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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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One of the greatest tools we are given is prayer. Prayer can be used to calm any storm, and relieve turmoil in our lives and in the lives of our friends when it is used effectively. And despite what we may think, having life changing prayers is not a difficult task to complete. It comes down to choosing to spend some extra time, and focusing on the right stuff.

He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision.

Daniel 9:22-23

As soon as you start to pray, God listens and angels are stirred to action. Making the quick decision to pray throughout the day gets things moving more quickly.

1. Prayer is powerful when it’s personal

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16

Prayer is not a task. It’s not just something you need to get done in your times with God in order to appease him. Rather, it’s a time for you to let down and get everything out. And while this time is super valuable, it doesn’t mean it has to be rare. Even a mere 5 extra minutes throughout the day can help you stay freed up and motivated. Personalizing your time with God can generate a lot more faith.

Another aspect of having great prayers is spending time praying for others. The passage above teaches us that we can experience a greater sense of purpose when we focus our prayers on helping the people closest to us. Through prayer we’re able to defeat bitterness, grudges, and other relationship sins that have kept us distant from people. And that is powerful.

2. Vulnerable, not fake

Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner.

Lamentations 2:19

God asks us to pour out our hearts to him. He wants to know everything about the inside of our hearts and he can only truly know if we will tell him. Vulnerability in prayer is the solution to letting God into the deepest crevices of our hearts.

Vulnerability is a the ultimate form of humility. It’s putting yourself in a position in which you can be hurt rejected, or taken advantage of. However, we can always count on God to respond with compassion when we put ourselves out there. When we are vulnerable with God we get freed up from the guilt and sin we’ve been storing up, and find respite from all the intense emotions we carry around on a daily basis. When we put up a front when we pray, we do ourselves a disservice.

3. Gratitude, not attitude

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

Pride has the uncanny ability of diminishing the potential power of our prayers. When we get angry with God and people and blame them for our struggles, we become ungrateful. This lack of gratitude will eventually cause us to lose heart and get discouraged. Spending time in your prayers telling God what you are grateful for allows you to see God work in your life and create a huge amount of admiration for God.

Gratitude is what allows us to see how God is working in our life. So if we are not praying about it than it can be easy to get discouraged and believe that God has abandoned you. Decide to spend 10 minutes during prayer thanking God for all the things he does for you so your heart can be softened and inspired by Gods work.

Written by

Bay Area Christian Church

This was created by a member of the Bay Area Christian Church team.