When most people think about prayer, they often think of about a big list of things they want to ask God to do for them. Or maybe they think of those long prayers that they have to memorize and say over and over. But prayer is actually so much more than that!
You probably didn’t know this, but there are actually four different types of prayer (or more depending on how you categorize it)! And they all serve a very different purpose. So today, we are going to break down all you need to know about having what is called a devotional prayer life and how you can grow in knowing God through prayer.
You can either watch it in video form here, or keep reading below!
So first off, lets define prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God. So to define devotional prayer, it is simply talking to God in order to grow in our relationship with Jesus and to grow in our love and loyalty to Him.
We love the quote by E.M. Bounds, who is really a legend in prayer, which says,
“Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed.”
God is after our hearts, not just our religious duty. He doesn’t just want robotic servants, He wants a family that loves Him and wants to spend time with Him.
God said of King David, one of the greatest heroes of the faith, that he was a man after My own heart, and so we want to be people after God’s heart, not just after His blessings.
And God doesn’t want us just to know a bunch of information either. John 17:3, says,
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You…”
The greatest thing in this life is knowing Jesus. It’s about the experience, not just the information.
And you probably didn’t know this, but you were actually made for pleasure. You were actually made to experience fascination, to walk in greatness, to be loved and enjoyed. So seeking those things actually isn’t wrong. It’s the WAY in which we seek to satisfy those things that can be wrong.
Most of the time, we go to the counterfeit pleasures to try and satisfy ourselves – Money, relationships, success, adventures, but God intended that HE would actually answer those longings for pleasure. And the way to experience those things is through prayer.
So for you to begin to grow in a devotional prayer life, there are 3 foundational things that you need:
- A time & a place
- Prayer Lists
- A Right view of God
Having a set time and place establishes when and where you will pray. This helps you to stay consistent and to create a habit of spending time with God and making space to grow in your relationship with Him. Because lets just be honest, we make time for the things that we care about so make sure to find out what works best for you. And we even challenge you to put it in your schedule.
But if you miss a day, hey it happens to all of us. Just press delete and sign back up the next day. Try to fight to make time throughout the day. If you miss the morning, then try to make it up at night. God loves our reach, so fight for your time with Him.
The next thing you need is a prayer list, or multiple prayer lists, and these establish WHAT to pray. There are some prayer lists that focus more on asking God to do things, which can be called supplication or intercession, but we will talk about those in more detail in some of our other blog posts.
A prayer list that helps you know God are things like praying the Names of God, Who I am in Christ Scriptures, or different prayer guides that help you walk through different things as you talk to Him for a certain amount of time.
An example of this would be something like spending ten minutes in worship, spending ten minutes in thanking God, ten minutes praying the Scriptures, and so on and so forth. And to help you, we actually have a resource that you can download that has all of these different prayer lists, which you can grab right here.
And the last thing you need is a right view of God. This is super important because if you have a view of God that He is always mad or disappointed at you, then you can never truly enjoy prayer.
And if that is your view of God, then you will spend your entire prayer time asking for forgiveness, putting yourself in this penalty box, and you won’t even have time to connect your heart with God and actually get to know Him. So if you do sin, then repent, sign up to wage war on whatever that sin is, but then, just push delete and right away receive His love and His forgiveness.
If you know that God is a loving Father, who loves to see you grow and doesn’t expect you to be perfect on day one, it makes spending time with Him so much more enjoyable. He loves every time that you come to Him, He loves every moment that you sit and spend time with Him, so when you know that, it changes everything.
So how do we grow in knowing God? We spend time with Him through prayer and the Bible. And how do we grow in loving Jesus? We grow in our understanding of how much Jesus has loved us! 1 John 4:19 says that
“we love because He first loved us.”
So the more we understand His love for US, the more we will love Him in return.
Spending time with God in devotional prayer helps us to see that God really likes us, He really enjoys us, and He really is good. Every day we can come to the Throne of grace through the blood of Jesus and GET to know God. This is our greatest privilege.
Another helpful thing for your devotional prayer time is to start with worship, and by reading something is called “a Devotional”. Oftentimes, it will have a verse and then somebody else’s commentary on that verse that helps you to think
deeper about it and apply it to your own life. So if you want to get a devotional for yourself, our favorites are “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young and “Morning and Evening” by Charles Spurgeon.
And worship is also such an important part of our devotional prayer life. Worship is simply declaring to God who He is and praising Him for all that He has done. And it is really helpful to do this with music. So if you don’t have worship music for yourself, we made a playlist on our YouTube Channel.
We also recommend that you journal. You can use a journal to talk to God, to tell Him the things that you are wrestling with, to ask Him questions, to write down verses that He is highlighting to you, and then you will have a documented history in the Lord that you can go back to and remember what God was doing in your life in different seasons. And so if you want to get some journals for yourself, click here for some of the ones we like.
And one more thing that we want to encourage you with, is that our devotional prayer lives don’t actually start and end in that hour or so that you decide to spend time with Him. The Bible actually tells us that we are to do something called “abiding”, which is staying connected to Him all throughout the day in prayer.
You can do this by having worship music always playing, by listening to sermons, by just speaking little phrases to Him throughout the day or by putting on the audio Bible. You can talk to Him about anything! Don’t underestimate the power of a 10-second prayer where you are just thanking Him and talking to Him throughout the day.
So to sum it all up, prayer really is a great gift, and we all have the privilege of knowing and loving God through prayer.
And again, we actually want to give you some tools that will help you pray, so we made you a “Prayer Pack” full of all our favorite tips & prayer lists. All you have to do is click here to download it for free or you can check out ALL of our latest resources for you to grow in God, right here.
So let us know, have you ever used devotional prayer? If so, tell us your story. And what are some practical things that you can do to grow in prayer? We would love to know what you plan to do, so let us know, in the comments below.
So from both of us here at Ronnie and Mel, we hope this helps you in your journey to find God and walk with Him, and we will talk to you next time.
Love & Blessings!
RONNIE AND MEL