Energize your Life with Prayer
There is something special about the beginning of a new year and the hope it brings for a fresh start or new beginning. Often that includes becoming disciplined in one area of life or another. Discipline is a scary term for some, but it is not an idea to run from. Rather, it is a way of life to embrace. Jesus lived a disciplined life – and it energized and strengthened Him! The spiritual disciplines of Jesus will do the same for us as we place our focus more squarely on Him.
There are 3 WAYS that a disciplined prayer life can energize our life:
1: PRIZE Prayer – Live the vine (devoted) life
- Key verse: John 15:1-11
- Prayer must be valued and we need to make it a way of life. It is a primary way in which we can remain in Him.
- Ask yourself these 4 questions:
- How is my connection? (v. 1)
- What in my life needs to be pruned? (v. 2)
- Am I committed to being great for God? (v. 4-5)
- Do I fear fruitlessness? (v. 6)
- Here are some ways to be a vine dweller:
- Remember your source: He is the vine, we are the branch (v. 1).
- Repent your sins: Confess and turn (pruning) (v. 2).
- Recount your salvation: You are clean through Christ (v. 3)
- Renew your strength: Be energized with His power (v. 4).
- The results of vine living are:
- Power (v. 7)
- Fruitfulness (v. 8)
- Love (v. 9)
- Obedience (v. 10)
- Joy (v. 11)
2: PRIORITIZE Prayer – Develop a prayer plan
- What’s your plan? Failure to plan is a plan to fail. So… what’s your prayer plan?
- Prioritize prayer in your daily schedule. Don’t just talk a good game – get into the game! (Luke 18:1)
- Personally connecting with the Lord through prayer is only half of it. Other people are depending on your prayers – your kids, husband/wife, family and friends, and many more. Don’t rob yourself and your loved ones by being undisciplined. Pray!
- Pray ACTS prayers:
- A: Adoration
- C: Confession
- T: Thanksgiving
- S: Supplication
- Pray a wall of protection: Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, sexually, and financially.
- Look at the 7 Ps of the Lord’s Prayer:
- Pattern – “This, then, is how you should pray:”
- Praise – “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,”
- Plead – “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
- Petition – “Give us today our daily bread.”
- Penitence – “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
- Purity – “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
- Proclaim – “For yours is the kingdom and the power and glory forever. Amen.'”
- It takes time to pray around your family, around your church, around your community, and around the world. Someone once said, “To be a great for God is to be great with God.”
- We have to build up our prayer muscle. Things happen when we pray. Our job is to pray; it is God’s job to answer prayer. And He is really good at His job!
3: PERSONALIZE Prayer – Make prayer deeply personal (John 17)
- Prayer is not some esoteric, abstract, philosophical, way-out-there deal. It is not a mere academic exercise. Prayer is deeply personal.
- When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane He sweat drops of blood. That’s raw. That’s real. That’s personal!
- John 17 is Jesus’ longest recorded prayer. In it, Jesus…
- Prayed for Himself (v. 1-5)
- Prayed for those close to Him (v. 6-19)
- Prayed for other believers (v. 20-24)
- Prayed for the world (v. 25-26)
- It was all very personal for Him. There was deep meaning to what He was praying for.
Let’s be real. There are too many things out of my control. I need to plug into a power source greater than me. Much like when our phones get low and we plug it in to get re-energized, we need to plug into the power of the Lord through prayer and be re-energized. We need to prize, prioritize, and personalize our prayer life – and be re-energized by the Lord! Let’s do it – for us and for others – and watch God work.
Here are some great books to enhance your spiritual disciplines:
- A Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders by Reggie McNeal
- Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
- The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
- Honest to God by Bill Hybels
- The Navigator by Robert Foster
- Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
- The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
- The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg
- Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland, Jr.