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?

How to Fulfill Your Purpose-Driven Goals

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Every one is born with a purpose. Whether you are a stay-at-home who is called to bring up godly children who impact the world for Christ or the CEO of a large conglomerate; you have a purpose. You are called by God for a special assignment. And there is no other person on the earth like you to fulfill it. Your uniqueness (personality, gifts, education, life experiences, and sphere of influence) makes you the perfect candidate for what God purposed for you. Just where you are God can cause you to have a positive impact on your family, your community, your nation, and the world.

So your life is valuable and has purpose. There is a destiny attached to your life. However the goals you set towards your destiny may often seem impossible to attain. But not so; the Lord will make it possible. He will give you the strength to do all to fulfill destiny (Phil 4:13)

Having a vision for your life and creating purpose-driven goals that are aligned to God’s will is a great start. As you work towards what you believe God has called you to do, you will find some challenges along your journey. But there are some lessons you can learn from the word of God about how to achieve your purpose-driven goals and ultimately fulfill your destiny

1. Keep The Vision
Joseph is a classic example of a dreamer and one who fulfilled destiny. His dreams from God angered his siblings and left his father wondering what they meant. But Joseph kept the dream even when siblings opposed him so much to sell him into slavery. One thing you can do (if you haven’t already) is to write the vision God has given you (Hab. 2:2-3) and review it often. Don’t worry if it isn’t all clear, God works with you where you’re at. As time goes on, you will understand more about it.

2. Don’t Complain
When things don’t go as you planned, curb the temptation to complain about it within yourself, to others and to God. It interesting that much was said about Joseph and his hardships and his successes but no where is it said that he complained to God or others. He took the opportunity once when he interpreted the dreams of others to mention his situation but even when forgotten Joseph didn’t complain. Instead of seeing the bad and ugly, see the good, the goodness of God in your life and be thankful to Him.

3. Serve Where You Are
Joseph though sold into slavery was considered a successful man. The Lord was with him and he flourished at whatever he did (Ps. 1:3). This was a recognizable trait in Joseph both in Potiphar’s house and in prison. His service or his work ethic was commendable and God honored him for this by causing others to see it and to promote him to positions of leadership. Make every effort to work to be best of your ability – at work, in your business, in your home, in your community, in your church. View your work as service to God.

4. Fear God
This is two-fold. Have a personal relationship with Christ and honor God in all you do. Don’t yield to temptation. Don’t compromising your godly values in order to get ahead. Keep the word of God in your heart; this will keep you from sin (Ps. 119:11). Recognize that God is with you at all times and ask for the grace to overcome and walk away from any temptation. Joseph was able to do this even though he seemed to be the one at the loosing end. But in the end God lifted him even higher. Having the fear of God will not only keep your from sin but will prevent you from delaying or hindering the progress of your purpose-driven goals.

5. Obey God
Wherever God leads, follow and whatever He says to do, obey. This isn’t always easy but you can rely for God’s grace and strength. God knows your heart is willing and He will help you. Moses did not complete his mission because of disobedience (Num. 20:7-12). He was able to deliver Israel from Egypt but he did not lead them into the promise land. Why? Probably because he was angry and frustrated with the Israelites complaining and instead of doing as God instructed, he struck the rock. Please, beware of your weaknesses and rule over them. Don’t let them cause you to miss the blessings of God.

6. Be Driven
Be determined regardless of the ups and downs along the way. No one told you it would be easy. Your purpose-driven dreams are worth the effort, the risk and the challenges regardless of how long they take to come to fruition. During this time you will learn more about yourself, find your value in Christ and trust God more than ever. Like the apostle Paul did, keep pressing, keep pursuing (Phil. 3: 13-14). The prize is worth the price.

7. Believe God
I don’t know how many times I have said or will say this. But this is one reminder you need when the going get tough: Have the faith of God. Be certain of this also: Your set time will come. Remember that God is working out everything for you – He will take the good and the bad and make it all good for you (Rom. 8:28). That’s His promise to you therefore don’t forget it. Joseph was able to see this; he saw his life from God perspective and knew in his heart that God had a plan for him. It was just a matter of time. Yes, time. And your set time will come when God makes all the hard work, prayer, fasting, etc. falls into place and your purpose-driven goals will become reality. Believe God.

This year focus on God regardless of the challenges and how much there is to do. There is more than enough of God’s grace to fulfill the purposes of God in you.

What do you do to help fulfill your purpose-driven goals?