Prayer is a growth adventure. It takes us down some familiar tracks, but always offers new areas to explore. It’s a journey in God’s fullness. If we stop just beyond the starting point we miss the beauty of an unfolding landscape up ahead. Parking our prayer life doesn’t make it less important, but it will become less enjoyable…. and less transformational. So we plan to boost our prayer life growth.
Prayer is much more than a recital of needs bracketed by some praise and thanks. In prayer the Spirit grows our connection to Glory (who the Lord is, what he is like and what he desires) and trains us to respond (to express our agreement with him). It’s a unique enjoyment reserved for his family. Continuing the growth journey is a sign of the huge value we place on it.
Prayer growth can be inconvenient and costly, but it is life-changing and carries a God-given guarantee of ENJOYMENT! Intentionality is key: we don’t just pray, but we plan to grow as pray-ers.
If you are part of a prayer group, why not plan for this to be a year of group prayer life growth?
What prayer groups need most is not necessarily more teaching on the importance and power of prayer, or on prayer life basics. The urgency isn’t for bigger and better prayer lists, or for more entertaining formats to interest people in praying. The big need is for a fresh enjoyment of prayer (or rather, a fresh enjoyment of the Lord in prayer). When something is enjoyable, we want to do it more and do it better.
Recently, a prayer group asked about steps to boost their prayer life growth. My reply touched on the following four growth areas in the prayer enjoyment journey:
- ADMIRATION. Asking (supplication) is important, but is not the most important (or the eternal) part of prayer enjoyment. The value-shift from an asking-focus to an admiration frame is a challenge made easier when a prayer group makes the journey together.
- APPETITE (desire/hunger/thirst) for the Lord. We are designed to ‘lean with longing’ into the Lord. When done in prayer, it increases our enjoyment of the Lord in all of life.
- Using SCRIPTURE to shape prayer as a response to the Lord develops our enjoyment of him being the Lead Speaker in the prayer relationship.
- AGREEMENT. Building the oneness in heart & mind that maximizes our ‘upper room’ prayer authority (especially important in prayer for the advance of Christ’s Kingdom).
My book, Shaped for Prayer Enjoyment includes all four of the above growth areas. Chapters 2 and 3 deal with ADMIRATION of the Lord and APPETITE for him. Chapter 6 explains the importance of shaping prayer from SCRIPTURE and chapters 7 to 11 give the how to. Building AGREEMENT in group prayer is found in chapter 12.
One prayer growth boost option is for the group to work through the book together, meeting regularly to do the following:
- Read a segment from the book (together, or individually before the scheduled meeting)
- Discuss insights, challenges, lessons or questions
- Pray together, practicing the truths or lessons from the segment read.
Each chapter ends with a Ponder & Practise section which can either be done together, or as a personal exercise.
Growth will happen, both in group prayer and in the individual prayer lives.
Globally, the book is available on Amazon and other online bookstores in various formats.
If you would like to see what people who have read the book are saying, click here: http://wingspanprayer.org/books/