Prayer practice and routines are our lifeline to our Savior Jesus Christ. We need these times to press deeply into the life giving waters he offers. But many of us struggle to find an effectual way to have prayers practices.
“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”Max Lucado
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What are some Ways to Pray?
Prayer is one of those crazy mysterious parts of faith. Prayer is necessary and amazing. It’s also an element of the faith that many Christians struggle with. For me, my process of praying is very black and white. At times I have a great prayer rhythm. In these moments, I feel confident that God hears my pleas. Other times I am way off-key, and it seems my prayers hit the ceiling and fall flat.
Building prayer practices can help make sure the great prayer days outweigh the poor ones. The best part about this routine is you honestly don’t need anything to get started. Ultimately we want to have organized how we pray so well that our lives are a prayer, but to get to this place requires practice.
How do I talk to God?
Prayer is a conversation. Ultimately, our prayer life should ebb and flow through dialogue with our heavenly Father during the day. Each prayer is a time when we get the opportunity to share our thoughts on this sometimes crazy beautiful life with our creator. We also get the privilege of tuning in to His words for us to help make life and the lives of those around us a little less crazy and much more beautiful. This skill doesn’t come easily, however.
When I began curating my prayer practices and routine, it was messy and awkward. It took trial and error to become a habit that was easier to maintain. My intention in creating my prayer routine was to enhance communication skills so that not only did I trust that God was listening, but I also was sure I allowed adequate time to hear Him. What evolved was a list of simple hacks for organizing prayer time that can be incorporated easily into everyday routines. It has since become an invaluable part of my lifestyle.
Here are the prayer practices and hacks!
Choose your prayer time
For months I tried to pray first thing in the morning. The idea of giving God the first fruits of my day seemed like it was what I was supposed to do. However, the logistics of this never seemed to work for me. Mornings are hectic, and I found it hard to devote the time I wanted to. So I pray in the afternoon. The bottom line here is, unless you hear the holy spirit explicitly give you a time, the critical aspect is you are dedicating time to get away with your Father.
If you are looking for practical ways to organize your morning time, you can find my entire morning routine resource here, and download the morning printables by clicking the image above.
Prepare your prayer space
Where we pray has endless possibilities because our Father in heaven can hear us wherever we are. Whether it is our morning commute in heavy traffic or on vacation, God is listening to the cares of His children. But because this is a conversation between an all-loving God and His easily distractible children, there are some aspects of our prayer space that can make our prayer time more impactful.
Your prayer space should be somewhere in your home that is peaceful, comfortable, and distraction-free. Maybe its an extra closet in the house that you can throw some pillows and a blanket on the floor to pray, perhaps it's just your favorite recliner, or reading nook you create. Wherever your space is, it should be somewhere you can go to build your prayer time routine.
Keep a list of prayer requests for each day
If you are like me, sometimes the busyness of life gets in the way. I notice areas in my life I am struggling. I speak with friends who are in need. The news breaks my heart. But when I get my determined prayer time, I can not remember all of the specific things I wanted to pray about, so I pray a general “Jesus, help us all” prayer and hope to do better the next day.
When I first began strategically organizing my prayer life, being specific in prayer was hard. I focused so much on how to say the words that I ended up sounding exceptionally religious and minimally genuine. My side of the conversation seemed as if I was speaking to an acquaintance and not a lifelong companion. My fear of saying the wrong thing made my prayers stiff and meaningless. Generalizing my needs and desires decreased my chances of seeing God move in my life because I didn’t know what to expect when His answers came.
So here is the hack, write down your prayer needs as you progress through your day. When you see someone in need, or you promise to pray for a friend, add it to a running list on a note app or in your planner. Now, you have a precise list of requests to pray.
Create a quick reference scripture box for use during prayer time
I love praying through the scriptures. For example, if I know someone is struggling with fear, I like to pray 2 Timothy 1:7 over them. Some scriptures are embedded in my heart. Other times I need to peruse the scriptures and see what the specific Rhema word is for a situation. For this, I use a little note card box organized with scriptures relating to different subjects. I will peruse this box of scripture on a particular topic. Its sort of my version of a concordance.
Write down your prayers
I love journalist my prayers. It's been the easiest way for me to cut down the extra chatter that goes on in my mind during prayer. It also gives me an evolving account of God’s answer to those prayers. My faith grows whenever I read through my prayer journal and realize I’m reading answered prayers. It is a personal account of God’s faithfulness.
I like to keep a few items, such as my bible, a notebook, pens, and notecards in and around my prayer space to aid in the process of prayer.
The prayer journal templates below are an excellent way to write your prayers down and see God's handiwork in your life. They can be used in conjunction with other prayer journals or individually to create an ideal prayer space. Click on the image below or here.
Keep a distraction log
Do you ever find your mind wandering during prayer time? Maybe it’s the grocery list or a conversation the went wrong during the day. These distractions take us out of the moment and lead to wasted prayer time. To minimize time spent on distractions, I keep a distraction list. When something comes to mind randomly, I write it on a scrap piece of paper to handle later.
Prayer Practices Tips
These prayer practices tips have significantly affected my prayer life for the better. I am more confident in my relationship with God as I purposefully spend time speaking with and listening to Him in prayer! I also have a story of his faithfulness in my life at my fingertips!
A Little More About Ashley
Hey ya'll! I'm Ashley. I'm a wife, mommy is of two and a Jesus Lover! I live in Alaska with my family! I'm an aspiring working homesteader, a dentist, and I love writing about Gods Grace to the everyday woman. I hope that my words will shed light on the power of transparency and authenticity to break the chains of shame in our lives! You can find me at undoubtedgrace.com or at instagram.com/undoubtedgrace.