As I go through my busy day, many things occupy my mind. Most of the time I’m mentally scrambling, thinking, “what’s for dinner?” but more often than not, my brain is filled with questions and worries. I get too caught up in the “tyranny of the urgent” and forget to focus on the eternal.
What’s an over-thinking, over-analyzing woman to do?
The answer is pretty simple isn’t it? Instead of letting fear and confusion consume my thoughts, I should really be spending that time praying!
Yet the follow-through of this straight forward pep-talk I give myself fails to take place more often than I care to admit. Prayer should be an enormous part of our everyday life, but many times it slips by the wayside in favor of other thoughts or activities.
How often should we pray? 1 Thessalonians 5:17 exhorts us to “pray continually” and Isaiah 55:6 says to “seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him when He is near.” The early Christians devoted themselves constantly to prayer (Acts 1:14). Paul spoke often of prayer in his epistles. King David constantly cried out to God in supplication in the Psalms.
Prayer strengthens our communion with God. Our feeling of closeness to Him increases when we bring our praises and requests to Him. It isn’t that we rely solely on our feelings, but I have found it true that my heart attitude and thoughts change when I’ve committed to (and followed through with) a consistent prayer time.
With so many thoughts crowding our minds, it may seem hard to remember to pray at first, but little reminders go a long way. Here are five tips that I have found helpful in strengthening my prayer life:
- Print several Bible verses from the Psalms on notecards and place them in strategic places in the house. You can then “pray the Psalms” while you are getting ready in the bathroom or washing dishes at the kitchen sink. Psalm 51 is a great place to start. Another favorite of mine to say out loud in prayer is Psalm 84:10-12.
- Have a specific devotional time each day, for yourself and as a family. Make a prayer box to encourage different “types” of prayer: adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication (ACTS).
- Set the alarm on your cell phone go off at a few times during the day with a reminder to pray.
- Keep a list handy on your kitchen table of those who need prayer and go around the table praying with your family before or after a meal.
- Children are great little prayer warriors. Find a few moments during the day where you and your children can sit quietly and remember others in prayer. Encourage them to imitate your words if they are having trouble praying out loud at first and be sure to emphasize that God thinks their prayers are important too!
***BONUS TIP! Journal your prayers! You can use a special prayer journal or just a plain spiral bound notebook. It’s amazing to me to look back and see how God answered prayers, even those I’d forgotten about!
The blessings of prayer are many! It is remarkable to see how God reveals His truth and His power to us during these times. His will for us becomes clearer when we seek Him often rather than spending so much time rationalizing our own opinions. And He does amazing things in the lives of those around us through our intercessions.
Imagine how God’s purpose can be accomplished and our minds and hearts renewed and refreshed as we seek His face for our families, our friends and the world.
“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:10-11
If you are looking for a special prayer journal, Dayspring has several with beautiful front covers and a strap to hold it closed. What a treasure to write down and save your prayers (and answers) for many years to come!
WANT TO SPEAK WITH GRACE TO YOUR KIDS INSTEAD OF YELLING?