13 Ways to Take Your Prayer to the Next Level
Next Level Prayer – Part 2
Our goal is to define what prayer looks like when one prays so that we can have a starting point for taking it to the next-level. If “normal” prayer, which is few, mundane, like a chore, with no structure, and with little effort, has produced the results we currently are seeing, what would happen if you took prayer to the next-level?
In order to get to a desired, predetermined destination, there are two points you must have before you can set the course: point 1) where you are, and point 2) where you want to go. In order to take prayer to the next level, one must come face-to-face with not where you think you are, but where one really is. In “Next Level Prayer” we have thirteen topics which we will discuss. In each, we’ll define where we are and give ideas on how to take them to the next level. Keep in mind these lessons are not intended to reveal where we’ve gone wrong or missed it, but rather to take your current prayer practices (where you are) and knowledge of prayer to the next level (where you desire to be).
With that said, allow me to give you a brief summary of the thirteen topics we will cover.
- Topic 1 – What Prayer Looks Like to You
In this first message, I begin a little strong. I’ve learned that if you begin strong and end strong people will stay with you to the end. In this message, I ask a couple of questions to get you to begin to think outside the box. The first question is this, “who taught you how to pray?” When you think about the answer you may discover that no one has really taught you how to pray, and those you saw pray weren’t taught either. If this is the case, wouldn’t that mean you might not know what you think you know?
- Topic 2 – Prayer 101
In college the 101 level class is the beginner course for a college student. This makes an assumption that we’re talking about the basics. Unfortunately as it relates to prayer, most of us are not at level 101, but rather Prayer 099 level. The reason is because like a college student, we must enroll in a 101 level class in order to have a 101 understanding of the subject which is not basic knowledge. In this message we will introduce you to prayer 101.
- Topic 3 – Talking to God verses Praying
It’s easy to generalize prayer, but there are a few problems we encounter when we do so. To help you see the problem, we ask the question, did Adam pray? The reason this question is important is because what I realized in studying Adam and more so Moses. Moses talked to God with regularity and at other times he prayed. Therefore there is a difference between talking to God and prayer.
- Topic 4 – The Sport of Prayer
This concept sounds strange, but you’ll understand it better when we compare prayer to the sport of football. Since prayer is so diverse and what I mean by that is, if Adam spoke with God (prayed) and Moses spoke with God (prayed), they didn’t do it the same. It’s like players on a football team. You have running backs, receivers, defensive backs, etc. Each player has a different gifting therefore their functions are different. Prayer is the same way, but in this section we talk more about training for prayer, its exercise regimen, and game day for prayer.
- Topic 5 – The Business of Prayer
I’ve often been asked the question, can I pray for an hour? In fact, I can pray for many hours. My response to such a question is this, why can’t you pray for an hour?
If you see your life as your business (You Inc.) given to you by God, then your prayer time should include reporting to Him how this business is doing as well as getting from Him what your business should be doing. I’ll stop there and let you think about that. This is next level prayer.
- Topic 6 – The Environment (Places We Pray)
While I believe one should have a place where to converse with God uninterrupted, I also believe in being able to talk to Him anywhere as He is everywhere. Nehemiah was standing before the King and prayed before he answered the king’s question. Are you limiting your prayer time to prayer at church or even prayer over your mean? In this section, I use a quote Pamela gave me, “the only person who can’t hear from God is the one who doesn’t know what to listen for.” I use this because most of us pray, but few are in a position or place to listen for a response.
- Topic 7 – Praying in a “Manner”
I have to admit that Pamela didn’t like this title I chose to use here, but once I explained it she was okay with it. Jesus described a manner in which one could pray when He was teaching His disciples how to pray. What’s interesting here is that they had a direct conversation with God on earth, but saw John’s disciples speaking with the God of Heaven. It was this that caught their attention and motivated them to have a desire for the same. Is your “manner” of prayer, causing others to want to pray to God in Heaven?
- Topic 8 – Executing Like a Team: Praying with Others
In the sport of football, the game has to be won as a team, the same is true in our faith. We are a part of a body. As well as praying apart, we have to know how to pray together. Just like in sports, there are rules of play and there are penalties when you break the rules. In executing like a team you must know the players on the team and the positions in which they play, if you want to be successful and win the championship.
- Topic 9 – Offensive/Defensive Prayer
I know you’ve heard the term “spiritual warfare.” But what if that term doesn’t exist in scripture? It’s a term I’ve learned to stay away from. In fact, I don’t really like that term because it implies a type of prayer that we might not want to engage in.
We’ve come up with a better way of looking at doing “spiritual warfare” and that’s to use offensive and defensive prayer. Offensive prayer is prayer that helps move things forward or down the field of play. While defensive prayers are prayers prayed to defend or keep the opponent from advancing or keeping one from reaching the goal.
- Topic 10 – Prayer Interferences
I am sure you know there are many things that can interfere with your ability to pray. How many distractions can you think of that hinder you from praying as an individual? What inferences can you name that interfere with us praying as a group? How about a family? If you allow your prayer or conversation with God to be interrupted, what does that say about what you think of God?
- Topic 11 – Ordinary Next Level Prayer : Prayer & Fasting and Speaking in Tongues
Now this one is a touchy subject. Because we are the least educated or studied in either case which leaves an ordinary individual to get it wrong. While we know scripture speaks of prayer & fasting, why is it that we don’t fast and pray? And next, let’s not forget tongues; this is one of the topics the average person has very little knowledge about. We have some who say they’re the expert, but at the same time use this gift in an unscriptural manner. Let’s take these practices to the next level.
- Topic 12 – Praying for a Miracle (i.e. Healing)
This won’t shock you to know that most prayer requests are requests for miracles. Here’s the challenge. How many times have you seen a miracle given in response to prayer? How many times have you seen a miracle performed when someone prayed? Next level thinking says that a believer should not be the one asking for a miracle, it’s the believers job to perform miracles. Such requests, our really big prayers, are what I call thirty-thousand-foot prayer and they require work.
- Topic 13 – I Prayed and God Let Me Down
We all have them, let-downs in prayer, and we all have felt that God let us down in prayer. Most give up on prayer when this occurs, but what if we totally missed it and misunderstood what was going on behind the scenes? In this message, we look at a few sets of prayers using several examples of how to handle prayers that let us down. This my friend is what you’ve been waiting on. This is Next-Level-Prayer!
Now that we’ve given you what you can expect throughout this study in “next level prayer”, are you ready to go on this journey with us?
Question: are you ready to take your prayer to the next level?