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How to have a More Satisfying Prayer Life

Pray1Have you ever thought, “If my prayer time was more satisfying, I would pray more.”?  What does it take to have a prayer time that you can feel good about?  I think the answer may surprise you.  It surprised me.

I was reading an chart sent to pastor’s about their prayer lives.  It was based on some research done through a survey.  They asked a number of probing questions.  I want to comment about their findings, which I think can apply to all believers, not just those in full-time ministry.

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

The researchers broke down their findings into 4 categories – those who were very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, and very dissatisfied with their prayer lives.  They found that the average pastor spends 39 minutes a day in prayer.

That might not sound like much to you.  But, the last survey I heard before this one placed it at 20 minutes a day.  So, I’m glad to see that the prayer time of most pastors is on the rise.

What I found very interesting, was the breakdown of averages.  Those who were least satisfied in their prayer lives averaged 21 minutes a day.  Somewhat dissatisfied – 29 minutes.  Somewhat satisfied – 43 minutes.  Very satisfied – 56 minutes.

I find that absolutely wonderful!  The more time spent in prayer, the better you feel about it.  That seems right to me.

The study also looked into what pastors include in their prayers.  It was found that the average pastor spends 5 minutes in confession, 7 minutes in thanking God, and another 7 minutes in praise.  They also averaged 8 minutes quietly listening and 12 minutes giving their requests to God.

How does the average stack up against those who were most satisfied with their prayers?  It turns out that the pastors who were very satisfied with their prayer lives didn’t follow the crowd.  On average, they spend more time listening to God and less time on their requests.

I think that this survey speaks volumes to us.  My blog title was how to have a more satisfying prayer life.  The answer is clear.  The more time you spend in prayer – specifically listening for God’s voice – the more satisfied and fulfilled you’ll be in the place of prayer.

(The above was based upon an Ellison Research Survey for Facts & Trends 05/06/05)

Question: How does your prayer life compare to the research above?  How satisfied are you with your present prayer habits?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Prayer

 

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Viewing Eternity

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

What you can see makes a big difference in your attitude.  Once, while I was hiking, I spent a night in the lean-to on the top of Glastonbury mountain in Vermont.  I was told that you could see all the way to Massachusetts from the shelter.  Unfortunately, the night I was there it was thick fog and rain.  The shelter felt closed in and miserable.

Of course I also remember hiking up Mount Katahdin in Maine.  The day of that trip was crystal clear.  From the top you could see to the horizon in all directions.  It was life-changing.

What made the difference?  Obviously it was the view.  It is the same in life.  How far ahead you look determines your attitude.  There are some people who don’t look beyond what is right in front of them now.  They want the quick fix.  They’re only looking for the “feel good” experience.

If we want the best that life can offer, then we must take God’s advice.  We must view the eternal rather than the temporary.  We must live today knowing that we will exist a million years from this day.  Not only that, but we must ask ourselves what will be important a million years from today.  This allows us to live in this moment with a view of eternity.

As you go before God today, ask Him to increase your vision.  Let Him work in you to see the eternal over the temporary.  Make it your goal to live for that which will never fade away.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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