenacious about in order to reach your goal?

Looking for a promotion at work? Then be diligent in your work. Do your work well, seek to improve it in some way that benefits you, your co-workers and your employer. Promotion will come.

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. —Proverbs 12:24 (NKJV)

Do you need to pass your next exams? Then create and work a system of study – set the place, length of time, frequency. It may mean giving up television, socializing or volunteering for a bit. Remember, studying and anything else for that matter, is for but a time but the achievement of the certification or degree will benefit you many times in the future.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

Do you need your business to grow? In this case, you may need to try new things, revamp an old method or business process. Think and move outside the norm and trust God for increased sales and profit.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. —James 1:5 (NKJV)

Do you want to build a strong family unit? Consider be persistent about having family times together regularly and consistently – maybe one-on-one special times with your children, going on a date with your spouse, or having family prayer times together. These both build you and your family’s faith and make the bond between all get stronger.

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. —Proverbs 24:3-4 (NKJV)

This week, consider taking some time to reflect on your life over the past three months – give thanks to the Almighty God and asking Him for the grace to be tenacious in whatever area of your life you need to push ahead. If you need to revise some of your goals in some way – do so and persist in prayer daily about them. No matter what don’t give up. Your tenacity will lead to prosperity and victory.