Cultivating a strategic and effective prayer life is crucial for a confident Christian woman. As godly women, confidence comes from our relationship with God. If we’re not cultivating our relationship with God with a healthy prayer life, then we’re likely to set ourselves up for spiritual insecurity, leaving us vulnerable to the schemes of the enemy.
Have you ever run out of things to pray for? Do you often feel like you don’t know what to say to God?
Here’s the good news: Jesus has already taught us how to pray. He does this in Matthew 6:9-13, commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Prayer isn’t an enigma to me discovered, but more of a model to be followed. Prayer isn’t about how many churchy words we can say, how many super-spiritual phrases we know, or how often we say “Father God” while praying.
I want to demystify prayer and truly deconstruct it into simple, effective and strategic steps.
Click the image below if you’d like to download our “How to Pray Strategically and Effectively” printable guide!
It’s important for me to share the fuller context of The Lord’s Prayer with you. Jesus was teaching His audience about the way to pray and the results of prayer. He emphasizes not to pray like the hypocrites, the Pharisees, praying to be seen.
Remember that prayer is not a performance. Prayer is a daily practice. As you begin cultivating a strategic and effective prayer life, remember that you’re not doing this to put on a show. You’re not doing this to look good in church. You’re doing this to cultivate a deeper relationship with God, align you heart with God, and bring heaven to earth.
“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.
The Lord’s Prayer
“Therefore, you should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
“For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive others,[g] your Father will not forgive your offenses.
Let’s take a moment now to dissect this prayer strategy so that we can apply it practically our everyday prayer lives:
#1 WORSHIP GOD IN PRAYER
“Our Father in heaven,
your name be honored as holy.”
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus instructs us to honor and reverence God the Father. When we open up in prayer, God deserves our worship, praise and adoration.
This awakens our heart, mind and spirit to the reality of the magnitude of God. When we’re praying, we’re approaching a Holy, perfect, omnipotent God. Praise and worship during prayer serve as a daily reminder.
#2 PRAY IN ALIGNENT TO GOD’S WILL
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Effective prayer aligns our will with God’s will. Praying God’s will to be done puts His agenda before our own.
This life we live—it’s all about God. We’re truly surrendered when we’re willing to die to self for the glory of God.
#3 PRAY FOR YOUR NEEDS
“Give us this day our daily bread,”
God cares about our needs. We need God’s presence as our daily bread, but God also wants to provide for our material and emotional needs, too. Pray for your needs and the needs of those around you. In our downloadable prayer guide, we include fill-in-the-blank sheets to help you list who to pray from—from the President to those who are lost.
Remember, prayer is our bread for daily use—not our cake for special occasions. Come back to God every day with a sincere and eager heart for intimacy with Him.
#4 PRAY FOR REPENTANCE
“..and forgive us our debts,”
Unrepentant sin hinders our intimacy with God. The Lord wants us to live fruitfully, abundantly and in accordance to His will. When we deny the conviction of the Holy Spirit, deliberately disobey Him and fail to ask for forgiveness and turn away, it’s a recipe for disaster. We need to regularly ask God to search our hearts and reveal our sin to us. The mark of a truly humble heart is willingness to apologize and change.
#5 PRAY TO FORGIVE OTHERS
“…as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
I’ve heard it said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. This is because unforgiveness is utterly destructive to your soul.
During this stage of prayer, it is your daily opportunity to let go of grudges and resentment against others who’ve hurt or wronged you. We should offer forgiveness freely, regularly, and proactively. Because we have been freely forgiven by God, we freely forgive others.
#6 PRAY FOR PROTECTION AND DELIVERANCE
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Our enemy, the devil, wants to distract, deter, and destroy every Christian woman. A strategic and effective prayer life includes spiritual warfare—prayer against the tactics and schemes of Satan. During this stage of prayer, pray against temptation, evil spirits, and anything that can draw you away from the goodness of God.
I hope you implement Jesus’ strategies for prayer into your everyday routine!