Search

How to Deepen Your Prayer Life

Talking to God through prayer is an incredible gift and privilege. No topic is off-limits in prayer, and we can take all our needs to Him. Because God created us, He desires to hear from us and have a relationship with us.

Knowing how to improve your prayer life can be challenging. How exactly should we approach prayer? How should we focus our prayers, and what kind of response should we expect from God?

What Is the Purpose of Prayer?

Prayer is how we communicate with God. There are prayers of praise, prayers of sorrow, prayers of joy, and prayers of thanksgiving recorded throughout the Bible. Ultimately, prayer is about your relationship with the Lord. Just like you cannot strengthen your relationship with a friend without having conversations, you cannot grow in your relationship with God if you are not talking to Him. To draw closer to God, you must learn how to deepen your prayer life. 

Prayer is also an act of worship. It is how we communicate our awe and reverence for who God is and what He has done. When we pray, our focus should be on God, not ourselves. Jesus gave us the ultimate model for prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, and His prayers are recorded so that we can learn how to communicate with God. 

Modeling Our Prayer Life After Jesus

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus demonstrates what we should pray, who we should pray for, and how we should pray to deepen our relationship with the Lord. By following His example, you can deepen your prayer life. 

  •  “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word…”—John 17:20

Jesus prayed for His disciples and those who would believe in Him because of their testimonies. 

  • “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’”—Matthew 26:39

Jesus prayed for God to take away the pain and suffering He would endure on the cross, but He surrendered Himself to God’s will because He trusted God’s plan.

  • “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”—Luke 6:12

Jesus prayed to spend time with God. He spent hours and sometimes the whole night talking with God as He went about His earthly ministry. 

  • “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.”—Matthew 14:23

Jesus withdrew from the crowds to pray in a quiet place. He sought quiet moments to spend time alone with His Father. 

7 Ways to Deepen Your Prayer Life

Jesus set a perfect example of what our prayer life should look like. He prayed daily, sought quiet spaces, trusted God’s will, and interceded for others. Following His example, here are 7 practical ways to deepen your prayer life and create a more intimate relationship with God.

1. Make prayer your priority.  

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Praying without ceasing seems daunting, but God wants us to have a prayerful attitude and a willingness to seek Him. Having a specific place to go for intentional daily quiet time can help you start your day in a prayerful mindset. You might also want to post sticky notes or prayer requests around your house as a reminder to talk to God throughout your day. 

We don’t simply fall into a better prayer life. Just as with any other relationship, deepening your prayer life requires an investment of time and intentionality. Staying mindful of God’s presence and constantly communicating with Him in all our activities helps us draw closer to Him.

2. Use prayer as an opportunity to learn more about God.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”—Proverbs 9:10

God wants to reveal Himself to us so we can know Him better. Asking God to teach you more about Himself is an incredible way to learn more about the heart of the Father

As you understand more of God’s character, you will develop reverence and respect for His holiness. That’s what this verse is talking about. Respecting God, recognizing His power, and knowing His character will bring wisdom and understanding to believers.

A man sitting outside praying near water.

3. Pray for God to align your will with His.

“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.”—Psalm 143:10

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus was focused on doing the will of the Father. He sacrificed His life on the cross because it was God’s will, but before He went, He prayed that God’s will would be done and not His own. 

The goal of our prayer lives should be to make us more in tune with God’s will for our lives. When we ask God to help us do His will, we should expect Him to show us things we need to change in our lives. We might discover that God calls us to obey and do hard things. Even so, God is faithful in giving us the strength to obey. 

4. Reflect on God’s faithfulness when praying.

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”—Lamentations 3:22-23

God is faithful to care for us, provide for us, answer our prayers, and guide us. Our job is to convey our gratitude to Him for all He has done. Keeping a journal that allows you to record how He has answered prayers is a great way to remember His faithfulness. 

When you pray, spend time offering God praise for His faithfulness. Starting your prayers with praise prepares your heart for how He might want to use you. Your prayer life will benefit tremendously when you have a heart open to hearing what God has to say.

5. Don’t feel you must have all the right words when you pray.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”—Romans 8:26

We often lack the right words to bring to God and don’t know what to pray for in certain situations. God kindly reminds us that we don’t need to have all the right words. He knows your needs and wants you to voice your dependence on Him. 

Admitting that you don’t have the words adds a layer of transparency and honesty to your prayer life. If you struggle to find the words to pray, you can say, “I don’t even know what to do or say right now; I just need You.” 

6. Listen to how God responds to your prayers.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”—John 10:27 

How do we know what God is saying in response to our prayers? Prayer is not a one-way conversation and should never be treated as such. God uses His word, wise counsel from other believers, and the Holy Spirit to communicate with us. We need to be ready to hear from Him in these ways and be obedient to what He says. 

7. Pray with others.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”—Proverbs 27:17

Having a group of people to pray with can add accountability to your prayer life. Godly friends can encourage you to stay faithful in prayer even if you are struggling, and they can rejoice with you when you experience answers in unexpected ways.

Takeaway

Prayer allows us to draw closer to God and opens our hearts to receive His will for our lives. Jesus made a way for us to communicate directly with God the Father through His sacrifice on the cross. You can deepen your prayer life when you make it your daily priority to invest time and intentionality into your walk with God.