Prayer is powerful. It is an essential part of every world religion, including Christianity. Prayer is an act of worship that glorifies our creator and reinforces our need for him; it is the ultimate communication tool with God. When we pray, it is our chance to tell Him our deepest fears and our most desperate hopes. Through prayer, God’s presence becomes more tangible. He’s no longer just a higher being whom we worship. He becomes a friend or a loving father whom we can confidently confide in.

As we go through our day-to-day lives in a world that is broken, many of us look to our daily spiritual encounters as a way to help lift our spirits, and find a greater sense of purpose. The peace and sense of meaning and connection that happens with prayer is so positive.

According to psychologist Crystal Park, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, “People who pray often and are active with their faith communities might be making generally healthier decisions, such as taking fewer risks or avoiding smoking and drinking.”

Here are a few ways in which you can develop a more powerful prayer life.

Start a prayer journal

Starting a prayer journal is a powerful way to connect with God and stay anchored to his promises, no matter what comes your way. It can also lead you to a powerful prayer life. Prayer journaling is a personal reflection of your relationship with God. You can meditate on God’s faithfulness, record your deepest hurts, and write intimate prayers to your heavenly Father. It’s a collection of your personal thoughts. This prayer resource can be life-changing as you learn to surrender your burdens, and record how God is working in your life.

Memorize Scriptures

The most important key to a vibrant prayer life is to understand our spiritual authority in Christ as explained in the Scriptures. The only way to do that is to become intimately familiar with the Bible. Even a few minutes a day in the Word of God will add strength and authority to your prayers.

Pray with others

Spirituality is oftentimes shared within a community of folks who are following a similar journey. While time alone with God is vital for spiritual growth, God Himself says that when two or more gather to focus on Him, something special happens (Matthew 18:20). When we pray with others, we surrender our me-centered thoughts and instead, focus on the requests we’re bringing to the throne together. This can help move us beyond the private spiritual realm to something more. Talking and praying with others can help develop stronger prayer relationships. When you can link your heart with others before God, you will open yourself up to a wider, more interactive world of prayer and are not pulling in your own direction. If you don’t already have one, make finding a trusted prayer partner one of your goals.

Set prayer reminders on your smartphone

While smartphones can often serve as a distraction that keeps you away from time in prayer. You can use your phone to help you pray more. Set recurring daily alarms as reminders to pray for certain people or things at specific times.

Try walk-by prayers

If a coworker has a specific prayer request, pray for them when you walk past their office. It’s been amazing to see answered prayers come from this practice. You could do this with neighbors’ houses as you drive by, other churches you pass, people you pass on the street who are visibly.  in need of prayer, or for folks facing health battles as they sit in the waiting area of a doctor’s office. Sending blessings someone’s way is a meaningful act of goodwill, rooted in love, and compassion.

Thank Him

A heartfelt thank you is always a great way to start conversing with God. He wants you to have a grateful heart. All over the Bible, God encourages you to be thankful in whatever you do. Gratitude will change the atmosphere in your workplace, in your home, in your church, and everywhere you go. Don’t live with the idea that you’ll be grateful “when.” If you aren’t grateful now, you won’t be grateful then. If you can’t be thankful with little, what makes you think you will be thankful with big.

Training your heart to give thanks does many wonderful things. It keeps you from being bitter, arrogant, and discouraged. It protects you from letting your life be defined by what you don’t have. It keeps you humble and reminds you of your need for God.