Using Simple Triggers to Take Prayer to the Next Level
The Environment for Prayer – Part 4
I need to take every opportunity to remind you that these lessons on next-level prayer are not discrediting the practices, rituals, routines, and habits you have for prayer. However, I believe that everything we do should improve. I was having a conversation with a guy I mentor and a general conversation I might add, and he mentioned his “quiet time.” Those words alone sounded like an alarm going off in my mind. After asking him to describe his “quiet time,” I asked him to never use those words again. My reason behind this was simple. I didn’t want someone with the influence he has to minimize prayer by calling it “quiet time.” “Quiet time” is something we say to our children so they’re not making noise. In order for us to be salt and light to the world, we have to be responsible and with intentionality, promote prayer. If people like him, me, or you are not willing to promote prayer then who will? We decided to be more intentional about being examples. The world around us is showing us everyday what they stand for. It’s time we stand for what we stand for. Say this with me. It’s okay that I’m a pray-er (person who prays).
We will use every practice, ritual, routine, and habit, take it to the next level, and intentionally use them to promote what we stand for. In this case, we’re standing for next level prayer.
The old way is an opportunity to go to the next level.
We are going to build upon what we already know and have been taught on prayer. We would all agree that we were taught by somebody who started the journey prior to us like a grandmother, great grandmother, a mom, or a dad. I use the words “taught us” loosely as you already know we’re rarely taught how to pray. While I’m here, who taught you to pray?
Look at it this way, no one stops with learning at first grade math, they move on to second grade. So often, we’ve learned first-grade prayer so to speak and have no idea that second grade is what we’re missing out on. What happens in the second grade is that it builds upon first grade knowledge. We’re going to build upon the knowledge we’ve been given for prayer and get to the next grade, the next level.
Triggers to Prompt Prayer
That simply means everything we know about the subject of prayer can be used to obtain better results if we make, making prayer a priority. As we bring “The Environment for Prayer” to an end, I thought it would be important to point out how a few simple indicators can prompt us that it’s time to enter an environment for prayer. Let’s make these indicators a trigger to initiate prayer.
When you see tears, that’s an indication you should pray. It matters not whether the tears are of joy, sorrow, or anger. Each of these situations is an indicator. I’m not big on crying, but I’ve decided I’m not going to waste a cry. I remember having this conversation with our daughter Tamia. Let’s not waste a cry. God gave us this awesome emotion and we will use it and even enjoy it. We experienced a loss of a loved one and she was in tears in her room. I grabbed a box of tissues and walked up stairs to her room with the box in hand and joined her in tears. God doesn’t waste your tears  and neither will we. We will exchange our tears for prayer. It’s not a bad thing to know when to pray, when to cry out to a God who loves you.
The scripture gives us one very clear and precise time in which we should pray. In fact, it’s what I call the greatest indicator for prayer. When worry arises is an indication you should pray. I like to say it this way. You have to learn how to exchange worry with prayer. The Bible instructs to instead of worrying, pray.  So whenever a worry arises, it’s time to pray. As long as the worry arises, pray. There is no specific time to pray, because every time is a time to pray. This is next level prayer.
- Pray When?
You should make it a habit to:
- Pray when you feel like it.
- Pray when you don’t.
- Pray in the morning.
- Pray in the evening.
- Pray when you’re happy.
- Pray when you’re sad.
- Pray when you think about praying.
- Pray using reminders to pray.
I’d like to go back to one of these for a moment. Pray when you feel like praying. Have you ever just felt like praying? Many times I just feel like praying. When this happens, I can no longer contain myself. This is what I desire for you, a desire to pray. I want you to enjoy it. I want you to see it as something enjoyable. When you begin to look forward to praying then I feel our work is making a difference. This is next level prayer.
Over the last few installments, we discussed the physical locations for prayer, both inside and outside our homes. We’ve spoken of the environment, atmosphere, and state of mind for prayer. We’ve concluded with this installment on the indicators for when we should pray. I’ve not said this in a moment, but I believe anyone can go from 90% unanswered/10% answered prayers to 90% answered/10% unanswered if that person will commit to taking prayer to the next level. Prayer is like seeds sown into a field that produces a harvest. It’s like tossing three kernels of corn into the ground and watching it grow to produce a harvest. My research tells me that the least productive type of corn produces one to two ears of corn at harvest. The average number of kernels on an ear is about 800. That means, you dropped three kernels in the ground and because of the power of God’s word for the earth to produce, you gained 1600 kernels. Now let’s put that in terms of prayer. In prayer, we’re not sowing our seeds in a cursed earth, but into an over abundant, prosperous Heaven. So when you pray, your return is so great it can’t be counted. The closest calculations that we can get is this. Your return is at a minimum somewhere around 30, 60, 100 fold in its return. God provides for your prayer exponentially.  This is next level prayer!
Question: what indicator are you waiting on to pray?
 Psalms 56:8 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 9, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/PSA.56.8.NLT
 Philippians 4:6 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 9, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/PHP.4.6.NLT
 Matthew 13:8 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 16, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/MAT.13.8.NLT
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.