Many believers struggle with praying consistently, and I count myself among that number. Here are several strategies, though, that have strengthened my prayer life over the years. Maybe they’ll help you pray as we begin a new year.
- Begin the day with prayer. Before I get out of bed each day, I pray three simple prayers to direct my attention to Him:
- “Lord, thank You for loving me today.” (John 3:16)
- “Lord, lead me not into temptation; deliver me from the evil one today.” (Matt. 6:13)
- “Lord, teach me to pray today.” (Luke 11:1)
- Pray through the day’s calendar before going to work. To be honest, I usually use my shower time to mentally review my appointments and pray for each one.
- Pray with your spouse each day. Regardless of when this prayer takes place, make sure it happens on a daily basis. Prayer intimacy is like no other intimacy.
- Learn to talk to God all day long. People who are just watching me might wonder with whom I’m talking throughout the day. It’s cool to carry on a conversation with God while driving, while walking across campus, or while running on the treadmill.
- Use “break” times for prayer. Think about it – if you use four 15-minute time slots to pray throughout the day, you’ve prayed as much as the “prayer warrior” who prays for an hour each day.
- Have a daily prayer agenda. I don’t pray for everything every day. I do, though, pray about these specific items each day:
- my wife and believing family members
- my non-believing family members and friends
- my mentees and their families (by name)
- missionaries celebrating their birthdays
- an unreached people group (name found daily on my website)
- my local church pastors
- Have a weekly prayer agenda. In addition to my daily prayer emphases, I pray for specific needs each day:
Sunday: my church
Monday: my students in class this week
Tuesday: my family members in ministry
Wednesday: missionaries (North American and international)
Thursday: my denominational entity leaders
Friday: my seminary administration and colleagues
Saturday: for courage and alertness to be a witness for Christ next week
- Pray with people as often as possible. If possible, begin and end a meeting in prayer. Pray with your children or grandchildren every day. End a phone call with a prayer. Send an unexpected email to friends, asking them for prayer concerns. If folks ask you to pray, do so immediately.
- End the day with prayer. If late night praying ends in your falling asleep, keep the prayer short—but still finish the day by focusing on God. If you’ve prayed throughout the day, a simple, “Thank You, God, for this day” is okay.
What other suggestions would you add? Let’s help each other pray.