As Christians, most of us understand the importance of prayer but don’t always include it in every area of our lives. But the truth is, prayer belongs in every area of our lives—the happiness, the sadness, the decision-making, the pain, the confusion, the chaos, the contentment, the growth, etc.
We hope the following stories that we’ve heard from Christian educators will encourage you. Their stories demonstrate how prayer has positively impacted their lives—spiritually, physically, and emotionally. We hope they encourage you to always rely on prayer just as you rely on the air you breathe!
A healthy prayer life energizes, refreshes, and draws us closer to the Lord. Our relationship with Him becomes stronger as our communication with Him becomes more and more interactive. This type of prayer takes practice and patience. But a healthy prayer life is well worth the effort.
Need a little inspiration? CEAI Executive Director, David Schmus, and his wife, Elizabeth, developed a daily prayer outline entitled “Prayer TRAILS” to guide Christian educators toward a more intimate, healthier prayer life.
Begin your prayer time with: “Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, I come to spend time in Your presence. In the name of Jesus, I silence the voice of the enemy and ask You to reveal Yourself to me.”
Thanksgiving (1 Thess 5:16-18)Thank the Lord for His blessings! Thank Him for His attributes like His love, justice, and mercy. And thank Him for the various ways those attributes have manifested in your life and experiences. Thank Him for the people, opportunities, callings, and provisions He has placed in your life, and be specific.
Repent (1 John 1:9)Ask the Lord to reveal any sin of which you need to repent. Then be quiet for a moment to listen. Confess what He reveals as sin, ask for forgiveness, and ask for help to make different choices. Finally, rather than beating yourself up and letting the enemy keep you in shame, receive His cleansing and favor as one who can approach the throne of grace with confidence (Heb. 4:16).
Ask (Phil 4:6)Bring your requests to God and ask Him to help you pray according to His will. Suggestions: Pray for your family, friends, and others in need. Pray for financial provision, wisdom, and guidance for decision-making. Ask Him to open and close doors in your life. Ask for divine appointments and courage to step out in faith. He wants us to ask (Matt 7:11)!
Intercede (1 Tim 2:1-2)Move into praying more broadly for God’s purposes in your community, church, region/state, nation, and world. Pray that God would open hearts and minds to the gospel; anoint government, church, and institutional leaders with wisdom; and set fire to the hearts of believers to plant churches, transform cultures, impact cities, and launch movements.
Listen (John 10:27)While we believe that every step of prayer is led by His Spirit, it is important to intentionally stop and make space for God to speak to us. Prayer is not meant to be a speech to God; it is designed by God to be interactive. Don’t be afraid to ask God very specific questions. Always judge what you hear by the standard of Scripture and wise counselors, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear anything. Keep asking Him to speak and posturing your heart to listen. Over time, you will learn the unique ways God speaks to you.
Surrender (Matt 16:25)Close your prayer time with a renewed intention to surrender your life to Him. Hold nothing back. Give Him everything. If you find yourself struggling to let God lead certain aspects of your life, ask Him for the courage to surrender control. You will not regret letting Him lead your life.
We hope that “Prayer TRAILS” will guide you through your devoted prayer time, but remember that your conversation with Him can continue all day long. As Spirit-filled followers of Christ, we can pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). This means that we can continue interacting with the Lord in our spirit throughout our day, inviting Him into our conversations with others, our work, our activities, and our decisions.
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