The following content was adapted from our Pre-Prayer Webinar! This free two-hour training walks through how to use your prayer journal and gives practical tips for overcoming four major obstacles to prayer, including “unbelief” which you’ll read about below! To watch the full webinar, click here.
Prayer is absolutely dependent on faith. It has virtually no existence apart from it and accomplishes nothing unless it is faith’s inseparable companion. – EM BOUNDS
We’ve talked to lots of people over the years about prayer and one common struggle we hear is feeling like they are missing out on what other pray-ers say they experience. Do you pray consistently but feel like your words bounce right back to you?
If you’ve felt the same way as so many others, I want to start at the beginning to see if we can identify why that is. Because truly, though every conversation isn’t explosive or mind-blowing, praying to the God of the Universe should have an impact on us.
So, we will start here, with something so basic it can easily be overlooked. You might start wondering if your technique is wrong or you are saying the wrong words, but the first question to wrestle with is:
DO I REALLY BELIEVE THAT GOD CAN WORK?
DO I HAVE FAITH MY PRAYER CHANGES ANYTHING?
If we aren’t praying while believing that God can work, we really are just talking to a wall. In order to start seeing him work, we have to come to a place of faith. Even when Jesus came to his hometown of Nazareth, “he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matthew 13:58) This absence of belief stopped miracles from happening and that can be so true in our own lives too.
Here are 6 practical ways that we can increase our belief and start seeing God work
1. Ask for it
In Luke 17:5, the disciples said, “Lord, increase our faith.” It’s as simple as that. Pray for the Lord to up your belief. It’s a simple request that probably makes his heart smile. Know that he will always hear and respond to a prayer like that.
2. Read the Word
This is non-negotiable. If you want to increase your faith, you have to be in the Word. I would suggest starting with John. I have been reading John in a more in-depth way and pulling out themes and the word “believe” is all over this book because that was his specific aim when writing it. And I think that as you read it, it will inspire your own faith in God.
3. Step into obedience
There might be something that you are afraid to do right now, but when we step out in obedience that’s an act of faith. A lot of times we have to take action before the thoughts are going to change.
4. Recount past faithfulness
When we are reminded that God has worked in the past, it will increase our faith in the future. We love using our Prayer Memoirs for keeping track of how God has been at work in your story.
5. Be honest like David
Don’t shut God out. Don’t think that he won’t understand or won’t want to hear it. Read the Psalms. Read how David prayed and let that inspire your own prayers and honesty with him.
6. Count gratitudes
Start looking for what God is doing in your life and it will radically change you. A lot of times we don’t even realize what God is already doing because we aren’t looking for it. This is such a practical way to increase your faith. We include a whole tabbed section for tracking gratitudes in our Yearly Prayer Journal.
If you found this content helpful, we’d love to keep encouraging you in your prayer journey! We created our online course to be an in-depth guide on developing a confident and consistent prayer life. Its 9 modules contain about 3-4 videos each to help you focus in on different aspects like listening for God’s voice, practically inserting prayer into your daily schedule, praying in a group, trying different techniques and more. Click here to learn all about it!