Four Keys to Consistent Prayer
by Adam Wittenberg
Prayer is the Christian’s call, but life is so busy. In our ever-changing world, where distractions arise and schedules shift, there are lots of obstacles to a consistent prayer life. The good news is you’re not the only one to face these challenges!
Long before Mike Bickle started the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, he was a young man struggling to pray. He actually didn’t like prayer! But one of his leaders suggested two things that helped transform his prayer life: scheduling prayer times and making a prayer list.
Let’s look at some tips that can help almost anyone (even weak or not-yet believers) grow in prayer, because the more we talk with God the better we’ll be able to speak about Him to others.
Ask God’s Help
Ask God to help you make time for regular prayer. This may sound simple, but it actually works. The Lord gives wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5), and He will help you as you come to Him.
Jesus knew what it was like to have many things to do and a lot of demands on Him, yet He found time to pray; it was the very foundation of His ministry (Mark 6:30–46). The Lord knows your challenges and will give you grace because He is good (Hebrews 4:14–16).
Put prayer in your schedule. Create a recurring event in your calendar. Actually do this! If you treat prayer like an important meeting or appointment (which it is) then you’ll be much more likely to keep it. You won’t keep it perfectly all the time, but you will pray much more if it’s on your calendar.
Here, you can make technology your friend: if you use a calendar on your computer or phone, set a reminder and alert that it’s time to pray. Then turn your phone on silent or airplane mode to minimize distraction. You can even set an alert for the end of your prayer time, so that you can remain focused while you are praying. Tuning out distraction will help us “tune in” to God and hear His voice better.
Make a Prayer List
A list helps us keep steady in praying for the specific people, nations, or issues that God has placed on our hearts. While the Spirit can move at any time, a list will help focus our prayers and make it easier to get started—and stay consistent—while we wait for the answer to come.
Keeping an actual list, written or in your phone, will increase celebration when your requests are answered. Imagine looking over it after a few months, or at the end of the year, and seeing great change in those individuals because you didn’t quit! God honors persistence, as we see from the widow in Luke 18:1–8.
Stick with it. Like going to the gym, the “muscles” of prayer don’t develop overnight. Every new habit takes time to develop, so be disciplined and “don’t despise the day of small beginnings” (Zechariah 4:10). If it would help you to stay more consistent in prayer, why not ask a peer or more mature believer to keep you accountable to your schedule? They may have other ideas to help you grow in prayer.
In his book Growing in Prayer, Mike Bickle says, “As we come to know God as our tender Father and Jesus as the Bridegroom King, we are energized to seek God with all our strength and to experience new delight in our relationship with Him.”
Prayer is a key part of God’s plan to release forerunner messengers across the earth, preparing the way for Jesus’ return. In an hour of increasing darkness, the Lord is calling believers to behold Him, become who He made them to be, and boldly declare Him to others.
If this stirs your heart, we invite you to Onething: four days of passionate worship, anointed teaching, and ministry in the Holy Spirit’s power. Join Todd White, Francis Chan, Mike Bickle, Allen Hood, Jeremy Riddle and Hunter Thompson of Bethel Music, Bryan and Katie Torwalt of Jesus Culture, 20,000 young adults, and others, Dec. 28–31, in Kansas City. Behold, become, and declare! Learn more »
A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.