Day 9 of 21 • This day’s reading

Romans 8:26-27

Day 9: How Do I Increase My Times of Prayer to God?

Our hearts may desire to grow closer to Jesus, but the difficulties of shutting out distractions are real. Whether your prayer sessions endure for 15 minutes or six hours, there are practical ways that we can extend the duration of our encounters with God.

Intentionality in prayer needs to dominate our headspace. Despite the demands of life, one of the strongest distractions is our own mind. Shift prayer from the head to your heart by establishing habits. Schedule a regular prayer appointment. Organize a plan: what and who you’re praying for and how you’ll start and finish your session. Find a space suitable to your expressions of prayer. Keep visible a list of your motivations to pray as a constant reminder of why you’re pressing in. As prayer becomes an intrinsic behavior, extending your focus period becomes easier.

Pray past the exhaustion of your prayer list. When Paul didn’t know what to pray, he interceded for others through the Holy Spirit. Call upon God for divine intervention in people’s specific needs, relationships, and salvation. Be willing to go off script as the Spirit leads. While the prayer list helps you remain on track, it requires cognitive focus. Yet, speaking in tongues bypasses the mind and exercises your spirit to be empowered for ministry. The Holy Spirit works through tongues by bringing an internal shift before changing your circumstances. Even though Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit before his fasting season, He gained power after completing His 40-day fast. Especially in this prayer and fasting season, we need the strength of the Holy Spirit as we thirst more for righteousness.

Recognize that there will always be barriers. As you pray more, you’ll begin to realize the battle between your flesh and spirit. Your flesh will always be attracted to natural priorities or meaningless entertainment. So find little nuggets of God moments and latch on to pray through your distractions. Sometimes you’ll need to remember the negative aspects of this world to persistently pray for breakthrough. Channel your anger against the enemy to fuel a zeal in spiritual warfare. As you recognize the power of prayer to contest for breakthrough in Jesus’ name, you’re building spiritual faith and physical endurance to pray.

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