Prayer is simply having a conversation with God. There are many different thoughts on what you should and shouldn’t say when you pray. There is merit to many of these ideas. But try to make your prayer life a simple conversation with your Heavenly Father.
Here are 10 tips to help you as you begin a journey of praying faithfully to God.
Have a Place to Pray
You may have a quiet room in your house that you can use to pray, or you may find solace in your car in the parking lot at work. Wherever you pray, try to be consistent. It certainly doesn’t matter to God if you lock yourself in a bathroom or a broom closet, but it will help you to focus on your prayer time when you have a consistent time and place to pray.
Have a Time to Pray
Schedule a time to pray. The Bible says to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This means to always be in an attitude of prayer, or to be aware that God is with you at every moment and that you can have a conversation with Him at any time. However, scheduling a specific time to pray each day will help you become a consistent person of prayer: someone who is serious about the needs of others and will pray trusting that God will accomplish His plan in their life.
As you begin learning to pray, you may find that you only need a few minutes each day. Ten minutes of praying is a long time for someone who has never had the habit of prayer. The more you pray and follow these tips, the more time you will want to have with the Lord.
Make an appointment with God on your daily calendar and keep that appointment just as you would with anyone else on your agenda.
Make a Prayer List
Create a list that you carry with you or in your prayer journal where you can note specific prayer requests that people mention. When someone asks you to pray for them, write it down. Don’t trust your memory.
You can divide your list into various types of requests, or create lists that you will pray through on various days of the week. Maybe you will commit to praying for government leaders three days a week but want to pray for your family every day. At first this may not be necessary because you will start with a short list of requests. But as you have more and more things to pray for, you can divide them out so that you are not rushed in your prayer time.
Use a Prayer Guide
A prayer guide is a short list of reminders of what types of things you should pray for. Here are some suggested topics for your prayer guide: salvation, protection, leadership, ministry opportunity, deliverance from temptation, etc.
When you pray for a missionary you should pray that God will give them protection on the field, that they will be able to witness effectively and that they will have more ministry opportunities. When praying for your family you can use this list to remind you to pray for their deliverance from temptation, safety and that they will make wise decisions as they lead others.
Make your own guide to help you remember certain things you should be praying for in each type of request that you are given.
Pray for the requests on your list and try to avoid general prayers. God already knows about all the missionaries in the world. Don’t just pray for God to bless them all. Pray for their specific needs. Pray for your family member’s individual requests.
God knows the needs. He wants us to acknowledge that we are concerned about those individual requests too.
Keep a Notepad Close
Have you ever been distracted while praying? It often happens that we are praying and remember something important we need to do, or even another prayer request will come to mind. Use a simple notepad to help you jot down these new requests (or to-do items) and then get back to your conversation with the Lord. Don’t let distractions keep you from having an effective prayer life.
Keep a Prayer Journal
Along with your prayer list you should keep a journal of the things you have prayed for in the past. Write down when you began praying for it and when God answered your prayers. We have all had prayers answered, but can you name five specific things you prayed for and when God answered them? If you don’t have some type of prayer journal, you probably can’t.
Use this prayer journal to remind you of the prayer answering God that we serve. He is eager to hear and answer our prayers according to His will.
If your children were not thankful and never recognized when you do good things for them, how would that make you feel? Don’t be guilty of having a thankless spirit by asking God to answer prayers and then never acknowledging His provision.
Talk With God
Don’t make prayer complicated. There are certainly many things the Bible teaches about prayer. We should pray with respect. We should pray to a loving Father. We should pray with sins forgiven. We should pray in Jesus’ name and according to His will. All of these things are taught in the Bible. Keep these things in mind while praying, but don’t complicate prayer.
Talk with God as if you are having a conversation with a friend. Yes, He is King of creation, but He is also a caring and loving Father.
God will hear you if you pray silently, but praying aloud helps you to stay focused. When you pray aloud you force yourself to think intelligently about your words. Praying silently is a quick way to zone out and lose focus and intensity in your prayer time.
Find a Prayer Partner
The majority of your daily prayer should be a personal time of communion with God; however, it is also helpful to share requests with others who can carry a prayer burden with you. You can both rejoice over victories through prayer.
The Bible even speaks about us joining together with others in prayer. We can bring requests to God on an individual basis, but Jesus admonishes the disciples in Matthew 18:19 and 20 that there is more power in going to God as a group rather than only as individuals.
I hope these 10 tips help you in your quest to pray more consistently. Having daily communion with God is a great way to help you grow spiritually and become more mature in your Christianity.
Do you have other prayer tips? Please include them in the comments below.
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)