By Adrian Rogers
One of the greatest invitations to prayer ever given to anyone was when Jeremiah was in prison for preaching the truth. God reached into his prison cell with both a command and an invitation.
Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3)
Prayer Is a Command
God takes the initiative: “Call unto Me.” Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray.” Paul said, “Pray without ceasing.” God says to Jeremiah, “Call Me!”
Have you ever had an important person give you their unlisted number and say, “Call me”? That’s a great privilege. God did just that with Jeremiah. And in this verse He offers us His private number saying, “Call Me.”
There’s not one of us who cannot contact heaven. Never say in a situation, “There’s nothing I can do.” You can pray. It’s our greatest source of untapped power!
Every failure in our lives is a prayer failure. There’s no sin that proper prayer would not have avoided, no need prayer cannot meet. Note this well: your spiritual life will never rise above your prayer life. We must learn to pray—and then pray. A dozen seminars on prayer are worthless if you don’t pray. I want to share 10 lessons I’ve learned about prayer.
- Make prayer a habit. When you fail, start over, day by day by day, until prayer becomes a habit.
- Designate a time and place where you regularly go to pray.
- Make that time and place the most optimal for you. Find the time when your mind is keenest, your attention strongest.
- Take your Bible, notebook, pen, and devotional materials. It’s unthinkable for me to have a quiet time without a Bible and notebook. I expect God to say something. If He does, I want to write it down. The weakest ink is better than the best memory.
- Begin by reading God’s Word. Don’t pray, then read the Bible. Read the Bible, then pray. What God says to you is more important than what you say to God. Your prayer will be enlivened and instructed when you get into the Word of God.
- Learn to pray about things all through the day. “Pray without ceasing.”
- Keep a record of your requests and answered prayers in a journal. When you look back, you’ll be incredibly blessed to see how many prayers God has answered. A prayer journal will increase your faith.
- Put on the whole armor of God. Prayer is warfare. The doorbell rings, you get sleepy, your mind wanders. Hell’s artillery will come against you when you pray, so…
- If you’re by yourself, pray out loud. My mind wants to wander when I pray. Vocalizing your prayers keeps your mind from wandering.
- If it does wander, pray about that thing. Thoughts will come to you like: I must remember that; I need to do this. If the thing drawing your attention away from prayer is that important, evidently it’s really on your mind, so pray about it. The distraction becomes the focal point of my prayer. Then I return to my original prayer.
Remember the all-powerful Person you’re praying to. Jeremiah realized, “…Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power…there is nothing too hard for Thee: Thou showest lovingkindness unto thousands…the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is His name.” Jeremiah 32:17-18
God can do anything He wishes. There’s no prayer too hard for God to answer, no problem too big to solve, no person too lost to save, no promise too difficult to keep. Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.
Prayer is your guided missile. It can be fired from any spot. It travels undetected at the speed of thought. It hits the target every time. And if you don’t see the answer right away, remember it can have delayed detonation. Satan has no defense against your prayers. There is no anti-prayer missile.
God promises, “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”—things exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.