I believe prayer is one of the most under utilized, underestimated practices in the church today. We have the ability to talk to the creator of the universe on a daily, momentary basis, asking for anything in His will…and yet how many of us can honestly say we designate daily times of prayer? Especially during these tumultuous times, we all need daily contact with God. Without participating in daily prayer, we’re like a group of tourists standing in front of a gourmet buffet, complaining that we’re starving. Prayer changes everything. It means the different between carrying out our days in peace or chaos, being connected or disconnected to the Lord, and seeing answers and direction to questions and problems. If you want a better, more consistent prayer life, these six tips will help significantly.
Designate A Daily Prayer Time
Committing to daily prayer time can be like those allusive date nights we say we’re going to plan every week. Our intentions are good, but unless we designate a time and stick to it, it’ll never happen. I believe mornings are the best time for prayer, but if you can’t set the alarm 15 minutes earlier, it can be any time. In your car on lunch break. 15 minutes before the kids get home, or before bed, etc. We’re all stretched so thin, and it can be SO hard carving out time daily when we can barely army crawl to bed at night, but it’s so worth it.
If we want a more effective prayer life, we can’t forget to add the element of praise and thanks. This might seem awkward at first, like we’re disingenuously thanking God to get on his good side, but God has a strategy. When we posture ourselves in praise, our spirits are naturally lifted. We’re reminded of how much we have (SO Much) even if we’re going through seasons of dryness and/or disappointment. Healthy kids, a husband who loves us, a recently answered prayer, etc.) This sets our hearts in the right place before petitioning God for our needs. When we’re in a state of praise, we’re more apt to pray his will, and hear his voice. Hence a more fulfilling prayer life.
Meditate on Scripture
Ephesians 6:10-20 describes prayer as a weapon of spiritual warfare. If we want a more powerful prayer life, it’s helpful to know the tools and gifts we innately possess. Here are some of the most vital scriptures on prayer:
Thessalonians 5:16–18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Philippians 4:6–7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
1 John 5:14–15: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. ”
James 5:16: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Incorporate Worship Into Your Prayer Time
If you have the time and space to incorporate times of worship into your prayer life, it greatly amplifies the experience. Worship helps align our hearts with Him, and silences the enemy. It postures our spirits towards gratefulness and peace, ripening us for a more intimate, powerful prayer time. Fear, sinful thoughts, anger and and anxiety all flee during worship, allowing us to pray with more boldness, and clarity.
God doesn’t desire daily prayer because he needs reminding of our needs. He isn’t forgetful. Or lonely. He just enjoys talking with us. He wants us to tell him how we’re feeling, what our worries are, what we’re hoping for, just as we do our best friends or spouses. He wants us to pray specifically. It can be tempting to pray in general phrases like “help my spouse and I to become closer,” because we know God’s aware of our needs, but I find prayer to be so much more impactful when going further than the blanket supplications. This way, when he does answer our prayers, it’s much more meaningful and moving…it becomes more of a partnership than just a daily list of asks.
Don’t Forget to Listen
I read a quote year’s ago that always stuck with me. It said prayer should entail more listening than talking. If prayer is a conversation with the Lord, we need to incorporate times of listening into our prayer time. Prayer is a conversation, and no one enjoys one sided talks. Try incorporating small times of silence before scooting off to start/continue our day after prayer. This can feel awkward at first, but God will honor your efforts, and you will hear that quiet voice of the Holy Spirit if you make room for him.
Prayer is such a precious gift. God will honor any effort we make to hear His voice clearer. Don’t let the enemy turn our prayer times into a religious exercise. When you forget your quiet time, don’t feel guilty, just get back into your routine tomorrow. And don’t forget to create a prayer request list/answered prayer list or journal, it’s super encouraging!
Check out this Bethel Church sermon for more inspiration on prayer.
For more on prayer, check out my post, “Why Mom’s Need Prayer Even More Than Sleep.”