It feels hard to focus on just about anything these days. We’re constantly bombarded with news updates, social media posts, and marketing campaigns. We’re trying to work from home and juggling a lot, which is why it is so crucial to build a prayer strategy. It is as difficult to focus during prayer as any other task in our day, yet time with God is one of the most important habits to foster. Having an effective prayer strategy will help drown out the distractions of the world and settle into our communion with God. In this post, I’ll provide a specific, personal example of building a prayer strategy.
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Step 1 to an Effective Prayer Strategy—God’s Word
Open your Bible.
One of our members reviewed the plethora of Scripture verses included in Priscilla Shirer’s book Fervent. I can’t find a better way to emphasize our need to soak in God’s Word than the comment she shared:
“I am noting the disconnect in my own life where I’ve not really thought about these (Scriptures) or BELIEVED them with the current challenges in my life. There’s still a huge GAP in what the Word says and how I believe, but I’m determined to PRESS IN.”
Yes. Determined to press in. Amen, sister. Her statement underscores our vital need to incorporate the Word of God into our prayer life. Our aim is to eliminate any gaps in the truth we believe and function fully in God’s Word.
Step 2 to Build a Prayer Strategy—Powerful Tools
Use your Tools.
The Lord provides numerous tools, some of which fall into the category of the armor of God detailed in Ephesians 6.
The Belt of Truth
In Fervent, Priscilla emphasizes the belt of truth and the way it holds other pieces of armor in place. Jesus proclaimed the Bible as truth, saying in John 17:17 (HCSB), “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” God’s Word serves as the belt or our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:14)—the tool that holds all of the rest of our armor in place.
Sword of the Spirit
God’s Word sanctifies us (John 17). It also serves as our only offensive weapon as the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
Another tool for our use is prayer acronyms. Evidence of the acronyms (a.k.a. “steps of prayer”) is scattered throughout the Word of God, even though they aren’t found verbatim in Scripture. In an earlier post, we covered the benefits of prayer acronyms. Please understand, these acronyms are simply tools—not mandatory routines of prayer. They help keep prayer organized. We use acronyms as a learning instrument, a way to develop a rhythm as we grow in a discipline of prayer. Acronyms are useful in defining a process through which we cover key elements of strategic intercession. Taking it a step further, when we take the Word of God and apply it to a prayer acronym, beautiful things happen.
A Personal Prayer Strategy Example
Note: In the example I’m about to share, I use this prayer journal.
I commonly struggle with my identity in Christ. The deeper I’ve moved into ministry, the bigger my struggle – for obvious reasons, wouldn’t you say? The enemy wants to keep us blinded to the truth of who God created us to be. Using Scriptures provided in Fervent (Strategy 3, Your Identity) and incorporating them into the acronym P.O.W.E.R. (Praise, Offer Thanks, Warfare, Embracing God’s Instruction and Repent) as delineated in My Prayer Journal, I created a powerful weapon against the lies that the enemy whispers (and sometimes shouts) on a daily basis. Here’s a picture of how I mapped out the acronym inside the prayer journal. So you don’t have to use a telescope, or zoom way in to see the words, OR try to read my handwriting, I offer it as an easier-to-read document here.
Borrowing a Prayer Strategy
One of the most intimidating aspects of prayer is sometimes finding words to express your heart. When we can’t find a way to say something, we can borrow the words—the prayer strategy—of a friend, or mentor. I don’t advocate plagiarism, but sharing words of others in prayer—as genuine expressions of our own hearts—is an acceptable practice. Most of the words I use in my example are straight from Scripture. Some come from past experiences. Each word is a genuine expression of my heart. Praying them is my way of pressing in and narrowing the gap between what God’s Word says about who I am in Christ and what I’ve allowed myself to believe. For me, believing the lies of the accuser stops here. I’m determined to not only believe in God but also believe what He says, and take Him at His Word.
Using a Prayer Strategy
It’s one thing to pray this strategy for myself, but I also find it immensely useful in praying it for those I love. I wish that they, too, would believe all the Lord says about them and find their true identity in Christ. I’ve prayed similar prayers for my children, my kids-in-law, my husband, pastors, school teachers, and others.
A New Challenge—Praying For Your Family
I challenge you to use a prayer acronym of your choice to build a prayer strategy for your family. You’re welcome to use the sample I’ve provided (P.O.W.E.R) as a springboard. As I said above, building a prayer strategy isn’t necessarily easy, but it is an essential and effective tool in our prayer arsenals. Remember, prayer isn’t a time of rest, but a time of battle. The more preparation we engage in, the more impactful our prayers become. I pray that seeing an example of building a prayer strategy will make it easier to formulate your own battle plan.
You may also enjoy seeing a list of books I regularly recommend to help strengthen your prayer life. The list of resources about prayer is a great tool for your arsenal!