I recently watched this great movie called ‘War Room, which reminded me of the importance of a great prayer life and how it differentiates a lukewarm Christian from a fiery one.

I was reminded that just praying is okay but praying efficiently is a different thing, that requires some work, and so this article was born.

Thus, here are three ways to take your prayer life from lukewarm to effective.

1. Have faith: Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” I like this verse because it highlights the necessity of faith. Faith is really important which is why praying without first believing in whom you are communicating makes no sense.

Why would I approach anyone for help if I don't really think they are willing to help? It doesn't make sense, right? We NEED to have faith in God when we pray if we want to revolutionise our prayer lives. For anyone who lacks faith, reading God’s words, and surrounding yourself with faith-filled people or church also helps (see Romans 10:17 and Titus 11:1–2). For the importance of faith in any area of our lives, see Ephesians 2:8.

ALSO READ: Don't be afraid to pray because God is concerned about you

2. Have a prayer plan: Christians need a strategy in order to pray effectively. Why? Because we need to fight just as hard as the Devil who attacks strategically. In an interview with Christian Post, Priscilla Shirer, the lead actress of 'War Room', author and real life minister, discusses the importance of a plan. She said: “I learned the importance of being strategic in prayer. While I’ve always believed in prayer, I’d unknowingly minimized the strategy that should accompany it. Our enemy is strategic and focused in his attacks against us. Why shouldn’t we be the same in our prayers against him?”

In her accompanying book, 'Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer,’ she gives more reasons for a prayer plan in her. Here, Shirer writes,“We simply don’t have the luxury of playing nice with prayer. Not if we want things to change. Not if we want to be free — from whatever’s keeping us held down and held back. Not if we want our hearts whole and thriving and deep and grounded . . . different. Not if we want to reach our destinies and experience God’s promises. Not if we want our husbands and children living out what God has called them to do and be and become. Not if we want a fence of God’s protection around us. Not if we want to bear the unmistakable mark of His favour upon us. Not if we want the devil and his plans to go back to the hell where they came from.”

In case, this isn’t enough,she adds, “But this ain’t no physical battle we’re dealing with, no matter how much you may wish it to be, no matter how much better you’d feel if life was all five-senses and manageable. We are at spiritual war. So we need spiritual weapons.”  Prayer is one of our most important weapons, thus, we cannot afford to just pray, we have to pray effectively with a plan.

To achieve this, pray with the scriptures. Pick one or two and focus on it while praying. Reminding God of His words helps to build your confidence/faith in your God (see Acts 4:24–26).

You can also have a prayer watch, this is when you set aside to pray daily. It can be every three or four hours.

3. Pray without ceasing: It is not enough to simply squeeze some prayers when we can. We have to learn to pray every time, without ceasing. We need to grow from baby Christians to adult believers who are continuously praying, regardless of the situation. (See Ephesians 6:18)

Please, do not get discouraged as you read this. Remember prayer, at its core, is simply a conversation with God.

In conclusion, it is one thing to pray occasionally or as the mood strikes and another to pray effectively. The first makes you an okay Christian while the second brands you as a prayer warrior who warms the heart of his/her Heavenly Father and frightens the Devil.

P.S: I know we all want to pray effectively and make sure that our prayers are answered. There is nothing wrong with this. However, it is important that we never lose sight of the powerful privilege that we have.

Some people have to pay and make sacrifices for others to speak on their behalf to their gods but we get to approach our Heavenly Father, the creator of the Universe whenever we want.

Let us never lose sight of the significance of this gift even as we work on the effectiveness of our prayers.