3 Steps To Aid Intentionality In Prayer

family praying

At Solomon’s Porch we use an acronym to help us remember that there is a particular heart-attitude that must be in place in order for us to live effectively as disciples.

H umility

I ntentionality

V ulnerability

E xpansion

H.I.V.E, meaning that we need to be humble, intentional, and vulnerable in order to expand, or grow spiritually. Doctrine is important and we strongly encourage theological precision. But if theological knowledge is gained outside of an environment of grace and accountability, it often leads to spiritual arrogance rather than Christ-likeness.

H.I.V.E. is to be practiced within a framework of spiritual friendship. We encourage everyone in the church to have a H.I.V.E. relationship with someone who is a peer in the faith as well as someone who is either less mature or more mature. We use the Biblical designations of father/mother, young adult, and child in the faith.  We get this language from the Apostle John in his first letter.

1 John 2:12-14

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

What we are trying to create a church full of strong inter-personal relationships for the purpose of Christian discipline and accountability. One that is based on deep spiritual friendship. One that recognizes that spiritual fathers and mothers have a responsibility within the church to share their long term Christian experience with the spiritual young adults and children of the community. We have therefore a patriarchal/matriarchal understanding of discipleship within the church. We place the burden on the mature in the faith, not on the immature in the faith, to pursue long term deep spiritual friendships.

For the past several months we have been discussing being intentional in the body of Christ in our 9:45 AM – 10:30 AM Community Discipleship Class that we have each Lord’s Day. We asked, and have been trying to answer the question, “what are the things that we, as Christians, should be intentional about?” “What should we be devoted to?” Acts 2:42 provides us with four general areas. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” We call these the Four T’s, Truth-Together-Table-Throne. Incidentally, our Community Worship @ 11:00 AM each Lord’s Day is made up of these four elements. We want to model publicly what we hope each disciple lives out privately.  Our latest discussion erupted from answering the question, “How can we be more intentional in our private prayer life?” The following is a summary of the suggestions that came from our group discussion this past Lord’s Day, September 1st.

  1. Pick a Spot– Not every place is as conducive for prayer as another. If one picks a common place for prayer, then they know where their going, and they know what time will be the best time to be able to go there in quiet to pray.
  2. Posture Matters– While it is not necessary to always kneel or bow, or even lay out on one’s face, if you can, it is encouraged. God is a holy God. Posture often represents what we think of a person. In a culture without royalty it is easy to forget that there is true royalty, and that we should approach Him boldy, but appropriately. Posture is the physical demonstration of one’s heart before God.
  3. Eliminate Distractions– Our final point, eliminating distractions will have several sub-points.

(a) Open with a Psalm, this helps to shape our minds and hearts by reminding us of who we are approaching.

(b) Use white noise or other noise canceling device if the place you choose to pray is often noisy. Mothers and fathers, or young adults with room mates understand this one too well. There are some great apps out there for this, nature sounds, etc.

(c) Set a timer so you don’t have to worry about going too long or not getting to work on time. You can relax before the Lord and pour your heart out without having to check the I-phone every few minutes to be sure.

(d) Set your phone to do not disturb

(e) Keep a prayer journal and make some quick notes before during and at the end

(f) Keep a blank piece of paper with you. Often when we pray the things we are suppose to do that day, or things we forgot to do come crowding into our minds. Write them down so you don’t have to try to keep them in your mind as you pray. Write them down to relieve your mind of them.

(g) Keep an intercessory prayer list so you can watch and pray. Recognize God’s work in answering or not answering your prayers. Let His will mold your prayers for others. Also the list will allow you to move answers to prayers into the “praising God” category of prayer.

(h) Pray aloud. Many people complain that their mind wanders when they pray silently. This is often overcome through disciplined practice. But one thing that can help us is to pray aloud.

We hope this helps some of you. May the Lord richly bless you in being intentional in being a disciple. Go forth and live for Him and His purposes.

Leave a Reply