For the past couple of weeks the women’s bible study at my church has been studying Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. The book teaches the practice of strategic prayer by planning and writing out your prayer beforehand. I’ll admit, before reading the book, I was skeptical about the idea of “planning” my prayers. But since reading the book and implementing the strategies Shirer talks about I’ve found the practice to be cathartic and motivating.
Think about all the things that happen to us throughout the day that distract us from focusing on God. Strategic prayer can be used to address those areas we where we want to see more of God as well as allow Him in to change our perspective. Planning out prayers gives us the opportunity to be more focused in what we ask God to do in our lives and more focused on our spiritual development.
Here are 5 additional Reasons to use strategic prayer:
1. Overcome Distractions
We plan out our prayer time, we find our quiet space, but once the time comes, we are distracted by outside and internal forces. Phones ring, kids, significant others can be intrusive. Our minds wander, and sometimes we can struggle to find the words to express our thoughts and feelings to God.
It can be difficult to pray the way you really want to when you’re tired. Whether early in the morning or late at night staying focused enough in prayer to say everything you want to say might not always happen.
3. Help With Remembering
Have you ever offered to pray for someone or had someone ask you to keep them in your prayers? Do you always remember who or even what you’re suppose to be praying for? Keeping track of who you need to pray for and putting together prayers for those people helps keep you focused and honest.
4. Spiritual Empowerment
My favorite part of strategic prayer has been using God’s words. The act of finding scripture to fit what I’m praying for is empowering. It gets me in my word, and allows me to remember and learn what God has to say about the matter.
If you have trouble making prayer a daily part of your life, writing them down will help you make a daily routine of it. You can pray certain prayers each day of the week. Prayers for yourself, prayers for you family, friends, co-workers and the problems you’re struggling with. It’s great for when you don’t know what to pray, you can pull out a prayer you’ve already written.
Passage from Fervent
“Praying with precision is key. When we pray about the places where we seriously suspect the enemy is at work—that’s how we keep our prayers focused, not only on particular situations but on biblical truths that are consistent with maintaining victory in the midst of them. It’s how our praying stays integrated with reality, rather than aimlessly wandering down a side, spiritual hallway that never seems to connect with the living room, where we, you know…live. It’s how we keep our whole selves engaged and alert trusting God for the right things, confident He’s giving them, able to sense His direction about what to do and then take action accordingly” (Shirer, 2015 pg. 3-4).
Sometimes I do feel like I pray aimlessly. I’m trying to include certain things, I don’t know how to put what I’m feeling into words or I feel like I’m just saying words. Infusing my prayers with scripture has helped with that a great deal, even if I don’t know just how to say it, I allow scripture to speak for me. As a result I feel more connected to what God wants for me.
Have you tried strategic prayer? How has it helped your prayer life? (If it helped)