I heard two great messages on prayer yesterday as many churches across the nation kick off the year with fasting and prayer campaigns. I began to reflect on how I initially made my prayer life practical for everyday life.
Prayer can be a monstrous task for many. Finding the time, not knowing what to pray, wondering if your prayers are being heard, or just getting through a prayer time without being distracted are just some of the obstacles that come our way when we are pursuing consistency in our prayer lives.
As I look back there were a few things that were key in making my prayer life practical for everyday life. Here are three things you can do today as well as one new thing I’m trying this year for the very first time.
1. Make Prayer Personal – A personal prayer life begins with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ begins with an honest conversation with God about your shortcomings, acknowledging the sacrifice that He made for those shortcomings through His death, burial and resurrection, and surrendering your life in order to live out His plan and purpose He has for you. When I first became a Christian it was initially hard for me to grasp that I could have a personal relationship with God, but when I began to understand that He came to this world to save it and not condemn it, my view of God changed. My view of God was hindering my view of prayer. Misconceptions about God can make prayer difficult.
2. Make Prayer a Priority – Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” There is power in putting prayer on top of your list. Prayer is the humble act that causes us to know Him more and helps us to see Him working on our behalf throughout the day. God gives grace to the humble and opposes the proud! Praying after your day is done isn’t always avoidable, but it can be an indicator that your okay with doing life without Him!
3. Make Prayer Routine – I remember when 15 minutes in prayer felt like 15 days! Then when I enrolled in a two year discipleship program they required that you pray 30 minutes a day. At that time that translated into eternity. When making prayer a routine I quickly learned that you needed a model. I was introduced to Jesus’ response to the disciples after they asked, “Teach us to pray.” There are many prayer models that will help you establish a routine, but beginning with Jesus’ prayer model is a great place to start:
“When you pray, say: ” ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.
Models will help mold your prayer life into something enjoyable and something to look forward to.
4. Make a Prayer List – For the first time I’m going digital with my prayer list. I’m making a personal and detailed prayer list with the PrayPlan app.
App Features include: Categories, answered prayers, reminders, etc. I am really enjoying this app so far and it was only a $1.99
If you’ve been unable make prayer practical, start with some of these suggestions. I will be following up with some more practical prayer helps as I’m setting the next several weeks to take my prayer life to new levels.
What practical steps have you take to make your prayer life rewarding?