Can you hear me now?

A few years ago, I was sitting in my truck praying and asking God for direction in a specific area of my life. As I finished praying, I started the engine and turned on the radio. I had just asked the Creator of the universe to speak to me, but I wasn’t willing to listen. When he answered, I was going to make him compete with a sports-radio talk-show host.

How is your prayer life? Take a moment and reread that question and think before you answer it so quickly. How is your prayer life? Prayer is one of the greatest gifts we have as Christ-followers, and yet if we were to be honest, it is probably an area that all of us could improve upon. I have learned that one of the keys to a vibrant prayer life is to keep your prayers relational rather than just one more thing to check off your daily list of things that you do in order to be a good Christian.

Having a check-list of prayers isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially considering how busy our lives can become as we strive to balance family and ministry, but the danger comes when we focus more on completing the task of prayer rather than spending time in dialogue with our loving heavenly Father. When we allow our prayers to be limited to a checklist, our prayer life can easily become a monologue with us doing all the talking. If we intentionally focus on having a relational prayer life, we are more likely to have a dialogue, which involves us talking and listening.

As we focus specifically on EMPOWER for the next two years, would you accept a challenge—a challenge to EMPOWER your prayer life, a challenge to spend more time in prayerful dialogue with your Creator?

Recommended Books on Prayer
The Kneeling Christian, by An Unknown Christian
Rees Howells: Intercessor, by Norman Grubb
The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence
Experiencing Prayer with Jesus, by Henry and Norman Blackaby
My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers
Too Busy Not to Pray, by Bill Hybels
Prayer Coach: For All Who Want to Get off the Bench and onto the Praying Field, by James L. Nicodem

Prayer Apps for your Smart Phone
For iOS:
Pocket Prayer Pro ($1.99; free version available)
Prayer Notes ($0.99; free version available)
For Android:
Prayer List (free)
Prayer Journal ($0.99)

Written by Adam Rentas who is a Youth Ministry Team member and the youth pastor at First Church of God in Vero Beach, Florida.

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