If you read our blog or own any of our products, I will assume you want to pray more. Yay! But my guess is, for many of us, figuring out how to actually make that happen in our days is not easy.
If you aren’t sure how prayer could actually become a consistent part of your day, these simple but effective tips are for you!
1. Schedule it
Put it in your planner for a specific time slot. If you can’t imagine where you could fit it right now, tracking your time for a week may be super eye-opening for finding available pockets of time. If you know 6:00-6:30 may be a good window, block it off as time you are busy and hold to it as best you can! We aren’t trying to be rigid about it, but things like scrolling through the news, responding to an email that’s not at all urgent, or sleeping in is not a reason to skip.
2. Schedule it (with someone else)
There are lots of ways to pray regularly with other people. On weeks when I’m super overwhelmed and maybe feel like I do not have time for this, I am ALWAYS glad after I pray with others. In one of the darkest times in my life, it was praying with others that helped me through. Why? Because sometimes, we’re struggling and we don’t have the words. Others praying with us allows us to lean on the words of someone else that we can simply echo in prayer saying, “yes God, me too”. I pray at church before the ladies’ Bible study one day a week right after school drop off, and another day I do a prayer walk through campus with some other moms. It’s an amazing way that I get to pray consistently each week with others.
3. Enjoy it
What a novel idea, I know! 😝 But seriously what would it look like to make your prayer time something you physically enjoy? Actually enjoying God’s presence will come, I promise!! But some practical changes can often help make that initial decision to sit down and pray easier, which will lead to some pretty special moments in prayer. So, set up your prayer spot. It might be a favorite chair, a candle, or essential oils you only use at prayer time. It may be a trip to the coffee shop before work like my brother-in-law does. It can even be a little set up in your laundry room with a corkboard and your favorite verses or printables.
4. Invest in it
If you would have seen me in the spring of 2013, you would have seen an anxious gal, trying to pray more with a lined notebook…and failing royally. I needed something that had a specific flow that I could actually stick to. I used to list prayers in a lined journal. Some would become outdated, but I’d have some that I kept praying for and I just never knew when to start a new page. And so I didn’t. I’m biased, of course, but we’ve seen thousands and thousands of women invest in the prompted prayer journal I have since created. I have a whole chapter in Pray Confidently and Consistently on tools and how we often view them as crutches. We assume we’re supposed to have these mountain-moving conversations in the midst of noisy days. And God is all-powerful and can do anything, but do we not go pick up groceries because we know God could drop manna from the sky if He wanted to? It sounds silly, but don’t avoid investing simply because you think you should do it without a fancy journal.
5. Append it
Whenever you’re with anyone, make it your mission to end your time together in prayer. Did you carpool somewhere? Spend the last few minutes in the car together in prayer. I do this even when dropping off my kids at school. Did you meet up with some friends to go shopping? What about hopping in one of your cars to pray before saying goodbye? If you’ve just gone to dinner with friends and talked for an hour over a meal, you’re likely caught up on what to pray for, so it could be really simple. You can even prep your friends by saying, “hey, I’d love to pray together before we all part for the night!”. We have so many opportunities to infuse our lives with prayer, and to do so with others is extra special because it draws us closer to God and to each other. Also, you might have a friend who’s longing to see Jesus in real ways and struggling for whatever reason. Your praying could be an amazing way God speaks to them and shows them love.
6. Pair it
What do you already do consistently? Make coffee each morning? Fold laundry? How can you pair prayer with an already-established habit? Piggybacking a new habit of prayer on something you’re already consistent with helps give an easy on-ramp to a new habit of prayer. One of the most popular blog posts we’ve ever shared is our House Prayers worksheet. In it, we include different things to pray through each room in your house. So, as you wipe the dining room table, you can pray for the conversations around that table to come. As you make your bed, you can pray for rest. It’s amazing the moments of prayer that await us when we realize we can do it anytime our hands are busy but our mind is relatively free.
7. Pray for it
It’s the most basic of principles but I’m a big believer that it is a prayer that God will always answer even if it’s not exactly how we are expecting. God desires time with us, and if we pray that God would grow that desire in us, why would He not work in it?
8. Challenge yourself
I’d love to keep the “___ it” bullet points going, but “Gamify It” just doesn’t really work so well with prayer. 😉 You may need to up your game and challenge yourself to go a bit further than you think! One time I challenged myself to pray for an hour every morning for a month. I didn’t do it every day but I prayed many more days consistently and for more time than ever before. It was life-changing and helped me to see that 30 minutes straight in prayer each morning is very doable. This blog post may encourage you too.
Get out a notebook or your planner and commit to one or two of these right now.
And if you want to see a few more ideas, check out this fun post–a month in the life of a prayer warrior. I shared lots of ways I incorporate prayer regularly in my day, week, and month.
If we want to pray differently than we currently are praying, we can’t keep doing the same old thing.
And I’m pretty sure I make this point in almost every blog post, but your prayer life is worth being intentional about. Some things we long to grow in, we really won’t care about in 5 years, but I can confidently say, prayer is not one of those things.
When I look back on all God has done as a result of prayer in my life over the last 9 years, I would never want to miss out on it because I couldn’t make time to add it to my schedule, choose it over Netflix, print out a printable (because us Millenials beyond hate to print anything 😜), invest in the journal or text the friend.