1. “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” (Prov. 21:1)
If your thoughts wander during your prayer time, instead of trying to force them back into your pre-set agenda, try following them. Perhaps the Lord has another agenda.
2. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” (Matt. 6:5-6).
Set a time for daily prayer. Consider it an unbreakable commitment. Keep your set appointment every day for one week. For one solid week, let your scheduled prayer time be the centerpiece of your day: arrange everything else to fit around it.
3. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
Give God the first fruits of your day. For one week, give the very first 30 minutes of your day to prayer.
4. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)
Find a place in your home where you can be alone and undistracted during your prayer time. Keep your Bible, prayer journal, pen, and whatever tools you use in that place so that everything is ready. During your prayer time each day, this is a sacred place.
5. “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” (Isaiah. 6:1)
As you start your prayer time, before you say anything, let your mind’s eye see Him, high and exalted, and yourself in a position of worship before Him. Stay in that inner posture until His glory fills your thoughts as the train of His robe fills the temple.
6. “But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’” (Luke 8:46 )
Take time to become truly alive to His presence with you. Be aware that as you touch Him through prayer, His power is released into your life.
7. “O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.” (Ps. 78:1)
Read your Bible this morning with the awareness that you are listening to the words of His mouth. Stop at the first word, phrase, or thought that captures your attention and let the Father speak to you about it and let it shape your prayers.
8. “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isa. 64:8)
This week, practice the prayer of pliability. Instead of focusing on what you want God to do for you, focus on allowing Him to shape your desires until they match His. Accept each situation in your life as His hand shaping your thoughts, character, and longings.
9. “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
This week, let these words be the only prayer you pray about situations that confront you. Focus on relinquishing every situation to Him to be a platform for His power.
10. “I will remember the deeds of the LORD.” (Ps. 77:11)
11. “My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.” (Ps. 35:28)
This week, practice praying out loud during your private prayer time. It will make your prayer experience more concrete and will help you keep your mind focused.
12. “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; …talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deut. 11:18-20)
This week, try walking as you pray. Walk through your neighborhood or around your yard. You will be more able to keep your mind open to new thoughts the Lord might introduce. You are likely to find yourself spending more time with Him.
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Author, speaker, conference leader Jennifer Kennedy Dean is a significant voice on spirituality and prayer. She addresses real questions about prayer. Contact her at www.prayinglife.org/. © 2008 – Jennifer Kennedy Dean