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You understand it is important to pray, but don’t fully understand why? If God is going to do something regardless, why pray for it? Your prayer life has resorted to merely repenting for sins. Sounds familiar? When I heard the Underground Church of China pray, I realized there was more to Prayer. Here are 5 ways they taught me to pray, and how it will change your life. 

It was winter, in the small town of China I was living in. It was the first time I had ever been to a nation where Christianity was illegal. It was cold. I was afraid.

We lived in a building that fronted as a hotel. Behind the curtain was an Underground Church. Here I met the Chinese Christians. When I heard them pray for the first time, my eyes opened. I realized that I didn’t know how to pray. They showed me how.

Here are 5 Tips to Pray like the Underground Church of China

1. Pray Messy

When the Chinese Pastor said, “Let’s pray,” it was like he pulled the pin out of a Holy Hand Grenade. Everyone lifted up their voices at the same time. Some began shouting, some crying, some singing. The underground began to shake. The prayer was tangible. 

My Baptist Boy Box began breaking. “Why aren’t you taking turns? Can God understand you all at once? Why is that guy shouting? Why is she crying?” I was confused. 

I had only every experienced calm, cool, and collected prayers. Bow your head and close your eyes. “Dear Jesus,” was how you started a prayer, and you always ended with “Amen.” This was the formula, right? But the way they prayed was different. They prayed with Passion.

I was witnessing children crying out to Dad for help. It was a real relationship. For the first time, I believed prayer mattered. 

I began to remember stories in the Bible where the heroes of our faith prayed. It was like these people. It was Messy. 

Elijah got on his knees, crying and shouting out to God for the rain to come. David danced in front of his nation like a fool. He commanded the people to Shout out to God (Psalms 47:1). Paul told us in Romans that prayer can look like groaning because sometimes the spirit is doing something too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)

Prayer was never calm cool and collected, I just was. The temperature of your prayer life reflects the temperature of your faith. The way someone prays tells a lot about their relationship with God. 

“…True prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length.” C. H. Spurgeon

I began to realize that I had approached God as a far off, distant, Godfather. But the Bible says to Boldly approach his throne. (Hebrews 4:16). Nothing about my prayer life was bold. Is yours? 

We must be willing to break before him. Get Messy. Say the unfiltered words we are stuffing inside. Vent to him how we feel. Let yourself Cry. Let yourself yell. Let it become emotional. 

We aren’t suppose to hide our emotions from a spouse right? Then why do we hide them from God? God knows how you feel anyway, you might as well talk to him about it. Relationships are emotional, get emotional with God. 

2. Pray Like Your Life Depended on it. 

They Prayed as though their lives depended on it, because they did. If they were found praying to Jesus, it would be life in prison or worse. They had already been rejected by their families. If discovered, what little they had left would be taken as well. 

You could tell the cost they had paid by how they prayed. They were all in. If God failed them, they died. They approached God in utter dependency. No backout plan. 

Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

They did not read this verse as just a nice thought, but a strategy on how to live. Do you want to be saved? CALL OUT TO GOD!

Do you need a breakthrough in your health? Cry out to God! Healing in your marriage? Get on your knees and break before God. Need a new job or a financial miracle? Gather your family and show them that God is who we turn to first when in need. 

Make plans that won’t work unless God shows up.  

”Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude; an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God”- Arthur W. Pink

Make Yourself Dependent on God. You’ll Pray Harder.

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3. Pray For Everything

Philippians 4:6 NLT “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

I always knew on paper we should pray for “everything.” But I believed a lie that said, “If it’s not a big deal, don’t pray about it. God is too busy for small stuff.” This explains why I was always so anxious. 

According to this verse, Prayer is the key to Anxiety. 

They prayed for everything. For their families to be saved. For their government to be redeemed. For protection from being arrested. For boldness to keep preaching the gospel, even though it was illegal! 

They prayed for provision, health, strength, peace, love, everything you could think of, they prayed for it. In their eyes, there was nothing too big, or too small for God. He took delight in hearing every detail of their lives. (Psalms 37:27)

4. Pray for Your Enemies

They prayed blessings for the government who wanted them dead. They forgave their family members who betrayed them. They prayed for the police who hunted them. They didn’t pray curses but contended for the salvation of their enemies.

Why would anyone pray a blessing over the very people trying to kill them? 

Luke 6:27-28

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

Oh… that’s why. 

It is the very heart of Jesus. 

This is what prepared me to love my Guard in North Korea

5. Pray How You Want to Feel

The more I prayed with them, the more I prayed like them. The more I prayed like them, the more I became like them. 

My faith ignited. The passion began to burn. Fear began to fade. My heart began to awaken. I began to believe God hears me. My prayers felt weighty and like they mattered. My faith exploded. 

Pray cannot be learned in a classroom, but on our knees, in our closet. You only get better at praying by praying. Pray how you want to feel, and your heart will catch up. Choose to pray with passion, and passion will be stirred. The more you pray the more you want to pray. 

I began to realize that Prayer isn’t about changing God, it is about changing you.

Challenge: Take this week and Pray like the Underground Church of China. Pray Messy. Pray Like You Life Depends on it. Pray for Everything Big and Small. Pray for Your Enemies. Pray How You Want to Feel.

What helps you Pray? Let me know in the Comments below Practical Tips that have helped your prayer life? I would love to grow with you! 

Check out these resources that helped me grow in prayer!

The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer by E.M. Bounds. This is one of those books I’m constantly going back to. Decades of Wisdom on Prayer. https://amzn.to/3giUJPU(affiliate link)

Growing in Prayer by Mike Bickle. This is one of my favorite practical guides on how to grow in prayer. A must for beginner or seasoned prayer warriors. https://amzn.to/3143sPL(affiliate link)

Reese Howells Intercessor by Norman Grubb. This is probably my favorite true story about how to live a radical life as an intercessor, and the impact it has on the world and eternity. https://amzn.to/2CX6tJN (affiliate link)

Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ by Madame Guyon. This book was written in the 1600s and was once publically burned because it was taught by a woman! Now is considered one of the most influential spiritual books ever penned. Greatly impacted me and my prayer life. https://amzn.to/314T76f (affiliate link)

Taylor Jensen

Author Taylor Jensen

Ignite the Fire of Your Faith

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