Welcome to our 2020 Summer Refresh! While Val is busy, busy writing away on her new book, we thought this was a great opportunity to update some old faves from the blog and re-share them with you! Enjoy!
After researching for the Fresh Start Prayer Journal a few years ago and experiencing my own dry season in my prayer life, I realized just how limited my prayers were. It is so easy to get stuck in praying the same way you have always prayed and this might result in a prayer life that becomes more about crossing something off your spiritual to-do list than a relationship with God. Since then, I’ve gotten creative with prayer and it has refreshed me so much.
In the same way, eating the same foods or doing the same workouts can get boring and cause us to not want to do them, so can praying the exact same way every day.
Our prayer lives do not need to be boring or monotonous.
We get to be in conversation with our Creator. That’s truly amazing. It’s not limited to a list of requests, bedtime prayers, or blessings for our food.
There are lots of opportunities to get creative and mix things up but I do want to make sure it’s completely obvious, the techniques might be new and sound a little weird but they have one very important thing in common. They are praying to the one true God. We can twist just about anything into something not of God and as I’ve read more and more on prayer, I have seen teaching veer from God’s narrow path and get mystical and more about worldly meditation. Pray that the Lord would give you discernment to distinguish the two.
Here are 6 different prayer techniques that I incorporate into my prayer life now:
1. TEMPO PRAYER
I completely made this up so if it sounds strange, that’s why! 😉 One way I mix things up is to simply change my delivery if I’m praying out loud. Some days, my prayers are super quiet, calm and I use very few words. These prayers slow me down and help me listen and surrender. Other days, I grab my prayer journal and pray almost rapid-fire prayers. I pray with a passion (listen to Fervent on Audible from Priscilla Shirer and you will FEEL her passion), urgency, and bold faith. I get loud. I don’t leave any space between requests and even use some hand motions. These prayers fire me up and help to stay focused. There is no room for distractions when I pray this way and I find my conviction bigger in these moments. Also, when I pray fast, I’m sometimes surprised by the words that come out of my mouth. I don’t have time to overthink it, I just share my heart.
2. HOUSE PRAYER
I go for a walk around my house and pray for things as they relate to that room. I started this technique while taking care of a newborn this summer when I felt like our family was very much under attack. I literally wanted to cover our household and family in prayer this way and was normally trying to bounce a fussy baby. This walking from room to room helped me to creatively pray and cover so many things I don’t think about on a regular basis.
- In the living room – that people would feel joy and peace here, for the conversations that will happen here
- In the dining room – for our community, deep friendships, ways we can serve others, spiritual food
- In the kitchen – for health, discipline, smart choices
- In the master bathroom – praying for self-care, the right balance between indulgent and not enough
You can grab our House Prayers worksheet here!
3. SCRIPTURE PRAYER
This is simply praying Scripture verses. I started with Psalm 119. I read through and picked out verses that I wanted to make my own prayer. Then I added them to the Scripture’s sections of my prayer journal. Another tip if you have our prayer journals is to add a Scripture verse to different requests. You can see how I do this in my journal here.
- “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!” – Psalm 119:10
- A great example of this concept is Stormie Omartian’s prayers for her husband in A Praying Wife. Here is one: “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Therefore, Lord, I pray that You would direct my husband’s steps. Lead him in Your light, teach him Your way, so he will walk in Your truth. I pray that he would have a deeper walk with You and an ever progressing hunger for Your Word. … Create in him a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within him. Don’t cast him away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from him (Psalm 51:10-11). Lord, Your Word says that those who are in the flesh cannot please You (Romans 8:8). So I pray that You will enable my husband to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh and thereby keep himself “from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalm 17:4). As he walks in the Spirit, may he produce the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). In Jesus’ name I pray.”
4. PROMPTED PRAYER
Writing down prayers from prompts. This one I have been doing for years. When I find myself distracted, I like to write out my prayers OR pray with my prayer journal. If I’m SUUUUPER distracted, I combine them! 🙂 I’ll write out prayers that are in my journal. This isn’t just me writing exactly what’s in my journal but expounding on a word or two I wrote in my journal into a few sentences or more. If you don’t have one of our journals, now is the time to try it! We have our best sale of the year in July! Grab a $10 journal and see how you like it, and if you do and want to really go for it next year, we’ve got our yearly journals available at their best price in August!
5. CENTERING PRAYER
I do this in the mornings and it’s become my favorite way to start the day! I lay flat on my back on our living room rug. If you have taken any sort of Pilates class, you may have heard them say to visualize something anchoring your belly button to the ground. Now I envision Christ as that anchor in my belly recognizing that His presence brings me strength and hope for the day. I stretch out my legs and arms and reach out as far as possible and envision the Holy Spirit flowing from my center out to my fingertips reminding me that in everything I do that day, I possess the power of Christ in me to physically do those things. This might sound a bit weird, but I think there are some spiritual concepts that are hard to remember and this physical act reminds me that Christ lives in me through the power of the Holy Spirit. If we imagine doing life without Christ in us, we will get discouraged and fearful. This is like 99% of the reason I worry. When I remember that Christ lives in me and that I am capable of so much more because of it, I find a deep strength I didn’t know I had. I was living so much of life apart from this truth that I thought it would be a great way to start my day.
6. CONFESSING PRAYER
I feel a bit silly listing this one because it should be part of our prayer life, but confession is something I really have to remind myself of. Every so often, I will write out a page or two of confessing things to the Lord. Each time, it’s been very life-giving and not guilt-ridden as you may expect. I felt huge weights lifted off of me as I gave them to God and rested in His grace. If you need some help getting started, our prayer journals have some verses and questions to prompt you in confession! Unconfessed sins create distance between us and God. This could actually be a big factor for why prayer may feel lackluster.
Want more ideas? We just launched a 31-day challenge to add energize your prayer life with a new technique every day!
Leave a comment: I would LOVE to hear if you have any other techniques that add vibrancy to your prayer life.
Val, this is amazing! I”m printing this out as guide for my prayer life! It’s been
lackluster this year 🙁
Great article! I’m sharing this with my Sunday School class today!
Very nice post, thanks for sharing. I love it all.