How To Develop A Personal Prayer Life

Many know how important prayer is, but not everyone has a consistent prayer life. Let us learn how to develop a personal prayer life in this teaching.
Whether or not to have a personal prayer life, isn't something a Christian should have to contemplate on before making a decision about. This isn't something open for debate. 

How To Develop A Personal Prayer Life

I believe that, every genuine Christian knows how things often turn out for them, when they're prayerful and when they're not. 

Every Christian apparently knows how important prayer is, but not all Christians have a personal prayer life. That said, let's go ahead and learn how to develop a personal prayer life. I'm sure that there are many out there who need this type of teaching. 

Firstly, I don't advise any Christian to become complacent with their current level of prayer life. When it comes to the things of God, no one should settle for less. 

It is not advisable to practice contentment in your chasing after God. God is vast and inexhaustible; He Himself bids us to come to Him for more (John 1 b5:1-5, John 3:30).

What is personal prayer life? A personal prayer life is the time set aside by a Christian, to spend quality with God in prayer. Because it is "personal", such prayers are done individually; not with another person or a group of people. A person who has a personal prayer life makes continuous and consistent effort to spend time with God in prayer daily. 


Undoubtedly, all genuine Christians know the power of prayer, but not all Christians know how important it is for them to spend quality time praying alone. That's one reason why we see that some Christians have ample time to go about asking for prayers, but not enough time to pray for themselves. 

It's often a good sight to behold, when brethren gather to pray with each other and for each other. But most Christians have replaced having a personal prayer life with corporate prayers. 

Where many Christians have gotten it wrong is in thinking that “prayer is still prayer”, irrespective of how and where it is done. 

It is true that both personal prayers and corporate prayers are powerful, but they produce different effects. They also have different purposes. 

It is a good thing to fellowship in a prayerful church, but can you survive and thrive spiritually, if you were to stop going to that church?

For most Christians today, their prayer life is in their church. They pick it up when they're in church and drop it back on their church seat, when they're heading back home.

If your church is a powerful and prayerful one, that's great! We thank God for that. But are you a prayerful and powerful Christian? The need of having a personal prayer life cannot be overemphasized. 

Why You Should Have A Personal Prayer Life 


Apart from a few points that I've already highlighted above, there are many other valid reasons why a Christian should have a personal prayer life. They are as follows:

1. God Instructs Us To Have A Personal Prayer Life


A great part of the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ was centered around prayer. The Lord repeatedly emphasized on the importance of praying in solitary. 

Our Lord Jesus loved His personal prayer space. We've seen it severally in the Bible, that Jesus would rise early and go into a solitary place to pray (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16). 

Interestingly, rarely would you see in the four gospels that Jesus prayed in public or among a group of people. He did so only when it was extremely necessary. 

The same prayer lifestyle the Lord lived out is what He taught us. In His own words, He said:

“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 NLT

This doesn't imply that we shouldn't pray in church or in public spaces anymore. It means that we should prioritize our private and personal prayer life over conventional corporate prayer

Jesus also made us understand that, it is hypocrisy to pray loud and act like we're prayer machines in public, while we lack stature when it comes to a personal prayer life (Matthew 6:5). 

Our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated to us that, for His followers, a personal prayer life is indispensable. Jesus spent more time praying alone, than He did with His disciples or anyone else. Whenever He stepped out, it was for ministry; for teaching and for demonstration of God's power, not for prayer

2. To Hear From God


Our Lord Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27). In other words, Christians are capable of hearing God's voice, and are expected to do so. But can we say without an iota of doubt, that every Christian today hears God? You know what the right answer is. 

It becomes easier to hear God's voice in the place of prayer. Besides that, prayer is supposed to be a two-way communication. As you talk to God in prayer, you should also be able to hear Him speak back to you. 

Your personal prayer space is the perfect place to practice all that you've been learning about hearing the voice of God

A lot of people complain about being confused on the next steps they should take in life, or an important decision they should make. The major reason for such confusion can often be traced to inability to hear God's voice. 

I believe that, if these Christians had quality personal prayer life, they would have gotten used to hearing God's voice, and such confusion would be nonexistent. 

3. To Make Your Requests Known To God


The perfect medium through which a Christian can convey their feelings and make their requests known to God, is prayer. 

