Bettering Your Prayer Life
I have to admit there was a time that I never really thought of myself as having a rich prayer life. I think it’s because I assumed a rich prayer life meant locking myself away for hours with a five-page list of prayer requests and spending at least 60 minutes of uninterrupted time. But the truth is a rich prayer life is simply having consistent conversation with God. Once I shifted my thinking, prayer became more natural. Yes, there’s still a place for devoted prayer time, but it doesn’t have to be only long stretches of time. So if you’re struggling to build a prayer routine, or if you want ideas to deepen and expand your current prayer life, here are some things I’ve tried that work for me.
Schedule a regular time for focused prayer.
This doesn’t have to be an hour-long session, just 5-10 minutes of focused prayer can begin building a deeper habit of communicating with God. I’ve found there are a few different good time options for this.
When you first wake up is a good choice because it puts you in a positive mindset for the day. Before my feet hit the floor or I grab my phone, I just lay in bed a while longer a pray through the day ahead.
Another good time to schedule prayer is after any bible or devotional reading. This can be a powerful time of reflection as I process what I’ve just read. I find myself lifting up the needs of the day, but also asking God to equip me to live out the truths I’ve just learned in His Word.
Lastly, before going to bed is a good prayer time. It works well for me because the kids are asleep, and I have some uninterrupted time. It’s a great time to thank God and to also lift up prayer needs that came up during the day.
Learn to stop and pray in the moment.
When a need arises, where do you turn first? …maybe you call a friend, Google the solution, or just push it aside. I’ve learned every need that arises is an opportunity to immediately turn to God in prayer. Whether for myself or someone else, using that problem as a “prayer prompt” can develop a deeper prayer life.
When your mind wanders, turn your thoughts into prayers.
I always felt guilty if my mind wandered while I was praying, but then I heard a sermon once when the pastor said perhaps those wandering thoughts were actually Spirit promptings. If someone comes to mind, pray for him or her. If a situation or task on your to-do list comes to mind, lift it up to God. I had never thought of it in that way, but I love that the Holy Spirit could actually use those wandering thoughts to deepen my prayer life.
Learn to be silent.
Being silent can be sooo hard. But silence has to be a part of your routine because it’s impossible to hear the voice of God if we’re constantly filling our ears with the noise of this world. Simple choices can quiet the noise in your life like putting your phone/tv/tablet away for an hour or two, or keeping the radio off when driving (or play worship music). And when you pray, don’t be afraid to ask God a question and pause for a moment. I know it might sound mystical, but I can’t tell you how many times He’s brought to mind a Bible verse or word that gave me clarity during the silent moment.
Building a rich prayer life does take effort, but it’s much easier than you might think. Simple habits done everyday can lead to great things for eternity.