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PRAYING RIGHT: How To Pray Longer

Everybody entered the new year hoping it will be better than all the years we have seen. I did, and I'm sure you too. A greater percentage of us made new year resolutions; where we try so hard to become better people than we were last year. Some of us are still holding on, while some have already let go on their quest to become a better person.

This year, I resolved to pray longer than I have ever done. If 2014 will be my year of greatness and total transformation, then I have to pray more, worry less, and have faith. Before God blesses a man, he has to ask for it (Matthew 7:7), so I will be doing a lot of asking this year, and I will never forget to thank Him too (Philippians 4:6).

Prayer strengthens our desire for God, and our desire for God makes us better people. Some people wonder if it is ever possible to spend half-an-hour in prayer. Yes, it is. It's even possible to spend two or three hours in prayer.

Here is how to do it:

A. Resolve to do it:
Do not use prayer as your last resort. Do not use prayer as your last weapon of defense. No. God wants us to use prayer as our first line of defense. God wants us to pray even before we act or think. Prayer is a conversation between God and us. We make our request known to Him, and He reveals things we do not know to us (Jeremiah 33:3). Think about all the things you really need, and think about all the things you already have and need to thank God for. Make a list of them all. Ask God to reveal them all to you. Now pray through it. Remember, it is good to pray according to God's Will that He may hear you (1 John 5:14), so while praying, it is often good to give God reasons from the Scripture why what you ask for is something that He has promised to all those who do what's right.

B. Put your Bible in front of you, pick any verse and read it aloud. Turn it into a prayer. Paraphrase it, expand on it, apply it to yourself and those you are also praying for.

Here's an example of how we have paraphrased and expanded a Bible verse:

Bible Verse:
For we walk by faith, not by sight: (2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV)

Paraphrase and Expansion:
Lord, I know that without faith I cannot please You, and with faith, everything is possible to me. Lord, it is so amazing how much You will be able to accomplish through me as long as I have faith in You. Lord, I want You to perform many mighty works in my life, and I do not want my little faith to get in the way. Father, I ask You to increase my faith. Keep it from dwindling or wavering. May it grow day by day, and stay rooted in Your Words for they all are promises. Lord, show me how to walk by faith and not by sight. Reveal to me when I am walking by sight, and instruct me how to walk by faith. Lord, I want to benefit from hearing Your Word because I have faith in You. Your Word makes me
understand that faith comes by hearing and hearing by Your Word. May my faith in You increase and multiply each time I hear or read Your Word. Give me a deeper understanding of Your Word that it may adequately influence my character. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

You can pray all day like this once you catch on. This can keep you praying for minutes, even hours. You'll be surprised how many insights will come to you as you continually take Scripture verses seriously and try to pray it into your life and into the lives of those you love.
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