As I have posted before, I’ve been involved with a powerful women’s ministry in Kansas called Women’s Encounter. The first Women’s Encounter weekend event I attended was in July 2014 and had an immensely powerful impact in my life. I’m forever grateful to this ministry and to God for giving me new eyes to see the true freedom that is found in Jesus.
Each Encounter weekend is followed up with a few weeks of Post Encounter, gatherings where we focus on various topics to help cultivate continued spiritual growth in women’s lives. One of those topics is prayer. This past fall, our Post Encounter “Prayer” speaker gave us an “order” of sorts. Her orders were to go out and develop a strategy for prayer! This, of course, followed her viewing of the movie, “War Room.” There has been a resounding outcry among my circle of believers, and prayerfully ALL believers who have seen this movie, to start to fight again, on our knees in prayer. As my dear Encounter sister shared the cry with us, I am developing prayer strategy in my life!
What is a prayer strategy, you might ask? A strategy, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “
How can we do this? We’re busy moms or dads or students or professionals who have many different things vying for our attention. We may not have hours every day to get on our knees (and we may not even be physically able to literally get on our knees that long!).
One of the easiest ways to start to develop a prayer strategy in our lives is to WRITE IT DOWN! Journal your thoughts and prayers. Make lists. Jot down any requests that come to mind. Keep a note on your phone or tablet to add requests as they arise. As you are writing, say a quick sentence prayer for each item. Maybe a special scripture verse comes to mind that you might want to pray for someone else or even yourself. Write it down! If you are tech-savvy, you might find an app for your phone or tablet that keeps track of prayer requests and even sends you scheduled or random reminders to pray. I like the Echo prayer app. Make sure you are also adding praises and answers to prayer! Documenting these things gives you a tangible resource to rely on when you go through difficulties and need reminded of God’s faithfulness. You can look through previous needs and praises and be reminded of all of God’s amazing goodness in your life and the lives of others. He is faithful.
Once you have begun this habit of recording prayer needs and answers to prayer, you can dig deeper into developing your strategy. Identify a TIME AND PLACE TO PRAY. Make a plan. Mark it on your calendar. If you are like me at all, you may have clutter in the way, cluttered schedules, cluttered living areas, and sometimes just chaos. That’s easy to have in our large family. Make it your goal to clear a space–maybe it’s just a space by your favorite chair or maybe it’s a whole closet. Keep your prayer lists, Bible, extra paper/notebook, pen/pencil, and good lighting in your space. Make this a sacred place. Because it’s where you are going to meet God Almighty! He is God of the Universe, yet He will come to meet you in your chair or your closet. Amazing, isn’t it?
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Now that you have your lists, your time and place, the last stage of developing your strategy is ACCOUNTABILITY. While not a requirement, it is a huge blessing to share life with others who are walking this same road. Remember, we are going into a BATTLE! There is a very real enemy in this world who does NOT want us to be on our knees and talking to God. When you find a person or a small group with whom you can share your needs and concerns, you find powerful connection. Share with them your prayer strategy. Tell them you are working to develop a deeper prayer life and you know this is a spiritual battle. Ask for them to pray with you for protection from the enemy, for diligence and commitment to your strategy, and for focus and clear insight into how God is leading you in this effort. Knowing that others are praying for you is a powerful motivator to keep working at it.
There is so much more to prayer than these three simple points, but it is my prayer that these ideas will help you to get started in the right direction toward a prayer strategy that is powerful and productive. May God bless you as you begin to fight your battles through prayer!