We all know how busy life is. There are so many things to do. The list is endless. However, it is very important for us to spend time with our Heavenly Father - God Almighty - in prayer on a priority basis. When we read “..for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7), we tend to think His house as a church building but you and I are His house. "..your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit". (1 Corinthians 6:19)

God didn’t say that His house is to be a house of deliverance or a house of healing. No doubt these things are important but they are by products of prayer. Prayer is foundation of everything we do and say.

There are times when you may think, I don’t have time to pray. Even though you’re busy, take a few minutes - play a good worship CD and sing along. When you’re driving in your car, listen to CD and pray - Worship the Lord. You may have just a little bit of time but God looks at your heart more than at how much time you spend with Him in prayer. I believe that when we make our home a house of prayer, prayer begins to direct our family’s steps like a compass and everything else falls in place

Prayer - talking and listening to God

Yes, prayer is simply taking and listening to God. It is not an ‘adult’ letter to Santa Claus as many of us believe. Prayer is our direct line with heaven - communion with God. It is not only a big privilege but is, in fact, as easy as breathing.

Prayer is not a mysterious practice reserved only for priests. Believers can pray from the heart, freely, spontaneously, and in their own words. The truth is that we can pray anytime, anywhere – even just directing a thought towards God qualifies as silent prayer because with God, prayer is not limited by words, but it is a touching of our spirit, with the Holy Spirit of God, that leads us into relationship with the Father. This means that we don't need to put our words, but can simply open our heartfelt thoughts and emotions to our Father God.

Prayer opens the door for God to work. The things that come from Heaven are already stored for us but we will never have them unless we pray & ask God for them. The Word of God says that “we do not have certain things because we do not ask God for them”. Prayer is one of the ways that God is able to work in our lives and in the lives of others, and it opens new possibilities. So we can freely bring all of our concerns, our thoughts and desires, our hurts and our needs to Him, knowing that He is our loving Father, who wants to hear from us.

However, majority of believers feel that their prayer life could definitely be better. They are not sure whether God is really listening as some of their prayers seem to go unanswered.

God wants you to learn to pray more effectively and He wants your prayer life to be more fulfilling. If we look in the bible, we can see that Jesus prayed many times and several times. This is very revealing. His words were simply conversations with his father. At times, he actually talked over different ideas with his father. In the garden, he wanted the cup to pass, in other words, as a human, he did not want to suffer and die, yet He wanted the father's will to be done. We need to learn to talk with God, even when we are questioning what is happening to us. We don't know everything, but prayer teaches us to trust God in all situations.

However, you need to realize one thing – do not compare your prayer life with others. We are all unique and God has a unique plan for each of us. There are prayer principles that apply to all believers but God leads each of us as individuals. We are all in different places in our walk with Him, different level of spiritual maturity, as such our prayers need to flow naturally out of our heart and be consistent with the way He has designed us. We can learn a lot from people more experienced than us but we need to be careful not to make them our standard.

Effective prayer: Key to effective prayer is approaching God as His friend. If we do not know God as a friend, we will be reluctant to tell him what we need. If we go to God as friend, our prayer life will be fresh, exciting and intimate.

We know we can not become someone’s friend without investing time in them and with them and by sharing our life with them. It takes time. When we engage in daily conversation in any relationship, it enables us to grow closer to that individual.

Similarly developing friendship with God is a life long process but it is the best investment of time and energy. You can be as close to God as you want to be by investing your time to get to know Him through prayer and reading Word of God.

Invite God to be part of your everyday life; don’t just run to Him when you are in trouble. One of the best ways to have a deepening friendship with God is to have a heart that wants to obey Him. This does not mean you must be doing everything right or be perfect all the time. It simple means that you are not purposefully disobedient, rebellious or hard hearted.

I believe that you are reading this article because you really want God’s power to work in your life, you want to enjoy your ‘talk’ with God and grow in friendship with him.

This is exactly what He also wants and is willing to help you. Be blessed as you start on this journey towards more intimate, more exciting and more effective prayer life.