One  of the worst tragedies of these end times is the inability of Christians to build and maintain great and fruitful prayer life. Personal prayer lifestyles is not really celebrated.Meanwhile,prayer should play major role in our Christian life. Apart from this,our prayers should be result -oriented and productive.

We should be careful enough to nurture and build our prayer life to the extent that our whole living revolves around the continuous growth and progress of our prayer life. Until prayer becomes the main business of our life and church, there can be no growth. A fruitful prayer life is not a monologue but a dialogue. A two way communication. A personal and fruitful prayer life is basic to godly living. The private life is the secret of great growth and usage.   

1.    God's Word On Prayer life - Lamentation 3:56.

The Bible does not leave us in doubt as to the importance of maintaining a prayer life. Prayer is the Christian’s native air, the breath of the believer. Since the fall of man it has become necessary to pray in order to receive help and maintain an open communication with the creator - Gen.4:26. The more reason there are numerous commands in the bible concerning prayer - I Chr.16:11; Ps.65:2; Isa.56:7; Lk.18:1; Matt.26:41; I Thes.5:17; Jam.5:13.

All those who walked with God and who amount to anything in life have maintained a prayer life. Enoch - Gen.5:22-24; Noah - Gen.8:20-21; Abraham - Gen.12:8; 13:4; Isaac - 25:20-21; Moses - Deut.9:25; Samuel - I Sam.25: 11; Elijah - Kings 17: 1-3; Elisha - 2 Kings 4:33-35. Daniel - Oan.9:1O; Jesus - Mark.l:35; 6:46; Lk.5:15-16; 6:12; 9:8; 22:41-42.

These Biblical examples show to us that the key to knowing and enjoying profound relationship with God lies in the prayer life. Your greatest lack therefore is that you do not know how to pray. Developing a personal and fruitful prayer life with God is the key to walking with God and being mightily used by him.

2.     God’s Intention For Our Creation - Gen.3:8; Pro.8:30-31; Ps.16:3.

God’s original intention in creation was to fellowship and have intimate communion with the man. God desires to share fellowship time with his creatures. His delight is with the sons of men for communion and fellowship. The fellowship was destroyed by sin, yet it was restored through Jesus. The call of God to us now is a call of love to come and share in His divine love for us. We cannot really know and enjoy God if we have no time to commune and fellowship with Him. Spending time in His presence will inflame and empower you.

3.    Glaring Facts On Our Prayer Life - Job.l:5; Act. 10: 1-4; 9-16.

God desires intimate communion with his people. We cannot develop a deep, rich prayer as long as we look at prayer as a command and duty of Christians. It is only when we see prayer as a relationship will we see the need to develop and maintain a fruitful prayer life. Prayer as a loving relationship between God and man. “What you love you worship; true prayer, real prayer is nothing but loving; what you love, that you pray to” - Augustine of Hippo. ‘Prayer is love in need appealing to love in power” ­

1.     Servant relationship            
2.     Sonship relationship    
3.     Father relationship           
4.     Friendship relationship
5.     Daddy relationship           
6.     My Daddy relationship
7.     Favourite relationship.

The lowest stage is the servant relationship - sadly many are rooted there. The more we have a fruitful prayer life, the rnore we move up in our relationship with the Lord. We cannot attain a high, deep, rich relationship of a favourite in one day. It takes time and persistent and continuous fellowship and communion with the Lord.

4.    God Guarrantied Benefits of Prayer Life - Mark.1:35; Luke.6:12-13

No one should give the answer that it is impossible for a man occupied with business cares to pray always. You can set up an altar to God in your mind by means of prayer. And so it is fitting to pray at your office, shop, on a journey, standing at a corner or sitting at your handicraft. Without these personal times of communion with the Lord we are failures.

Nothing can atone for lack of private and secret praying. Without it we lose in many ways. Personal prayer life is important and beneficial in these following ways:

a     Fresh and daily infusion of grace, mercy, power and blessings
b     Guidance and light needed
c     Kept burning and alive to God
d     Strong bulwark against temptation and attack of Satan.
e     Maintaining first love and faithfulness
f.    Fruitfulness in the Christian life
g     Deeper understanding and knowledge of God
h     Refreshing presence of God
i.    Victorious living and expectation of rapture
j     Restoration and revival.

“Prayer is a powerful thing, for God has bound and tied himself thereto. None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience” ­    Martin Luther.    .
Do no forget prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage.
E.M. Bounds wrote “God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly. He does not bestow his gifts on the casual or hasty comer and goer. To be much alone with God is the secret of knowing him and of influence with him”.

