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Who doesn’t long to have a better prayer life? I cannot think of one person who feels their prayer life is on par with where they want it to be. No matter how much they pray they always feel they could be doing it more. While I don’t have an anagram for you, here are some things that have helped me grow in my prayer life.
1) Schedule It!
Most people would agree that if it gets on the schedule it gets done. I am one of those who would agree, I am pretty rigid about wanting to stick to my schedule. But if you are like me, when its not an external appointment that involves someone else’s time I struggle to keep to it. Making prayer an external appointment on my calendar and remembering it’s God’s time has helped me stick to my goals.
2) Structure It!
While I think it is important to have some freeness to your prayer, it helps when it is slightly structured, especially when you are feeling stuck. I tend to follow the pattern of confessing my sin, repenting, thanksgiving, interceding for others, and petitioning for my own needs. You don’t have to follow my pattern, but as long as it contains similar elements, it can help the process.
3) Do it!
It is easy to talk about prayer and how important we think it is, while it’s a whole other thing to actually take the time to pray. Once you realize that it is important enough to put on the schedule and you have some sense of how to attack it, now it’s time to do it. You don’t have to pray for hours to be an effective prayer warrior. You can pray for ten minutes and have more impact than someone who prays twice as long with an empty heart.
4) Be Sincere!
As you pray do it from a place of sincerity. God knows what you need long before you ask Him. Talk to him as you would talk to a dear friend or maybe even your own father. Hold nothing back. Let him know your sorrows and regrets along with your joys. The more you open up to Him the more He will respond. James tells us that if we draw close to God he will draw close to us.(James 4:8)
5) Write It Out!
If you feel like your prayers are getting stagnant, try writing them out in a journal, WORDsearch notes, or in a program like Evernote. I have found that by writing my prayers out it helps me to organize my thoughts better and allows me to be more precise in what I am talking about with God. So don’t write this off without at least trying it for a week and see how it works out for you. Journaling could become your favorite method of prayer and the best part of your day.
My hope is these tips will encourage you to pray more and feel as though you are doing well at it. Even though it is not a competition, we all want to do better. May the Lord richly bless your time in prayer and knit you closer to Him that once you begin this time together it will be more natural and you will keep it up.
Paul Horne has been married to wife Lory for over seven years, and they have two sons. They reside in Suffolk, VA, and are a part of a local church plant. Horne is currently a full-time seminary student (LBTS), pursuing an M.Div. in Pastoral Ministries. He has a heart for men’s ministry, particularly small groups. You can read more of his blog here.
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