Mind if I confess something to y’all? I’ve been in a bit of a prayer rut lately. My mealtime prayers have been a bit blah, almost stock. My daughter has decided to rebel over bedtime prayers (she’s only three, I’m not too worried) and the bedtime prayers have gotten a bit shorter as of late. Once she goes to bed I should continue the conversation with God, but I don’t. Throughout the day, I use prayer triggers, but that’s about it really.
However, prayer is an essential part of our Christian faith, so I’ve gathered up my resources to help me get out of this rut and into a deeper prayer life. I hope you’ll leave a comment and let me know what you do to keep your prayer life growing!
1. Make a schedule
Choose what time you will lift up your daily prayers (it can be a different time each day to fit your schedule); then, assign specific prayer topics to days of the week. Here is a sample:
- Sunday – Your church, missionaries, pastors and their family, and those who have not yet heard of Jesus.
- Monday – Co-workers.
- Tuesday – Those in need such as the homeless, orphans, children in foster care, people in nursing homes and hospice, etc.
- Wednesday – Our nation, it’s leaders, those in the armed services, and first responders.
- Thursday – Everything that makes you thankful. Start a list of reasons to thank God!
- Friday – Your family and future relationships.
- Saturday – Your friends and enemies.
2. Use Prayer Triggers
Associate a person or prayer topic with a specific object. When you see this visual cue, get prayn’! Right now, I’m wearing a cross bracelet reminding me to pray for a dear friend. My wedding band cues me to pray for my husband and my marriage. You could choose a McDonald’s sign as a cue to pray for your kids, or luggage to pray for someone traveling. If you are an avid music listener, you can use a song as your trigger too. These triggers can be temporary, or life long. What have you used to remind you to prayer for someone?
3. Pray Back God’s Word
We are not all wordsmiths. When I am faced with a challenging request and I don’t know what to pray, I turn to God’s Word. I ask God to provide a Bible verse to pray over my friend and the circumstance. For instance, for one friend I pray Psalm 27:14 and Luke 18:27. This not only directs prayer time but helps commit His Word into our hearts.
4. There’s an App for That
Several in fact, to help keep track of Prayer requests, note when prayers have been answered and send reminders to pray! There isn’t one in particular I use, simply go to your App Store and type in “prayer journal” to view your options, choosing the right one for your needs. Is there an App you use to keep track of prayers? Or maybe the Note feature on your phone?
If you know your way around Evernote, then that may be an option for you since you can access it on multiple devices. Create a Prayer Notebook and add a new Note for each request.
5. Create a Prayer Journal…on Paper
Grab a spiral or pretty journal. As you pray each day, write down requests. Leave room under each request so that you can add Bible verses to pray and note for when the prayer has been answered. Another way to do this is with a notecard binder (yes, those exist). Each note card would have a prayer request on the front with the date and Bible verses you are praying over the request. Use the back for other notes and a prayer of thanksgiving for the answer. Keep the active prayers separated from the ones answered with a divider, which should come with the notecard binder.
There are also several prayer journals you can purchase to help guide you. I recently purchased Growing Through Prayer: A Love God Greatly Bible Study Journal. This is the first prayer journal I’ve invested in and I will let you know what I think! Do you have a prayer journal you’ve used?
One more thought about prayer. Don’t stress over the words you use or trying hard to “sound good”. Imagine for a moment that a toddler is talking to you. Do you correct their words at every turn, or do you soak in the fact this little one is conversing with you? God LOVES when we go to Him in prayer. He doesn’t get upset if our words are a bit jumbled, or we don’t know exactly how to express what our heart is feeling. Instead, He rejoices that His precious child is taking a few moments to connect with Him.
To go even deeper with your prayer life, I encourage you to go through Wendy Blight’s online Bible study Cultivating a Heart of Prayer. It’s a four-week study and you can go through the material at your own pace. I promise, you won’t be disappointed you did!
What might your prayer life look like if you set aside time each day to pray and kept a prayer journal? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.