There are about 5 major levels to communication: ritual, superficial, factual, sharing of opinions, and then sharing of feelings.
Where is your prayer life?
One of the lowest levels is ritual communication. This is the level you communicate with everyone including strangers. An example would be a nod of your head to the person pulling into the gas station next to you. Another example would be saying ‘hi’ as you’re passing someone walking by without expecting an answer.
It’s sad, but a lot of people have a ritual prayer life. They don’t expect an answer and they give their prayer no depth.
The next level is superficial communication. This is more of an acquaintance level. You don’t know the person or their situation well, but you do expect some give and take in the conversation. In not knowing them very well, you stay on surface-level topics such as the weather or what they’ve done that day.
This is where some people are with God. They will pray and expect just a little touch or word from God.
Third level: factual communication. These are more meaningful conversations with people you know more about. People communicating on this level with you are most likely called friends or good acquaintances. These are people you might go out to eat with. The types of conversations are more personal and deal with solving problems, with interests, and with general information.
In prayer, this is the level where your prayer life starts growing in the Lord.
Level four is sharing your opinions. This takes level three to a deeper level when you start to add your personal opinions about matters. This level is reserved for people with whom we have a solid trusting relationship. These people have been tried and found true, and we trust them with the opinions we have.
This is another step to growing in your prayer life.
Level five is sharing your feelings. So many people never find this place in prayer. This includes not only our feelings but our feelings about our opinions. This level requires both speaker and listener to move past empathy to compassion.
When you begin to feel compassion and people’s problems, you can touch Heaven.
This level of communication requires major trust because sharing your feelings involves risk. The amount of trust for these conversations is reserved for our closest friends and relationships.
There should be 2-way communication in prayer.
Your prayer life shouldn’t be you doing all the talking. Heaven should whisper back to you. God will turn things around. Sometimes we pray but walk away before God has a chance to answer us. We have to learn to listen, be still, and know that He is God.
Who is Jesus to you?
If Jesus is only a Judge to you, you will never approach Him unless you have need of Him. If He is only a Judge to you, you will never wake up in the middle of the night and tell Him you love Him. If you only see Him as a Healer, then you will only pray when sickness arises. If you only see Him as a Savior, you will only pray when lost souls are present. If you only see Him as a Provider, you will only seek Him when there is a need.
Don’t let what you pray to become a habit.
Matthew 6:7. Don’t pray for the same people, the same things, in the same order, every time. I have a list of lost souls I pray for, and I don’t want it to become a habitual prayer where I ask that they be saved over and over. Every once in a while, I’ll pray instead to give thanks to God that they are still alive and there’s another opportunity to reach them. God doesn’t want us to come to Him because of our list. He wants us to come because we love Him, trust Him, and believe in Him.
Prayer is a conversation you have with a very real God.
We are not just talking to some gray spirit, floating around in space. God is not off on some faraway planet. He is as close to you as you will allow Him to be. He’s big enough to be everywhere in the world at one time and yet small enough to live in your heart.
If you want your prayer life to grow, learn to seek God’s face. Has your life been pleasing to Him? Have you done your best for Him? With the eyes of your soul, you can learn to seek God’s face and know whether or not He is smiling on you.
Until you see the invisible, you limit yourself from praying down the impossible. How can you see God? You can find Him in the middle of addicts being delivered. You can see Him in the restoration of marriages. You can find Him in the middle of the storm, bringing peace when everything is falling apart. I have been in contact with many people whose worlds were shaking, and they should be dead today, but God moved in their situation and brought them out of their storm. I have seen the invisible do the impossible!
About 90% of my prayers start out like Luke 11:2.
It’s not a habit, it’s a heart thing. This immediately brings me to recognize that I am just me and God outshines all. You can compare doctors or sports players and find two alike. But when you say Jesus, He stands alone and stands above all. There’s not a second best or a third best. This is who you communicate with when you pray. He alone is God and there is none beside Him and none that can compare.
Sometimes our prayers are urgent. But when we come into His presence we should bring Him a gift. We should bring Him praise and worship and thanks.
Hebrews 4:15. We are not trying to touch angels who don’t know what it’s like to cry. We aren’t trying to communicate with an angel who doesn’t know what it’s like to bury Lazarus. God knows what hurt its and what rejection is. He knows pain and betrayal. He knows what it’s like to be used. We can tell Him our troubles and He will understand.
I love to pray His name. Philippians 2:9.
I’ve seen certain situations where the Lord moved and the only thing that was said in the prayer was the name “Jesus.” You can’t talk the Lord up too much. As big as I could say He is, He’s bigger. As mighty as I could make Him seem to you, He’s still mightier than that. He’s higher than the highest and greater than the greatest. You can use titles like “Ancient of Days” but that’s just a description of Him. He is our all in all. Jesus is His name, and that name is high above any other name.
Sometimes when you try to pray, your thoughts get scattered in the warfare against evil spirits when they come against you. When this happens, stop praying for a moment. Psalms 22:3. Break into worship. You may not speak in tongues or shout, but you are telling God you love Him. When you begin to worship God, the abiding Christ inside you starts to manifest His power and no evil demon can hang around.
This is how we fight our battles, through worship and prayer!
Prayer is a safe place. Jesus won’t laugh at you. He won’t put your stuff on Facebook. You can share your fears and failures, your hurts, and your anger. Psalms 78.38-39.
Are you ready for another level of prayer with the Lord? Are you ready to see Him? Are you ready to behold His glory? I would encourage you to pick up your Bible and begin seeking God’s face. He’s calling you to a higher level of prayer, friend.
–Pastor Anthony Wynn