A Guest Blog by Sarah E. Frazer
We began last spring with excitement as we planted our little garden. We had grand plans for the anticipated harvest of green beans, peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, and even broccoli.
But by the end of the summer, our garden was completely overrun.
Unfortunately, we let it get overrun with weeds and failed to water it during the drier days.
It became a sad little plot of land just because we didn’t do the work.
Just like cultivating a garden takes effort, so does cultivating a prayer life. If we neglect prayer, we tend to find our lives barren and empty.
A growing prayer life can’t blossom without a little work—so we must learn how to do the work.A growing prayer life cannot blossom if we do not do the work.
A few years ago I decided it was necessary for me to dedicate a specific time each day to spend in prayer. It was time for me to begin cultivating a prayer life.
It took me months to find a good rhythm. Each day I had the choice of getting up and praying—or just sleeping a little longer.
It wasn’t easy, but I persevered.
And through it I learned a valuable secret: Our daily choices matter.
To get up every day and just spend a few minutes in prayer has transformed my life. And I know it can change yours as well!
Here are three simple steps to help you get started as you begin cultivating a prayer life.
1. Start with a Simple Prayer Journal
To help myself stay focused I began by purchasing a simple prayer journal.
Everyday I open the journal and just pour my heart out to God. Some days I write long, detailed prayers. Other days I simply write: “God be with me.”
I am quickly learning that the quality of my prayer life has little to do with quantity.
Our prayers will be powerful because our God is powerful; not because of us.
Get over being stuck and just start. Start simple and start small.
Then pray.Prayer is just talking to God, but sometimes it helps to have a plan.
Action Point: Purchase a guided prayer journal with prayer prompts or simply a spiral lined notebook. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. A good prayer journal is simply one you will use. In fact, you just need these four things to get started:
1. A pen
2. A notebook
3. A Bible
4. A plan
Put the date at the top, follow a simple prayer plan, and show up.
2. Follow a Simple Prayer Plan
Growing a garden takes a certain kind of plan, right?
I’m not a gardener (my husband tends all of our plants—even the indoor ones!). But in school I learned the basic formula: water, soil, and sunlight.
Those three ingredients can grow anything.
I know a lot more goes into growing a garden— but the basic formula must be there!
To begin creating and cultivating cultivate a prayer life, we can use a simple formula with these three ingredients.
No matter how I write or say my prayers, I will always go back to these three things: Praise, Confession, and Intercession.
Praise simply means to give God glory.
You can thank Him for His good gifts (James 1:5) and you can give Him praise for who He is (Psalm 46:1).Cultivating fruit from prayer can be hard, but when we do the work the rewards are priceless.
Next, confession is always a part of prayer as we confess our sins to God. Our relationship with God is often hindered by sin; but He is faithful and just to forgive us (I John 1:9).
Finally, we pray for those around us. For family or friends. For the lost and the broken. We can even simply bring our own struggles to God in prayer. (Philippians 1:9-11)
Once again, the best formula is one you will use.
Action Point: Write down these three words at the beginning of your prayer journal and use them as prompts: Praise, Confession, Intercession.
Remember, sometimes we need someone to tell us what to pray for and sometimes we need to just spill our hearts out to God.
Whatever you choose to use, the key is consistency and flexibility. If you try a method and find yourself overwhelmed, scale back. Once you have a good rhythm, plan to add a few things to your prayer life like writing Scripture or making lists of people to pray for.
Keep going and don’t give up!
Cultivating fruit from prayer is hard— but when we do the work the rewards are priceless.
3. Recognize a Simple Truth About Fruit
The work we put into our garden will eventually bear fruit, right?
The same with prayer.
What kind of results will we see?
What will be the fruit of cultivating a prayer life?
As you begin to cultivate and grow your prayer life, you will start to reap the fruit and you will notice two things begin to happen:
1. Your relationship with God will deepen.
The more you pray the more you will see the character of God.
As we praise Him we remember His glory and goodness.
As we speak to God on behalf of others we remember He loves our friends and family with an everlasting love.
There is much to learn about God and prayer is a great teacher.
2. Your ministry walls will expand.
Do you want to do more for the kingdom of God? Pray!
Paul was not bound by the prison walls when he wrote his letters to the church. In fact, his ministry became one of prayer. Simply look at Ephesians 1 and Philippians 1. Paul influenced the church thousands of miles away, all through the power of prayer.
Action Point: The beautiful thing about cultivating a prayer life is you can start today. No matter if it has been a few days, weeks, months, or even years since you spent quiet time alone in prayer you can start right now. And as you begin, remember that God will meet you wherever you are at.God is willing and patient to take your hand and guide you to grow something beautiful with your prayers.
“Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18
– Sarah Frazer
Sarah Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor. She is the wife of Jason and mother of five. Although she serves in her local church, holds in-home Bible studies, and is preparing to be a full-time missionary to Honduras, her passion is to encourage women to get in the Bible. Sarah is also an author of three self-published Bible studies for women.
She shares tools for deep-rooted Bible study, including a free downloadable prayer challenge on her at website Grace for Today. You can also follow her on social media on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest.