We all know prayer is important. Let’s just agree on that for the purpose of today’s post. It isn’t mentioned in the bible so many times without a good reason, right?
If you are anything like me, you’ve had too many other things going on to pray. It is hard. You loose focus. You can’t just “sit and pray”. Your mind wanders and you give up in frustration. You are lucky if your immediate family all get prayed for before you loose track and move on to other thoughts.
Okay, lets just be honest. We are too lazy to pray. But it is so important. But I heard a quote recently, and I am probably paraphrasing, but this is what it said. “You won’t just find time to be with the Lord. There isn’t going to be unused time lying around in your daily life. You have to make time to be with the Lord. You have to fight for it.”
And I know firsthand how darned hard it is, but you know what? That is just the devil.
Why do you think praying is so hard for us? Do you think the devil wants us to pray? Wants us to commune with God? Wants us to change the world on our knees? OF COURSE NOT! So he is going to put every obstacle in your way as possible. So first off, we need to recognize that and send him packing before we can get any work done on our knees.
Tip #1~ Send the devil where he belongs in the name of Jesus and claim this time for the Lord.
I have decided to pick a certain amount of time that will be wholly devoted to praying. EVERY DAY. I went with ten minutes. If sounds like a pittance, but at the same time, it is more than I have been doing, and you would be surprised how much you can fit into ten minutes. My prayer time is after I go to bed and I have read my bible. I put the lights out. It is so much easier for me to pray in the dark. No distractions, no chances of anyone seeing you in your time alone with God. It feels more like just me and Him then.
Tip #2~ Start your prayer off with asking Him to help you pray. And asking Him to listen to your heart and speak to you.
We always need the Lords help. And no, this isn’t counterintuitive. Also, prayer is a two-way street. If we are able to listen to Him, He will speak. He wants to speak to us, but most times we are too caught up in the noisy to really listen to Him. We need to have the heart of Samuel and the cry of “Here I am Lord, your servant listens.” That is another post altogether, but be willing to open up that channel of communication.
Tip #3~ Have a list. Or lists.
Having a prayer list isn’t just for kids. It is so important. I have several. I have a list of people I want to pray for, with family obviously taking a top billing. I also have a list of things I want to pray for myself and my future husband. Heart issues, life issues, character building things. . . etc. I then have a list on my wall with a pen handy for answered prayers. I choose to record huge momentous ones on my wall and usually jot down the everyday things in my diary/journal. However you want to do it is up to you. I also have a smaller list of things that I want God to direct. My blog, my writing, my work, how I interact with others, I pray that God would be in me and use me for His Glory for each of those things. I also am just recently adding a list of current prayer requests. When someone posts they have a prayer request, I usually pray for it right then, but after that, it is easy to forget. So having a list for those things really helps me keep it in the forefront of my memory. So you get the idea. WRITE THINGS DOWN.
Here is a picture of my War Room wall with my lists, scripture and other encouragement.
Tip #4~ Don’t lie down when you pray.
I mean you can, but when I pray at night, it is so easy to just fall asleep. Why do I say this you ask? No, I have never done that! Ever. HAHA! Sarcasm aside, I have totally done this. Often times sitting on the floor is the last thing I want to do. But it is the easiest way to stay focused. (and not fall asleep. )
Tip #5~ Have a checklist for your prayer life.
This might again sound elementary, but it has really helped me. It is basically a small goal tracker and it has little boxes for each of the goals. Getting to check off a box when I actually meet my goal of praying for 10 minutes that day, feels so fulfilling, and at the end of the month, it really helps you find out how faithful you really are. How many boxes will you fill this month? Here is one for your convenience, I didn’t make it, but it was free.
Tip #6~ Listen to what the Lord is speaking to your heart and pray for what comes to mind. You don’t have to stick to the list. Don’t be legalistic about this.
I recently had a day when I was praying passionately for someone and I felt prompted to widen to a broader picture. I found myself praying for the entire country! I didn’t necessarily have that on my list, but I felt the Lord put that on my heart. Don’t be afraid to pray for the random stuff that comes to your heart. Well, don’t be afraid of praying for anything. LOL!
There you have it! Some of my tips for cultivating a habit of prayer. Do I find it hard? Do I check my clock more times than I care to mention during my ten minutes? Is it a fight? Do I struggle finding that time? Does my mind wander? Do I skip days because I am lazy? Do I fail? YES! But it is worth the fight.
Will you join me on this journey of cultivating prayer? Will you join me in changing the world, one tiny bit at a time, from a place on our knees?
By God’s Grace,