In chapter 14 of “Living a Prayer Filled Life,” Andrew Murray gives us some very practical steps for implementing a consistent time of private prayer. I was really blessed by these thoughts. I hope it will be a help to you also.
- As you enter a time of private prayer, let your first focus be to give thanks to God for the unspeakable love that invites you to come to Him and to converse freely with Him. Think too of the Holy Spirit, who was given to enable you to cry, “Abba, Father” in your heart and to help your faltering prayer. Five minutes spent in this way will strengthen your faith. Once more I say: Begin with an act of thanksgiving, and praise God for your place of prayer and the promise of blessing there.
- You must prepare yourself for prayer by Bible study. it is a dialogue, where God’s child listens to what the Father says, replies to it, and then makes his requests known. Read a few verses from the Bible. Do not concern yourself with the difficulties contained in them. You can consider these later; but take what you do understand, apply it to yourself, and ask the Father to make His Word light and power in your heart. Prayerful study of the Bible is indispensable for powerful prayer.
- When you have thus received the Word into your heart, turn to serious prayer. Prayer in our own strength brings no blessing. Do not be satisfied with going over the same things every day. No child goes on saying the same thing day after day to his earthly father. Let your prayer be so definite that you can say as you go out, “I know what I have asked of my Father, and I expect an answer.” But also keep in mind that selfishness is the death of prayer.
- Become an intercessor. Remember your family; your church with its many interests and endeavors; your own neighborhood; your friends. Let your heart be enlarged and take up the interests of missions and of the church throughout the world. As you become an intercessor, you will experience for the first time the blessedness of being used of God to bless others through prayer. Thus the inner room will become a wonder of God’s goodness and a fountain of great joy
- The attitude of the inner prayer room must remain with us all day. The object of secret prayer is to unite us to God that we may know His abiding presence with us. The inner room is intended to bind man to God, to supply him with power from God, and to enable him to live for God alone. Thank God for that place and for the blessed life that He will enable you there to experience and nourish.
It has been my practice for some time for my personal time in the Word to be the foundation for what I pray for and share with others. While I still have a long way to go from having that attitude remain with Him through the whole day and “abiding in his presence” throughout the day, these thoughts encouraged me.