Jesus says, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24
What if I told you that you can invest just 10 minutes a day to boost your prayer life, have more of your prayers answered, and activate your faith all at the same time? Sound too good to be true? Believe me. This has worked for me so much that I could hardly wait to share it with you.
But let me warn you. You can’t just dabble at this practice. The key is discipline. Being consistent. Being dedicated. If you’re willing, then come along with me . . .
Prayer. The Lord expects it of us. It’s the communication bridge God has set up so we can be in touch with Him. It’s the spark that sets our Lord into action for us. And it’s an essential element if you want God working in your life! But for many followers of Christ, prayer can be frustrating, unfruitful, and even challenging.
Yes, praying can be a struggle sometimes. I know . . . it’s happened to me. And I’ve been a praying woman for nearly 40 years! You’d think that a seasoned, mature Christian would have the whole prayer thing down! However, we often run into stumbling blocks or distractions that can take us out of our routines or get us off track. That’s the most common issue for me. I’ll get so caught up in getting things done or I’ll be traveling a lot and my days get jumbled. So that’s when I have to be very intentional about getting back into dedicated time of prayer, study, and meditation on God’s Word.
I was in one of those times recently. I had traveled across the country to attend a multiple-day conference. My schedule was turned up-side-down, jet-lag challenged me, and I had a lot of demands on my time. When I returned home my mind was energized by all I had learned. Yet, my spirit was yearning for dedicated time with the Lord. Plus, even before the trip I had decided I wanted to deepen my prayer life. So I was ready for a change.
That’s when I came across a video by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a fine Christian woman who has dedicated her work as a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology. She is making a powerful impact for the cause of Christ as she teaches around the world about scientific discoveries regarding thought, the brain, and how it all aligns with our Creator’s creation!
I have followed Dr. Leaf for many years. So one early morning when I noticed a YouTube video by her I decided to sit and watch it. For the next hour and 15 minutes I learned so much about how God has created us. And then I was motivated to begin my daily prayer and study routine with a 10 minute time of focusing my thoughts. Here is the video if you want to watch it.
The very next morning I started using the Five Part Focused Thought Process. I set an interval timer on my smart phone so that it would beep after each of five two-minute periods. Here are the five parts:
Gather – During these two minutes just sit quietly and acknowledge what is going on around you and inside of you. Take mental notes of what is coming up and what you are noticing.
Focused Thought – Now, focus on the targeted thoughts that you want to change in your mind. God’s Word teaches that we can “be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” (Romans 12:2) Declare the new way of thinking that you want to implant into your brain.
Writing – Pull out your journal and write about these new thoughts, again declaring what you want and how you want to think.
Revisit – After you write your brain is fertile to grow new thought branches. So return to the focused thought and continue to declare what you want and what you want to believe.
Action Reach – For the final two minutes take some kind of action that is aligned with the thoughts you are focusing on to change and grow.
Once you have completed this 10-minute routine, move into prayer, study and meditation on God’s Word. You will soon notice that you feel more prepared for what you are learning from God. You also will find that day-by-day you draw nearer to the Lord.
For me, I was absolutely amazed at the thoughts God put into my mind during my prayer and study time, but also throughout the day. Among my declarations was Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Now, looking back I can see how the Lord led me to take certain actions that led me into receiving a blessing that far surpassed anything I could have created for myself. And it all happened so quickly!
All of this lines up with God’s Word and His ways. He longs for us to draw nearer to Him. He wants us to rely on Him for all things. And His promises are sure for us.
As Dr. Leaf points out, most people start routines with enthusiasm, but then only last a few days. By day 3 or 4, they give up and go back into their old way of behaving. However, the powerful changes and blessings that await us come later, after we have been consistent and diligent. Just like God teaches us in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Our God is so good. He loves us more than we can imagine. And He wants us to depend on Him. This simple little change that causes me to focus better and prepare my heart has made a huge difference in my life. I encourage you to listen to the video and then add this simple little routine to your daily time with the Lord. And if you also experience huge breakthrough, please share them and be a blessing to others!