How to make progress on your goal to pray more

How to make progress on 2023 goal to pray more by Valerie Woerner, goal series, goals recap, prayer warrior, prayersAs believers, one of our number one goals is to pray more. I’ve seen this so much in the last week as I’ve seen others share their plans for the new year. We’ve talked before about how I don’t think it’s a bad thing that this is repeatedly on our goals list, but today, I want to talk about how to make progress on that goal. 

This is too important to let slide to a more convenient time, till the kids get older, till things slow down, till fill-in-the-blank. 

Now is the time to change your prayer life. 

Spending time with the Creator is the greatest thing we can be intentional about. And honestly, it will impact every corner of your life that you may feel like you’re spinning your wheels trying to transform! 

I feel HUGELY biased saying this because we help people pray more, but think about it–without prayer, all our best efforts fall flat and result in so much striving. Inviting God into our goals this year could change vastly more than what we ever could on our own.

  • If we want to transform our health, we could do very practical things, but what if we prayed for wisdom about what advice to follow and release control to God (which just so happens to bring peace and lower stress)? 
  • If we want to improve our marriage, we could go to counseling, but what if we also prayed that God would give us a selfless heart with our spouse and give us opportunities for fun together? 
  • If we want to be present with our kids, we could attempt to resist the urge of our phones, but what if we prayed for God to give us a passion for time with our kids and to be turned off by our phones?
  • If we want to set boundaries with toxic people, we could make a set of rules, but what if we prayed God would bring healing to the other person and transform their heart?
  • If we want to grow in business, we could do all the trainings and read all the books, but what if we prayed for a healthy view of success so we know when to rest and when to work? 
  • If we want to experience more joy, we could do all the affirmations and increase endorphins, but what if we spent more time in the presence of the one who brings joy just by being with Him? 

If praying more in 2023 wasn’t a goal yet, I hope I’ve convinced you that it totally should be!! Let’s not put it off another year. 

If you’re now wondering, with the rest of us goal setters, how to make progress on that goal to “pray more”, that’s literally our whole mission: to help women (and the rest of the family too!) pray confidently and consistently. 

Here are some tips to do just that in the new year!

INVEST SOMETHING 

You’ve got to put some skin in the game. You’ve heard the statistics that people who get something for free, like a course or PDF, don’t get the same out of it as something they invest in. So, make an investment in your prayer life. I promise it’s worth more than the pair of shoes or shirt in your shopping cart. Now, we’ve obviously got some prompted prayer journals you can invest in. They are intentionally designed to be used well and have been by so many people over the last 9 years. It’s been fun to see so many of you share your 6th, 7th and 8th journals! But seriously, it doesn’t have to be our product. Just invest somewhere, and make it something that’s not a throw-away thing, that you’re okay not using. Years ago, I bought a pricy planner and knew I HAD to use it if I was gonna spend the money! These questions helped me really use it!!

JOIN OUR CHALLENGE

Your phone is likely a big problem in trying to pray, just like the 99% of other people who have a smartphone. If you waste time on your phone every day, that’s an easy place that we can carve out time for prayer! Easier said than done, right? In a few weeks we’re going to kick off the Retro Prayer Challenge! We’re going analog for one hour of the day, trading in an hour on the phone for an hour of prayer! If that sounds absolutely crazy to you, or like a dream, JOIN US!! We’ve got an uber practical plan to help make this pipe dream actually happen! Sign up here!

DO THIS WITH SOMEONE 

Journeying with someone else will be 1000% times easier. Yes, that much easier. You’ll get in a groove, ask for prayer each month, check up on each other. It’s priceless accountability. Although, we can support you online (like our monthly text to fill out your journal when you text VMPPREP to 888-421-7468), we can’t do what a friend in real life can do! James Clear says if we want to do _____, we need to become people who _____. So if we want to pray more, we need to become people who pray more. It’s an identity shift. Runners who surround themselves with runners, naturally run more. So, who can you ask to run this race with you?

LEARN ABOUT PRAYER 

As we learn more about prayer, we will get more excited to pray and will feel more confident that what we are doing is worth our time and not something we’re “messing up.” I always read a book on prayer at least a few times a year, because even the prayer girl needs motivation! You can check out this post of 40 books I’ve read on prayer if you’re looking for somewhere to start! If that list overwhelms you, I actually wrote a book on prayer, Pray Confidently and Consistently, curating tons of research from books I’ve read and my study of the entire Bible with the topic of prayer in mind. It was written to address the obstacles our audience has been sharing with me for the past 9 years. If reading isn’t your cup of tea, check out our podcast, Prayer in a Noisy World. There are tons of resources out there on prayer. Whatever you do, be a life-long learner. 

TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF

The opportunity of prayer is a privilege we get. We GET to commune with the Father. We GET to meet with Him any time of day. No office hours. No busy signals. No just-fill-out-the-contact-form. He’s always there. Yes, we long to pray more or long to long to pray more, even if that passion isn’t there yet, but remember that becoming stressed out about it isn’t God’s intention for us. Psalm 23 comes to my mind often in overwhelming seasons. God invites us to sit in His presence. We can do that with no words. We can do that with tears. We can do that by simply stopping spinning our wheels and trusting that we don’t do any of this to earn God’s love. The love is already there, and it’s unconditional. Prayer is simply a way to enjoy that love. and know God more. So, if you’re already angsty from a slow start to a goal you were hopped up on a week ago, stop right now, close your eyes, ask God to draw near and soak in His presence. 

…BUT ALSO? 

REFUSE TO GIVE UP

You will fail at whatever you try. You will leave more blanks than you hope. That’s ok!! That’s not failure. That’s part of learning to pray more. If you have one of our journals half-filled from years ago, do not feel like you need to buy a new one. It might be more fun, but it’s not necessary! Grab that old journal and get back to it! It could be a really sweet treasure you look back on years from now as you say, “See this? I tried to pray more in 2019 and gave up, but look at me now!!!!”. I’d say that’s way cooler than getting it perfect the first time, which to clarify, is impossible! 😉 

Your prayer life is worth it. YOU are worth it. I don’t say that. God says it! He sent His Son to save us from our sins. Jesus paid a price that we could never pay, so we could forever have communion with Him. Though, it will be complete in heaven, by the grace of God, that can start right now.

If you enjoyed our goal series, sign up here to be notified when we share a new blog post each Tuesday. Coming up, we’ll be talking about slow living, end of day guilt, beauty transparency and more!

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