A Guide To Intercessory Prayer
by Rev. Richard W. LaFountain

Breaking Bad Prayer Habits

We are all creatures of habit. We get up every morning about the same 
time, we run through the same routines as though diligently memorized – 
turn off the alarm, use to bathroom, turn on the coffee, take a shower, 
brush your teeth, shave, comb your hair, dress, sit down for a brief 
coffee and breakfast, and off to work.

Sound familiar?  Perhaps your routine is somewhat different 
than mine, but it is a routine nonetheless. We all establish routines, 
or habits. It is the way we live. We generally swing a golf club the way 
we always have, we drive with the same idiosyncrasies we always did, we 
dress a certain way, comb our hair the same every day. We even have 
patterns for the way we brush our teeth!  

Just as we have developed physical routines or habits so too we get into
spiritual habits. Some of those spiritual routines are good, but others are
bad habits that need to be broken.

Fill in the blanks:
· The journey of a 1000 miles begins with the ____ ______.
· How do you eat an elephant? One _____ __ __ _____.
· Old habits _____ slowly. 
· You can’t teach an ____ _____ new tricks.
· New habits require ___ to ___ weeks to develop.
· Strength training is based on r__________.
· Any skill or ability is developed by __________.

God has some important things to teach us about ourselves and our prayer habits.
We often think our prayer habits are perhaps pleasing to God but once we examine
them in the light of His Word we realize how far short we fall.

I.  Old Habits – Silent Rebellion (Isaiah 30:15 & I Samuel 15:23)

1. Not praying, or "on-the-run" praying - Jer 2:32 / Prov. 1:25-26
2. Ritualistic praying, (never) Mat 6:5 / Mat 6:7
3. No closet of prayer - (wherever) Matthew 6:6/ John 18:2
4. No specific prayer hour - Jesus  (whenever) Mark 1:35
5. No accountability as an intercessor, no prayer partner (whoever) Eccl. 4:9-12
6. No prayer plan - prayer "floating" - (whatever) Daniel 6:10
7. No alert prayer times - "watch and pray" (never-never) Matthew 26:41

II. New Habits – Biblical Obedience (James 1:25)

1. Praying always, everywhere, about everything - 1 Timothy 2:8, 1 Thes. 5:17
2. Prayer in the Spirit - Jude 1:20, Romans 8:14, Romans 8:26
3. Prayer closet - "shut the door, pray in secret" - Mat. 6:6, Acts 10:9
4. Prayer time (alone with God for ____ minutes) - Mark 1:35, Acts 10:9
5. Prayer partner(s) - accountability - Mat. 17:1, Eccl. 4:9-12
6. Prayer plan - a specific strategy for intercession - Mat. 6:9
7. Prayer actions - active praying, alert, "watching" - I Thes. 5:6

III. New Disciplines in Prayer Habits

1. Take charge of your own spirit - Proverbs 25:28
2. Discipline your mind and your will to stick with the main thing - 1 Peter 1:13
3. Discipline yourself to "love" the Lord with all…heart mind soul strength - Mk 12:30
4. Start small - 18 minutes will transform how you pray - Zechariah 4:10
5. Begin your day with 18 minutes of the Intimacy with God then begin
   your intercession for the others (six steps). 

"And I looked for a man among them to make up the hedge and stand in the 
gap for the land that I should not destroy it; but I found none."  
- Ezekiel 22:30

ANSWERS: "To fill in the blanks" · The journey of a 1000 miles begins with the one step. · How do you eat an elephant? One small bite at a time. · Old habits die slowly. · You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. · New habits require 6 to 12 weeks to develop. · Strength training is based on repetition. · Any skill or ability is developed by practice.