The Importance of Prayer By Jerry Nance

Dr. Jerry Nance

Lessons on Prayer Part 1

"The Importance of Prayer"

By Jerry Nance PhD, President, Global Teen Challenge

This month I want to take one statement from the Lessons from Elijah training I have been giving over the last months and take it to a deeper discussion. I want to discuss with you the importance of prayer in the life of leadership. I know how easy it is to be so involved in the work of the Lord that we miss out on just being with the Lord. I recognize the need to discipline my time so I spend quality time in the presence of the Lord.

When Elijah was about to call down the power of God in the form of fire, he repaired the altar of the Lord, with 12 stones, one for each of the tribes of Israel. (1 Kings 18:30)

Notice this process, it is the key to my discussion today. Elijah took time to rebuild the altar in the proper way that would bring the best results in his prayer time. He needed the power of God and he needed the fire to fall and he took the time and followed the proper procedures to bring about the best results in prayer.

This brings some questions to mind as I study the thought, “rebuilding the altar of the Lord.” Is there a process in prayer that will bring about the best results in our prayer time? Will this process assure us that God’s fire will fall in our situations? Maybe you are not facing the 450 prophets of Baal, but you are facing individual issues that seem as challenging as what Elijah faced. Are you experiencing the power of God in your prayer times?

Each of us know how we came to know the Lord, and each of us know what our new birth experience was and how we sought after the presence of God. We know what it took in the past to assure ourselves that we truly were saved and felt the presence of God in our lives. When did you pray? How much time did you spend in prayer? What part of your day was consumed with a focus on getting to know the Lord better? Was the power of God, the fire of God falling at that time in your life?

I have come to the conclusion that I want to know how to pray with greater effectiveness. I have maintained a prayer life and a time in the Bible on a consistent basis. However, I also know that with the pressures of life and the many demands that my position places on me that my relationship with God has come to a place where I am dissatisfied. I recognize that at times I do not feel the presence of God that I once felt in my life. No, I haven’t fallen, or made some gross mistake, but I am hungry to know the Lord in a deeper, richer way. I want the peace of God in everything I do.

I am working through the process of “rebuilding the altar” in my life. I have to tell you that it has been a challenge to discipline myself. I recognize that just doing devotions is not enough. I must take the time to pray, listen, focus and give the quality time necessary in the presence of the Lord for answers to come. To feel the power of God, I have to put the time in.

I want to speak to you about a process in prayer that has come to be very special to me. It is simple, but has been very helpful to enhance my prayer life and find the results I need when I spend time with God.

There are 5 areas where I focus my prayer 1. Adoration – Respond to who God is.

Psalm 34:1-3, Psalm 145-150, Psalm 29, 1 Chronicles 16:23 Then I listen:

2. Thanksgiving – Praise is thanking Him for what He has done.

a. Material blessings b. Physical Blessings c. Spiritual Blessings d. People in our lives

Romans 8:28, 1 Thessalonians 5:13,

Then I listen:

Give Thanks for all of the above

3. Confession – Getting rid of your sins.

a. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you b. Confess them
c. Make restitution
d. Thank Him for forgiveness

Then I listen:

4. Intercession – Prayer for the needs of others.

Love seeks not its own interest.
James 5:14-20, I Timothy 2:1, I Samuel 12:23, Romans 1:9, I Thessalonians 5:23, Philemon 4, 1 John 5:16

Then I listen:

5. Petition – Pray for your own needs.

Ephesians 4:15-16, John 15:7, Luke 11:12, John 10:16 Then I listen:

This is a simple process that works for me. The key to all of this is to spend the time listening to the Holy Spirit and to God long enough to allow His presence to come and enter your world and your life.

Journaling your thoughts and prayer needs is also very helpful as you begin the journey. I continue to learn more of the Lord as I commit the time in His presence.

Next month I want to continue our discussion on prayer and I want to challenge you to join me in prayer. Libby and I are fasting and praying together as a couple for you and for the needs of your ministry. This rebuilding of prayer in our home as a couple is a process that keeps our hearts near to the heart of God.

I challenge you to discipline yourself to a daily time with God. Make extra time this month for prayer. Schedule it now, get up early (or whatever quality time is best for you), get alone and see God’s fire fall fresh on you. 

Jerry Nance
Global Teen Challenge

Continues on Lessons on Prayer Part 2  "Solitude"

About Global Teen Challenge 

The mission of Global Teen Challenge is to assist in the development and implementation of Teen Challenge programs around the world.  Today there are more than 1100 Teen Challenge programs in 91 countries of the world. It is our desire to provide the best and latest tools available in helping individuals with life controlling addictions.  According to the United Nations, more than 200 million people worldwide struggle with drug abuse. Drug users are getting younger and their use is becoming more frequent. Alcohol and drug addictions are plaguing our nations, our cities and invading our homes. We are committed to doing everything we can to reach people around the globe with life controlling problems. For more information on Global Teen Challenge, visit our website at   

Please like us on Facebook: