We’ve all probably heard this: prayer is simple, even a child can do it. It’s true. Prayer isn’t meant to be complex and confusing; its simplicity makes it doable for everyone. However, we shouldn’t confuse simple with superficial.

Prayer forms the core of our love connection with the Lord. The relationship grows from the centre; zero change in the core stunts growth in the relationship. Intimacy with the Lord is the most satisfying, enjoyable, energizing, life-changing reality. But unless it becomes real in the core it won’t become a life experience.

Participants in the divine nature – that’s mind-blowing! After mentioning this too-big-to-grasp truth about our union with the Lord (2 Peter 1:4), Peter doesn’t try to explain it (who can?), but gives an instruction: keep adding, keep growing. Every level of growth becomes a framework for the next. Prayer is a journey in the fullness of God, so our growth potential is unlimited! Settling for superficial means we miss the adventure.

Prayer life sets the pace in our Spirit-managed journey of growing. Our prayer core is restless to keep moving higher. When kept at ground level sameness, it mourns the loss of movement. Prayer grace has a built-in reach for more, always more. It loves simplicity, but won’t settle for superficial. Of course, we can cage it or clip its wings through busyness and distraction, but that grace will keep singing inside us of what can be; of the more, the higher, the levels of enjoying God that don’t come by quick impartation, but by growing as a pray-er.

Upgrading knowledge and skills is a good investment. We do it in important areas of living, yet life’s prayer core is often overlooked. Prayer life doesn’t have an auto-upgrade feature; it grows because we take steps. Christ’s early disciples knew that. Their Teach us to pray (Luke 11:1) wasn’t a request for a beginner’s prayer course. They saw Jesus enjoying prayer at levels beyond their own, and they wanted to go there.

Growth in prayer life takes more than desire; it requires action steps. But the practical steps and disciplines have a short life span unless our hearts sign on to the journey. So the starting place – whether a new journey or revived one – is not the to-do list, but the desire to move on in prayer. And the best way to nurture desire for prayer growth is to pray it. Suggestion: read Luke 11:1 a few times, then let the disciples’ request become your own prayer of desire: “Teach me to pray”. Speak it, sing it, ponder it and (although he knows it already) tell the Lord how weak or strong that desire is. Use it as a ‘breath prayer’ – repeat it throughout the day. How long? Open-ended. When DESIRE for prayer life growth is kept alive, it draws the WILL into taking steps.

A resource for prayer growth: click here for your copy of Shaped for Prayer Enjoyment