Five Ways to Improve Your Prayer Life
Last week we talked about the gift of an authentic prayer life, and this week I’d like to share with you “Five Ways to Improve Your Prayer Life”. I realize there are more than five ways, but I use these in my own prayer life and God has truly blessed my prayer time as a result.
1. Be Intentional: Most of us run our lives on a schedule. We make appointments for everything. Time is a precious commodity, so we have to use it wisely. It is easy, however, to fill up the open spaces in our day with life’s spontaneous demands, and if something isn’t in our schedule, chances are it won’t happen. Prayer is foundational for our faith. It is the way we are able to communicate with God. If we forfeit our time with Him in prayer we can rest assured nothing is going to go quite the way we planned it. Making time for prayer is as easy as setting the alarm on your phone or making an appointment in your calendar. The catch is, you have to value the appointment as much as you would a meeting with a respected client or an important phone call. God deserves to have your full attention. Sometimes, it is about making a statement to yourself in the morning. There are days as I travel, that I pray at every red light. You know what will work best for you and your schedule. Just do it!
2. Write It Down: Have you ever been in a situation where someone has asked you to pray and you have told them you will, only to forget about it until you see them again? I have learned if someone asks me to pray, I have to own that responsibility because praying for one another is what God calls us to do. We think nothing of making lists for ourselves in order to remember everything we need for a recipe or for tasks at work, but many times we forget when there is a person trusting us to pray for them about a tough situation in their life. These days we can’t really use the excuse “I forgot to write it down” because a majority of us have a smart phone or the ability to text ourselves so we don’t forget. If I don’t have my phone with me I ask the person asking for prayer to please send me a quick e-mail or text, because it also demonstrates I’m not taking their request lightly and I can be trusted to pray for their need.
3. Just Doodle It: Are you one of those people, like me, that no matter what you’re doing you need to be doing something else at the same time to stay focused? Adult Coloring Books have taken the world by storm and we read all about the benefits of coloring or doodling so that we are using more than one of our senses at the same time. The more senses we use the more likely we are able to retain our emphasis on our prayers. Release the creativity of your prayers on paper or whatever element gets you to remain attentive in your prayer time.
4. Pray Scripture: One of my favorite ways to pray is taking the scriptures and turning them into a prayer or even a song. Not only are you reading God’s word, but the more you read the more you learn and memorize. Those truths then become embedded in your heart. It always amazes me the scripture I know, that I didn’t know I knew, until I begin to pray. It also becomes an effective tool when you are asked to pray with someone on the spot. The Lord hides His word in your heart and will bring it to remembrance when you need it the most. I love praying the Psalms. It takes me to a very intimate place with God, sharing my fears, failures, hope and faith through the power of His Word.
5.Reflect and Praise: Always take time to thank God for the answered prayers. God loves to delight His children. Let’s face it, we are happy when God answers our prayers, but if we just ask and get and never say “Thank you”, the value of the answer to our prayer is missed. It is easy to remember the one prayer that isn’t answered, versus all the prayers God has answered. When we take the time to reflect, it is a great encouragement to keep praying. Prayer is a great faith builder. Acknowledge to others how God is working in your prayer life. Praise is our way of giving back to God the honor He deserves. When we praise God we are demonstrating love and admitting we can’t do anything on our own, and how we desperately need Him.
Prayer isn't all about what God can do for us, but what God can do through us for His purpose… Click To TweetPrayer isn’t all about what God can do for us, but what God can do through us for His purpose and plan. What are some things you have done in your own prayer time that have beneficial for your prayer life? I would love to hear your ideas. God teaches us in different ways and we can learn a lot from each other. I look forward to hearing from you!