Last week a friend passed along an article taken from the “On Mission” magazine. It outlined 30 ways to pray for missionaries. It got me to thinking about how prevalent it is to hear folks say “I really need to pray more.” Or maybe they say, “I am not sure how to pray.” Or maybe the comment is, “I get so bored with my prayer life.”
I am convinced that at least in part we say those things because our understanding of prayer is so limited. We think it is mostly about asking God for things (and if we are “spiritual,” we are asking on behalf of others). And like a nagging child, we get tired of hearing our own voices repeating the same stuff.
This week would be a great time to revitalize our prayer life. I say “life” because talking with the Lord should be an integral aspect of our entire life, not just some words we say at prescribed times.
So….here are three suggestions:
Be specific about what you are praying for. If you are praying for leaders in your church or people in your office, set up a schedule of things to cover on their behalf. Pray that they remain focused on God (Matt. 6:33). Pray that they model a life of dependence on Him (Prov. 3:5-6). Pray that they have a life style rooted in humility and filled with confession and repentance (Ps. 1339:23-24) and so on. Note this pattern on your calendar (electronic or otherwise).
As you are praying for your family, set aside a day of the week to focus on each person. Or identify specific character qualities to highlight each day. Pray for their purity on one day (Ps. 119:133). Pray for the way they speak with others (Col. 4:6) on another day. One day each week, pray that they would be devoted to Christ (II Cor. 11:3). And so on.
Change it up. Take a look at how, when and how much you currently pray. Mix it up. Change the schedule, the environment and the routine. If you write your prayers now (prayer journal or diary) then start singing them or doing some visual representations (cut out pictures, make a scrapbook, paint, use objects as reference points etc.) If you play an instrument, play it as part of your prayer time. If you always pray in a certain staid physical surrounding, move, walk, run or stretch while you pray. (A friend was praying for me today while she ran on her “drudge” mill!)
Keep it simple. While a healthy prayer life needs some structure and an occasionally “improvement plan,” we all need to remember that at its core, prayer is simply us talking to our heavenly Father. By His grace, we have been given this incredible opportunity to speak to Him, to bring our requests, and to express our devotion and adoration. Bottom line, we are building a relationship.
So in words of a corny commercial, JUST DO IT!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel