May 28, 2007

 

Making Prayer a Priority

By Marybeth Whalen

 

“The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

As Christians, it is one thing to know we need to pray, but it is another thing entirely to make prayer a priority in the course of our busy day. So today we’ll look at some practical ways to strengthen our prayer life—no matter how busy we are. These are just tips and tricks I have picked up along the way through my own experience or from people I respect. I hope you will take a few of them and immediately apply them to your life. When our prayer life is strong, our walk with God and our time with Him is magnified a hundredfold.

 

Commit to spending the first moments of your day in prayer before you even get out of the bed. Get in the habit of devoting just a few minutes before you put your feet on the floor just claiming the day for Him and offering up all you will do for His glory and the good of His kingdom. Starting the day this way will help your perspective with whatever you have facing you—be it whiny kids or a demanding boss. Doing this daily will eventually become a habit.

 

When you feel yourself start to worry, use those thoughts as an immediate trigger to begin silently praying, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

 

Make your mealtimes a time for significant prayer. Whether this is something your whole family does, or just something you observe on your own, praying before you eat can become more than a quick, “Thank You for this food.”

 

Instead of spending your prayer time begging God for a list of needs, designate a time each day to do nothing but reflect on God’s goodness towards you and your family. Meditating on God’s blessings is a great way to strengthen your faith. As you reflect on what He has done, you will have confidence in what He will do.

 

Post index cards or post-it notes around your house to remind you of things to pray for. This can include prayer requests and praises. Every time you see the notes, pray immediately.

 

Before you dive right into your prayers, spend some time being silent before God. Ask Him to speak to you in the silence. If you can, journal what He is telling you—whether it’s a word or phrase He brings to mind, a passage of Scripture He directs you to, or a word-picture He gives you—get it down on paper so you can reflect on it further later.

 

Keep a prayer journal of requests, and periodically go back and fill in answers to those requests.

 

Change your prayer position ever now and then. If you usually sit in one spot, move to another one. Kneel, walk, or fall down on the floor with your face to the ground. Try lighting candles or playing soft praise music to set the tone for prayer.

 

If you find yourself lying awake at night, use that time to pray. Talk to God instead of counting sheep!

 

My friend Lorrie Flem shared this idea: Pray for certain people when you do certain daily tasks. Lorrie prays for her brother every time she brushes her teeth. This habit can invigorate the most mundane of tasks and make them purposeful. You might find you look forward to vacuuming when you know you will be spending time praying for your spouse while you do it!

 

Finally, remember that prayer is nothing more than a conversation with your Best Friend. He knows you intimately and loves you anyway. He wants to hear from you and doesn’t need a lot of pomp and circumstance to do so. If all else fails, keep it simple and just talk to Him all day long!

 

Dear Lord, I want my prayer life to be stronger. I want to spend more time talking to You and drawing closer to You. I pray that You would help me to be mindful of what I can do to make prayer a priority. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer by Cheri Fuller

 

For the Write Reason by General Editor, Marybeth Whalen

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Application Steps: 

Write down three things you will do this week to make prayer a priority. Consider asking a friend to hold you accountable to doing this.

 

Reflections: 

Do you believe prayer is important?

 

What stigma or limitations are present in your prayer life that shouldn’t be?

 

How can you more effectively spend time with God, just talking to Him? 

 

Power Verses:

I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray continually.” (NIV) 

 

Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words can not express.” (NIV)

 

Ephesians 6:18, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (NIV)

 

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org