5.    God's Prescription For Building A Stable a Prayer Life - Jam.5:16-18

We must fight for our prayer life. The devil and the flesh plus the pressures of life will make sure it does not exist. But we must realize that the great leaders of the Bible were not leaders because of brilliancy of thought, because they were exhaustless resources, because of their magnificent culture or native endowment, but because, by the power of prayer, they could command the power of God. Ways to develop a prayer life are:

i.    Study yourself
Know the amount of sleep you need for a night. Every normal human being needs six hours sleep, some need seven a night. Know yourself either as an early or late worker and schedule your prayer time. John Bunyan counsels “make conscience of beginning the day with God, and the best way to begin the day well is to begin it the night before”.

ii.    Set a particular time
Either morning, evening or night, even afternoon, find a convenient time for yourself; through early morning is the Biblical model - Gen. 19:27; Exo.34:4; Judges 6:38; Job 1:5; Mark 1:35. The heart of man is like a soup - without daily warming it will stink and decay. We must receive daily manna if we are to live properly for God.

iii.    Deny Yourself
To maintain a daily prayer life will demand sacrifice of some things. Self indulgence is the law of death, while self denial is the law of life. Late night television, visitations, useless conversation, heavy foods must be done away with.

iv.    Pray for your prayer life - James 1:5
Prayer for our prayer life is vital if we are to have a truly effective and fruitful life of prayer. Ask God for a prayer life and continue to maintain a quality and fruitful life of prayer. Whenever you detect weariness, doubt and reluctance to pray, ask God for strength and renewal.

v.    a.    Format for a life of Prayer.
1     Thanksgiving and praise - Ps.100:4
2     Sing unto God
3     Gratitude for who He is and for what He has done.

b.    Confession and Cleansing - I Jn.21
1    Invite a search
2    Don’t be deceived
3     Receive forgiveness

c.    Offering up your life
1     Surrender your day to God
2     Show childlike need
3     Ask for specific guidance
4     Obey instructions.

d.    Family and Church
1     Each member of the family
2     Immediate family needs
3     The church family
4     Remember those who ask for your prayers
5     Lift up the pastor/minister.

e.    Intercession for the Nation:
1     The rulers of the nation/peace
2     Intercession for the nation
3     Spiritual warfare for the nation

f.    Pray for yourself
1     Need for fresh grace and power
2     Physical and material needs
3     Urgent requests
4     Listening to the Holy Spirit
5     Praying in tongues
6     Thanksgiving and praise.

Following this format will take you at least one full hour, which is the set time by our Lord (Mat.26:40) and as you are opportune it can be stretched to two, three hours. Note answers to your prayers and thank God. “Endeavours even times a day to withdraw from business and company and lift up thy soul to God in private prayer” - Adoniram Judson.

6.    God's Way To Preserve Your Prayer Life - Isa.40:28-30.
This would demand serious efforts on our part. The devil would contest for each step of the way. Men of God in history have realized the importance of the prayer life that they consider it as the number one battle ground to conquer. The lay so much importance to it that every other thing takes secondary position. Securing your prayer life from becoming casual, monotonous, weak, shallow and powerless would require you take the following steps.

a.    Constant watchfulness
b.    Special day of fasting and waiting upon the Lord.
c.    Seasons of waiting upon the Lord
d.    Seeking renewal and restoration each time there is failure
e.    Balance it out with study and Christian literature
f.    Guard against pride and self confidence.

Having a prayer life is so much important that without it there will be no growth. The progress and development of our personal, public, family and business life de end on our prayer life. “Prayer is the guide to perfection, and delivers us from every vice, and gives us every virtue; for the one way to become perfect is to walk in the presence of God” Madame Guyon. (Act.6:4; Pro.8: 17; Ps. 63: 1)

“Prayer has the salutary effect of purifying, refining and enabling our heart. It banished evil thoughts, and thus saves us much pain and sorrow”. To be prayerless is to be without God - without Christ, ­without grace - without hope - and without heaven. It is to be on the road to hell” – J.C. Ryle. Here are few points to further underscore its importance to every Christian:

a.    No growth and progress
b.    Victorious living will be a mirage
c.    Carnality and the flesh will have upper hand
d.    Guilt and condemnation in the heart
e.    Confusion and bewilderment
f.    Touchy, irritating and quarrelsome
g.    Unstable Christian testimony
h.    Shone of glory and blessing
i.    Hard and bitter blows of life.

Richard Newton says “the principal cause of my leanness and unfruitfulness is owing to an unaccountable backwardness to pray”. We can safely conclude then that he that flees from prayer flees form all that is good.

Finally, brethren, I have read the lives of many eminent Christians who have been on earth since the Bible days. Some of them, I see, were rich and some poor. Some were learned, some unlearned. Some of them were Presbyterians, and some catholic. Some have loved to use a liturgy, and some choose to use none. But one thing I see, they all had in common - they all have been men of prayer.


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