Hot things cool down. This is true about our prayer lives. In case you’ve forgotten, being “lukewarm” about God is not good. Apart from our treatment of people, nothing reflects our love (or lack of love) for God more than our prayer lives. But we all struggle with cultivating a vibrant prayer life – and with it, love for God. Does your prayer life need CPR? Here are some suggestions I’ve learned from my own failures. My hope is that in sharing them, you may succeed.
“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” – Jesus, Revelation 3:16
- FORGIVE PEOPLE – Nothing screams “I don’t love God!” more than “I don’t care about people!” (Have you read 1 John 2:9-11 lately?). Nothing will hinder your prayer life more than unforgiveness, bitterness and hatred. If you are struggling with these things, resolving them must be the number one priority of your life. If you allow yourself to get stuck here, everything in your life is stuck. Don’t kid yourself. There is a direct correlation between your ability to pray and your love for people.
“. . . the best translation of the Bible is the one you actually read.”
- SHAKE IT UP – Nothing makes praying (which is to walk with God) more boring than being ritualistic about it. While it is great to get into a routine of prayer, make sure your routine does not become your master. It’s a sure prescription for legalism and boredom. Try praying in a different location. Start taking prayer walks. Read the Bible, then immediately go for a walk and pray about what you just read. Read a different Bible translation. There is a lot of debate these days over the “best” translations out there. The truth is, the majority of our English translations are pretty doggone good. The best translation of the Bible is the one you actually read.
“Prayer doesn’t make you righteous; prayer is a behavior of people who have been forgiven.”
- REMEMBER THAT PRAYER DOES NOT MAKE YOU RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD. It’s the grace of God, through faith, that makes you righteous (See Ephesians 2:8-9). As you develop or rediscover prayer, it can be common to start thinking you are hot stuff because of your prayer life. You can begin to think more highly of yourself because you are praying often. Prayer doesn’t make you righteous; prayer is a behavior of people who have simply been forgiven. Prayer is what people do when they are grateful to God for His love, forgiveness and fresh start.
- BASE YOUR PRAYERS ON THE BIBLE – Need fuel in your prayer tank? There is plenty within the pages of the Bible. Read passages of the Bible and pray them back to God. They speak about Who God really is and what He is really like, who you really are, how to treat others, how to enjoy life, overcome struggles, walk in victory. If you are going through it – or about to go through it – it’s in the Bible. Base your prayers on the Bible and your prayer tank will get a fresh refill of things to pray about and focus upon.
Does your prayer life need CPR? Which one of the above tips can help you get a fresh start?