Summary: If God dictated your prayer life, how would it look different? I know your prayer list has you winning the Powerball this week. Your prayer list includes your children marrying really successful people. But what if God took over your prayer life?

We are in desperate need of hope right now. In a recent Pew Center survey, Americans are not optimistic about our future. The majority of people see a decline in our future well-being in many areas. There is widespread depression, drug abuse, addiction and loneliness. Americans are purchasing ammunition and guns in record numbers over the past months. There is widespread anxiety.

Where do we turn in our age of anxiety? We turn to an Almighty God in prayer.

Imagine you were diagnosed with such a lethal condition that the doctor told you that you would die within hours unless you took a particular medicine — a pill every night before going to sleep. Imagine that you were told that you could never miss it or you would die. Would you forget to take your medicine? Would you take the pill every other day when you remember to take it? No — it would be so crucial that you wouldn’t forget. In fact, you would never miss. If you don’t pray, you’re not going to make it because of all we are facing. You have to pray, we can’t let it just slip our minds.

We need the hope of God infused into us again. We need to turn to God for HOPE in prayer again.

In Ephesians 1, we have a prayer for Christians to better see their hope in God.

How much hope does your prayer life give you? Are you interested in seeing the habit of prayer change you? I want to help you GROW YOUR HOPE by growing your prayer life. Rate your prayer life right now for me, will you?

Stage One: I’m in the “Preschool Prayer ” Phase

The preschool phrase is when you only pray when you feel like it or when you think about it. None of us should be embarrassed to admit it, we are in the preschool phase of prayer at one point in our Christian journey. All of us start here at one time or another. Just as there was a time when you did not know your ABC’s, you must learn how to pray. In this stage, you’re not really sure what you are doing when you pray and you struggle to pray for anything coherently. You are not even sure if prayer makes any real difference because you do not feel more hopeful after you pray.

Stage One: The Preschool Prayer Phase

Stage Two: I’m in the “Middle School Prayer” Phase

Here’s where you are when you have a little growth behind you in your prayer life. Prayer is becoming more of a habit. You pray daily for whatever comes up in life. Yet, when prayer is mentioned, you feel guilty quickly. Your prayers are routine and if you had to admit it, they lack any real power to them. You know you should pray more. But still, your prayer life has little rhyme or reason. You are not sure where to turn for help but your eager to improve my prayer life.

Stage Two: I’m in the “Middle School Prayer” Phase

Stage Three: I’m in the “Upperclassmen Prayer” Phrase

Here’s where you pray fairly consistently and you only rarely miss time praying. You have a prayer journal where you begin to write out many of your prayers. The prayer journal allows you to analyze your prayer life for balance. And it’s here that you learn to enter what I call “the Echo Chamber of the Bible.” The Echo Chamber is when you pray the prayers of the Bible. You become familiar with praying the Lord’s Model Prayer in Matthew 6. You don’t pray this wrote by rote as a robot might repeat words with no meaning. Instead, you personalize the prayers of the Bible as your own. It’s the Praying in the Echo Chamber of the Bible.

Your prayer life is soon to become an adult and you are a force for Satan’s demons to be reckoned with. You are feeling more hopeful as you pray.

Stage Three: I’m in the “Upperclassmen Prayer” Phrase

Stage Four: I’m in Graduate School of Prayer.

Here you are ultra-consistent in your prayer life – you never miss praying morning, noon, and night. You move up to a minimum of three times a day. You regularly rotate through the prayers that are embedded in Bible: the Lord’s Prayer, Paul’s prayers, and even many of Psalms, etc. You may even have a dedicated space for your prayer closet. You have read some books on prayer. You have patterned your prayer after Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in John 17. You know lives have been changed and miracles have happened because I have prayed. Nothing could deter me from praying consistently throughout my day because I personally know God works through prayer.

So where are you in your prayer life? What phase are you in? For the next few moments, lean in with me as I want to you to “level up” in your prayer life.

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