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We all long to pray more. We all face days when we’re desperate for time alone with God, yet are overwhelmed at the thought of it. Beyond basic needs, what should we say to Him? How can we develop a flourishing prayer life with our Heavenly Father, rather than a flustered one? It’s easy to lack prayerful confidence or consistency.
I hope these personal tips from four blogging friends and myself can offer some encouragement and guidance. Prayer is blessed form of communion with our Lord. In fact, prayer is work of the most beautiful kind!
As we labor to share the requests of others and surrender our hearts to God, in a sweet paradox He in turn gives rest and rejuvenation.
Jesus delights in our praises, takes our burdens, molds our heart, and ministers redemption in the world through our offerings.
Here’s 5 ways you can become prayerful today:
1. Focus on God’s Glory
by Allyson of Rapt Motherhood
I used to struggle with consistent prayer. I thought prayer was something to be completed each day, a checkbox to be marked off by the mature believer. Life got in the way of what I thought this practice should look like, so I stopped engaging in regular prayer because I didn’t have the time to do it “right” or because it had become monotonous.
When I finally learned that my purpose is to glorify God, the Holy Spirit radically changed my view of prayer.
Seemingly mundane chores were now meaningful. Prayer, Bible study, and other spiritual disciplines are a “means of experiencing God’s grace – how we get to know Him and His character in greater, deeper ways. These practices drive us to give Him glory.” (See my post: 3 Steps to Developing a Quiet Time Habit: The Heart of Private Worship)
When we make prayer less about us and more about giving Him our rapt attention, we find ourselves moving from a checkbox attitude and to glorifying relationship with our Savior.
Recommended Resource for worshipping God in prayer:
2. Let Scripture Take the Lead
by Kira Bridges
Over the last few years, my prayer journey has gone from not praying very often, to fervently praying every day, to not praying very often again, and then back to fervently praying most days.
In my seasons of not praying very often, I know I should pray—I even want to pray—but I get stuck not knowing what to say. When I feel stuck and I’ve forgotten the joy of regular prayer, the one practice that never fails me is praying Scripture. It’s by far the most effective way to get unstuck and moving into another season of impassioned daily prayer.
The Bible is full of great passages you can easily turn into a prayer. If you’re new to praying Scripture, or find yourself overrun by feelings of sadness or anger, the Psalms are a great place to start. Psalms often put into words what you’re feeling and needing from God and you can pray them word-for-word as you read.
You can also turn almost any Bible verse into a prayer by using my super simple formula for praying Scripture. Or use Scripture as inspiration for a prayer all in your own words. Whichever way you choose, you will find an abundance of words to pray in Scripture.
P.S. Kira recently released 3 new Scripture prayer journals for seasons of waiting, marriage, and our identity in Christ – check them out!
3. Express Thankfulness for Others
by Emily of Married Myrick
As a wife, you know it’s incredibly important to pray for your husband. But how often do you actually do this? Super convicting question I know, but I have another: how often do you pray for God to change something in your husband (or if you’re not married, a loved one) versus how often do you praise God for him or her?
I believe many couples grow distant because they forget why they loved their spouse to begin with. But cultivating a heart of gratitude can not only strengthen your love for the person, but also draw you nearer to the Lord.
One way I love to do this is by thanking God for the qualities my husband displays that are reflections of His character.
My husband provides, just as the Lord provides (Philippians 4:19), and shows me Christlike love (Ephesians 5:25). He reflects God by keeping his word (Deuteronomy 7:9), is kind, patient, and faithful (Galatians 5:22-23).
By praying in this way, we not only give God thanks, but grow in gratitude and remind ourselves of God’s faithful character forever worthy of praise. To pray more intentionally in this way, I’ve created a free printable you can download to journal your thoughts!
4. Remember God Loves to Listen
by Julie of Unmasking the Mess
I’ve always known prayer to be important, as in the Bible there are many verses about praying continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
My problem was I thought I was somehow deficient in the prayer department. I couldn’t pray with the right words, I wasn’t eloquent enough, or my biggest excuse, I didn’t have the time to pray. I mean, wasn’t I supposed to be somewhere quiet, on my knees in almost a different plane of awareness?
The struggle with thinking this way is these barriers will keep me from simply talking with God about my day. The truth of the matter is: this is prayer. It’s a conversation with God where there are pauses and interruptions and breaks and interjections.
The key is the ongoing communication that happens throughout the day. It’s meeting God’s heart and intertwining mine with His. He knows what I want to say and what I mean without the eloquence.
God knows the intention of my heart where I’d rather be in quiet reverence on my knees, but find myself instead knee-high with kids and mess and tantrums.
God knows me and wants to hear from me about everything. This one idea has changed my prayer life!
5. Make A Personal Prayer Closet
by Danielle of Free Indeed
As someone in the season of little ones and unpredictable days, I can easily find myself murmuring a few lines to God before hitting the pillow if I’m not intentional. Like Julie, I enjoy having spontaneous conversation with Christ in spare moments and in the middle of the mess!
At the same time, in the spirit of Matthew 6:6 I’ve found that a structured space for private prayer provides a spot to quietly savor God’s presence. In addition to being prayerful during daily Bible study time, whenever I can I retreat there for longer periods of prayer.
In my last apartment I literally created a prayer corner in my bedroom’s closet, what some people call a war room. I posted Scriptures, requests, maps of persecuted countries – various visuals of things I desired to place before the Lord. I also had some prayer notebooks there to review.
Now, in my new apartment, I don’t have the same closet space… BUT I now have a sink with a view and ample counter room. I’ve come to look forward to dishwashing time after the kids are tucked in bed. There I rotate through prayer cards and my Scripture memory notebook as I scrub, and lift up praises and petitions from the day.
Look around your home and consider curating a spot – whether it’s a corner of your desk, dishwashing corner, or verse cards taped to your bathroom mirror – where you can be reminded to purposely pray.
Being prayerful will look different in different phases of life, but one things is clear – it is essential to your walk with God. Seek to worship Him, meditate on His Word, exercise gratitude, and nurture closeness with Him.
For a study of Scriptures on prayer check out my thorough post: A Christian Woman’s Mini Guide to Prayer.
Another practical tool I’ve used for prayer:
This sturdy notebook comes with tabbed sections and stickers to organize your prayer requests. Within each section are individual request boxes with space to record the need, a Scripture to pray, what God’s teaching you, and God’s answer. I love it!
Do you have a prayer tip to share? Or what do you love most about prayer? Is there an attribute of God you want to praise Him for in prayer today? Share below!