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Lesson 1 — Introduction: Five Ingredients of a Practical Prayer Life

Five Ingredients of a Practical Prayer Life

Introductory Definitions 

“Prayer” Defined…

“When you pray…” (Matthew 6:6, NKJV)

Greek Word: Proseuchomai

“A desire towards!”
“A divine wish or desire”

Voices from the Past:

“Prayer is the contact of a living soul with God.”     

—E. M. Bounds

“Prayer is the slender nerve that moveth the muscles of omnipotence.”     

—Charles Spurgeon

“Prayer is the simplest act in all religion. It is simply speaking to God. It needs neither learning nor wisdom nor book-knowledge to begin it. It needs nothing but heart and will.”          

—J. C. Ryle

“Practical” Defined

1. Capable of being _______________.

2. Of, relating to, governed by or acquired through practice or action rather than _____________ or speculation.

3. Designed to serve a specific ________________.


Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might… praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication…

Ephesians 6:10, 18 (NKJV)

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (MSG)

Always be joyful. Keep on praying.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 (NLT)

Five Ingredients of a Practical Prayer Life

Ingredient One: _________________

Paul’s Apostolic Admonition… 


Praying always…

Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. 

Luke 18:1 (MSG)

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?” 

Matthew 26:40 (NKJV)

Voices from the Past:

“Contact with the world and with the multitude distracts us and scatters our thoughts. For this reason it is necessary for us to withdraw at regular intervals to attain the quietude to hear God’s voice.”

—Professor O. Hallesby

Ingredient Two: ______________


Praying always with all prayer…

Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV) 

Note the New International Version:

“And pray… with all kinds of prayer.”

Voices from the Past:

“Get out of the ruts of prayer. Some of us can only pray in one way, and consequently we get tired of praying. The ruts of prayer are the deepest ruts in the world.”             

—W. H. Faunce


That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.

Mark 11:24 (MSG)

Ingredient Three: ________________


Praying always with all prayer and supplication.

Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

…don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night?

Luke 18:6 (NLT)

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. 

Romans 8:26 (MSG)

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

James 5:16 (NKJV)

Voices from the Past:

“My soul was exceedingly enlarged and I was in such anguish that I pleaded with much earnestness and importunity. When I rose from prayer I was extremely weak and overcome. I could scarcely walk straight.”

—David Brainerd

Ingredient Four: ____________________


Praying always—with all prayer… being watchful…

Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 

Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 

Mark 13:32-33 (NKJV)

Ingredient Five: ______________


Praying always with all prayer and… perseverance.

Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

The Amplified Version reads: 

“Keep alert with strong purpose and perseverance.”

“Persevere” Defined

“To persist in an _____________________ in ___________ of circumstances, opposition or discouragement.”

Voices from the Past:

“Certain requirements must be met if the art of prayer is to be acquired. In the main there are two: practice and perseverance. Without practice no Christian will become a real man or woman of prayer. And practice cannot be attained without perseverance.”

—Professor O. Hallesby


And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You…

Isaiah 64:7 (NKJV)

Hebrew Words:

A. “Stirs himself up”

UWR: “To arouse oneself from a heavy sleep or slumber.”

B. “To take hold”

CHAZAQ: “to cling; to conquer; to grab and hold onto with great force.”


Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” 

Genesis 32:24-26 (NKJV)

Voices from the Past:

“In these days there is not time to pray; but without time, and a lot of it, we shall never learn to pray. It ought to be possible to give God one hour out of twenty-four all to Himself.”

—Samuel Chadwick

Afterthoughts...Ponder and Pray

Ponder Points:

Discuss (or ponder) what you think makes our praying practical, based on these definitions of the word “practical”: “capable of being useful; designed to serve a specific purpose.” What do you feel would add variety to one’s praying?

Personal Afterthoughts

Prayer Points:

Based on the list of the five ingredients of a practical prayer life, select the one ingredient that you feel is most needed in your prayer life and ask God to increase the impact of this particular ingredient in your daily praying.