To be honest, not everything should be said as a prayer in public—to the listening of other people. This is just one valid reason why it is important to have a personal prayer life. 

4. To Develop And Strengthen Your Bond With God


The strength of a Christian's relationship with God is much dependent on their prayer life. A poor prayer life translates to a poor relationship with God. The saying is true, that in the absence of communication, there is no relationship. 

It is in our private space that we can spend quality time with God, be more vulnerable before Him and open up to Him concerning all that is bothering our hearts. 

It is also in such an atmosphere that God finds the opportunity to draw us close, speak to us, guide us, mould us and transform us. 

John 15:4 ESV
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

Having a consistent personal prayer life is a form of abiding in Christ. It will go a long way to build and strengthen our relationship with the Lord.

5. To Grow Spiritually With God


There is a strong correlation between prayer and spiritual growth. Anyone who says they're not prayerful but they're growing spiritually, is telling lies. The two often go hand-in-hand.

2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

As we spend quality time with the Lord in our closet, praying, we are beholding His face. Gradually, we are transformed into His image and likeness. 

I get it that people have excuses for why they don't pray alone. A lot of people work day and night for money, so their daily routine is like a triangle: from work to church, then back home to rest. 

A Christian should not expect to grow spiritually and mature in Christ, if the only chance they have to pray is when they get to church. We shouldn't make no excuses for not having a personal prayer life.

How To Develop A Consistent Prayer Life


Developing and sustainaing a personal prayer life will demand that a Christian stays consistent and committed to praying in their private space. 

  1. Be Self-Disciplined: Developing a consistent prayer life requires self-discipline. If situation demands that you set alarms and get yourself a prayer timetable, then do it. 
  2. Schedule It: Schedule a time and times to pray throughout the day. Compel yourself to keep to each of your prayer times.
  3. Seek The Spirit's Help: Ask the Holy Spirit to occasionally remind, compel and give you the desire to pray at the right time. 
  4. Pick The Right Prayer Space: Be discerning enough to spot the right places to spend time alone with God in prayer, even when you're not at home. 
  5. Don't Give Up: Sometimes, people end up losing faith because they feel their prayers to taking too long to get answered. Such shouldn't be a reason to give up on praying. Even when you think you've prayed enough, there are many other things and people to pray for. 

If you follow these few steps and put them into practice, you're sure going to have a consistent prayer life. 

10 Ways To Improve Your Prayer Life


No one is born with a quality personal prayer life. We all start by learning to pray, and further progress to improving our prayer life. If you want your prayer life to improve, you have to work towards it. The following steps can help you improve your prayer life:

1. Develop A Love For Prayer


If you must improve your prayer life, you have to love prayer. Something you love doing eventually becomes a hobby, and when it gets to that level, it becomes easy and enjoyable. 

Prayer has to become pleasurable, in order for you to be able to improve on it. If you don't love prayer, praying again and again may turn out to be burdensome and boring to you. 

If a Christian says that they love God, that love should translate into a love for prayer. 

2. Get Your Mind Made Up


Improving your prayer life will require determination. The mind controls everything we do. When the mind is made up to do something, God helping us, we're definitely going to do it. 

Daniel 1:8 BSB
But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or wine. So he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself.

The story of Daniel in the above scripture further shows us how powerful the mind is. We can accomplish anything we want, so long we are determined to do just that. 

3. Desire To Pray More And Better


Desire is a strong feeling of wanting to do something. Sometimes we desire to eat a certain food not because we are hungry, but simply because we crave that particular food. 

Luke 18:1 KJV
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

Crave for prayer just the same way you can crave for your favorite delicacy. Make it a habit to occasionally and constantly desire to pray.

With time, your craving for prayer should translate into a persistent hunger for prayer. Your prayer life should then improve dramatically! 

4. Get Yourself A Prayer Journal


Having a prayer journal handy, will go a long way to improve your prayer life. So go ahead and get yourself one! 

Habakkuk 2:2 ESV
And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

In your prayerful journal, you can write down the things God has promised you, or the things you want God to do for you. You can write down the prophetic dreams and visions God has given to you, or God's instructions to you. 

By documenting these things, you can turn them into your very important prayer points, and pray them consistently into fruition. 

5. Fast Sometimes


It's spiritually and physically healthy to fast occasionally. Don't just depend on prayer alone to boost your spiritual life, because a time may come when you can't pray anymore. Fasting will be needed to revive your prayer life. 

Fasting surpresses the flesh with its desires, and then frees up and empowers the human spirit for spiritual activities. 

When you are spiritually sound, you can pray more and pray better without fleshly hindrances. I'll advise that a Christian fasts consistently.

6. Obey The Promptings Of The Spirit


It is not enough to ask the Holy Spirit to remind you to pray. Of course, the Holy Spirit will alwe bid us to pray, even if we don't ask Him. 

John 14:26 NIV
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Continuing in prayer is one of the things the Lord Jesus told us to do. He told us to watch and pray (Matthew 26:41). 

The Holy Spirit will remind you to continue in prayer. But what is more important is you obeying those little promptings, and proceeding to pray whenever the Holy Spirit reminds you. 

If a Christian continually disobeys the promptings of the Holy Spirit reminding them to pray, the Spirit will not force Himself on them. He will only stop talking and let them live their rebellious life. You shouldn't let it get to that extent. 

7. Discover Your Best Prayer Posture


Not all prayer postures work for everyone. Some find it difficult praying while in a particular posture.

If your private prayer closet has enough space, and walking around is what works for you, then stick to that whenever you're praying. 

Some find it comfortable praying while laying down. Do what works for you. 

For some other Christians, sitting in a comfortable position is what works best for them. They can pray for as long as they want in that position, without feeling pains or getting tired. 

Identify and stick to the prayer posture that works best for you. That will go a long way to help improve your prayer life. 

8. Pray More In The Spirit


I am aware that not every Christian can speak in tongues. But if you have the gift of tongues as a prayer language, you should use it more frequently in prayer. Pray more in tongues.

1 Corinthians 14:4 ESV
The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.

Praying in tongues builds you up spiritually, it ignites in you more hunger for prayer. You will find yourself loving and desiring prayer more often, the more you pray in tongues. 

9. Listen As You Pray 


With the human mind, it is impossible to know and pray exactly what is in the mind of God. But it is always better to pray what God wants us to pray, rather than praying what we want to pray. 

Since prayer is not all about us telling God what we want Him to hear, work on listening to what God has to say or reveal to you while praying. 

The Holy Spirit knows what's in the mind of God. He works mysteriously to drop words in the mind of the Believer who has learned the art of listening to Him while praying. 

By so doing, we end up praying according to the leading of the Holy Spirit, because we pray what the Spirit gives to us in the place of prayer. 

I know this may sound a bit strange to some who are yet to experience it. But a Spirit-led prayer comes from knowing how to listen while praying, and praying what the Holy Spirit tells us to pray. 

Your prayer life improves and becomes better when you pray according to the leading of the Spirit, because you are sure you are not praying amiss, but according to the will of God. 

10. Pray The Holy Scriptures


The Bible tells us that the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much (James 5:16). There is no guarantee that we are praying effectively, if our prayers are not in line with the holy scriptures. 

Praying the scriptures adds fervor to your prayer, further increasing its potency. Praying according to the scriptures saves you from praying amiss. 

It is important to know the Word of God and apply that knowledge in prayer, in order to improve our prayer lives. 

Final Thoughts On Developing A Personal Prayer Life


No human is born a spiritual giant, and literally no one is born a prayer warrior. Even our Lord Jesus Christ in human flesh, had to grow into the reality of who He manifested to be on earth (Luke 2:40).

Jude 1:20 AMP
But you, beloved, build yourselves up on [the foundation of] your most holy faith [continually progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], pray in the Holy Spirit. 

Every Christian is required to have a quality personal prayer life, but that doesn't come in one day. Our responsibility is to be intentional about working on our spiritual growth (which includes improving in the area of prayer). 

We must continually press on—in our relationship with the Lord—by intentionally working on and improving our prayer lives. 

Beloved, as you apply the knowledge in this article to your life; as you pray daily, I am trusting the Lord to bring you tremendous growth in the area of prayer, in the area of spiritual growth and your overall relationship with Him. 

God bless you. 

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