Improving Your Personal Prayer Life

Acts 1:12-16

By: Pastor Mike Sanders

Martyn Lloyd-Jones once wrote: “Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God” (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 2 vols. [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979], 2:45).

A praying church is a victorious church. The wonder of today’s church is that so much goes on, with little praying. The answer to many of the church’s problems is not more seminars, programs, and promotional gimmicks, but more intercession on the part of God’s people.

In order to improve your personal prayer life, you need to pray with God’s people. The Bible says in Acts 1:14, “These all…”. For Christians, prayer is like breathing.

Praying with God’s people makes prayer a top priority in the church. Prayer was an essential part of the early church’s life.

Prayer bonds the prayer partners together. “Now, Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour’ (Acts 3:1 KJV).

Prayer creates an atmosphere where God can work. God’s hand moves when we pray together. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20 ESV). God’s heart and hand are moved by prayer. Prayer changes things through the power of God.

God wants you to pray “with the spirit, and…with the understanding” (1 Cor. 14:15). That is why Paul encouraged Timothy to have “the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8).

The second way we improve our prayer life is to pray purposely. Acts 1:14 says, “…with one accord…”. This word is found six times in the book of Acts (1:14; 2:1, 46; 4:24; 5:12; 15:25). It means unity. The Psalmist said, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1 ESV). When you pray together, you stand together in unity.

What should we pray for?

  1. The church prayed for its leaders (6:6)
    1. Missionaries (13:3)
      1. The sick (James 5:14–18)
        1. Governing authorities (1 Tim. 2:1–2)
        1. Worries (Phil. 4:5–7)
        1. People in general (Romans 1:9-10)
        1. The spiritually lost (Rom. 10:1)

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