I always find the IHOP Onething Conference to be inspiring and motivating to go deeper with God. On the conference webstream there were a rolling set of excellent Q&A videos. This post shares some thoughts from Mike Bickle answering the question:

How can I have an effective prayer life?

His answer was so simple and easy to apply, anyone can do it.

1. Have a prayer list.

A prayer list creates focus. This could include 3 categories:

1) Your personal life – “what I pray for me”
2) People you pray for and the situations going on in their life.
3) Subjects for intercession, such as the church globally and in your area. Topics could include revival, evangelism, the first commandment restored to first place, the release of the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Things like that.

A prayer list is so effective, even when you’re “brain dead” and out of ideas, you can refer to your list and accomplish kingdom work in prayer.

2. Schedule a prayer time.

Make an an appointment to pray. Commit to a specific time.

Those two actions alone will grow your prayer life 10x times in the next year.

You don’t have to be legalistic about praying through a list at a specific time. There is grace not to use your list, but it will be there when you need it.

3. Have a right view of God

God is generous. He is eager to hear from us. He enjoys the conversation. He is merciful in our weakness. You don’t have to continually re-negotiate his acceptance (“Oh God if you’ll forgive me one more time, I promise to do … “). 

He really likes you even in your weakness.

4. Have a revelation of the value of prayer.

It’s part of the way our relationship with God is designed.

Prayer is telling God what He tells you to tell Him. Prayer is a partnership, we have a responsibility to do our part. God inspires, but we have to do the work.

God will not do what we’re supposed to do. It’s the law of the farm, you reap what what you sow. The farmer does his part – tills the ground, plants the seeds, pulls the weeds, etc. God does His part – he sends the sun and the rain. The fruit is produced by the division of labor.


I hope these ideas are helpful to you. All followers of Jesus are called to be people of prayer. One of my goals this year is to grow deeper in my prayer life.

How about you?

  • Will prayer be a higher priority for you this year?
  • What ideas would you add to these?

I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments !