1.    If possible, find a quiet, comfortable place for extended prayer (your “prayer closet” Matt. 6:6)

2.    How long should we pray?  Long enough to become calm and focused.  Long enough to engage in the full range of prayer (worship, confession, intercession, petition. . .).  Each of these serves a purpose and helps to keep the others in balance.

3.    What should we pray?  As just mentioned, prayer is meant to involve a full range of interactions with God.  We speak and we listen.  We ask and we give.  We pray for ourselves and we pray for others.

4.    It’s often best to begin with worship.  Worship puts everything else into its proper perspective.  When God is raised up first-then our attitude toward Him is more appropriate.  We honor Him.  In turn, we humble ourselves.  Worship restores our perspective also on what matters most in our world-God’s will and God’s glory.

5.     One of the keys to effective prayer (and other spiritual disciplines) is mind control.  Our ability to relax our minds and stay focused greatly enhances our experience.  Work at gently pulling your mind back on task when it wanders.