If done properly and biblically, prayer becomes your launching pad to living a life that is beyond even your wildest desires. That's what happened to Hannah praying for a son. Her prayer was answered because of her strategy. A strong prayer life will literally launch you into another dimension! In theory, we know this.
In practice, most of us struggle to have a consistent, vibrant, and refreshing prayer life. I too have struggled with my prayer life. Interestingly enough, I never misunderstood the supernatural power and effect that prayer would have. I can think my solid upbringing for that. But it wasn't until I understood the strategy for prayer that I could translate what I knew in theory into real, refreshing practice. What did I do?
1. I created a prayer agenda. I became very clear about what I needed to pray about. Now, my basic prayer focus remains the same daily and weekly. There is also an on-going list that I have that can be editing throughout the week. This helps the believer because you never have to start praying and wonder what you're going to pray about. For example, every Sunday we are specifically covering our family in prayer. Do we pray for our family other days? Yes, we do. But intentionally, we cover our family on Sundays.
2. I set appointments for prayer. All of us would admit that life is busy and our days can move quickly. Before we know it, it's Friday and we've been overwhelmed by all that took place that week. As we set all kinds of meetings, we can also set personal prayer meetings. These meetings may range in length, but when you can put it on your calendar and make it a consistent appointment, you will find yourself developing your day and expectations around your prayer time. You should be sure to guard this time as you would any other appointment. As we rearrange other things around scheduled meetings, let's do the same for prayer.
3. I intentionally unplug. Most of us have gotten spoiled from today's technologies attached to our waists, ears, or handbags. We've really gotten spoiled by the ready access to people's lives through today's social networks. But, we've got to be willing to unplug (disconnect) during our appointment with God. At one point in society, it was taboo to interrupt meetings to answer your phones and messages.
Unfortunately, in many places this isn't the case anymore. And to a greater extent, we've brought this same undisciplined approach to prayer. It was interesting to me that we were taught to pray with our eyes closed. And while there is no biblical mandate to always do this, sometimes it is helpful in order to discipline us to block out distractions. God is starved for our undivided attention.
4. Take the trash out. Prayer is not something that just involves a list of memorized scriptures. Your body and mind are involved. If you're mind is preoccupied with other life realities, it will be very difficult for you to prayer with a clear mind. As you enter your prayer time, come into it with a clear your mind. One of the best ways to clear your mind is by giving God the things on your mind.