I have been asked to write two articles on prayer for the fall issue of The OC Christian and LA Christian Magazine. Here is a sample of one of the articles. The Fall issue comes out at the end of September so get your printed copy or go to www.theocchristianmagazine.com for an eversion when it hits the stands.
6 Ways to Tune Up Your Prayer Life
Prayer does not come easy to everyone, for some it is a hard habit to maintain, for others it comes as automatic as breathing. So, if your prayer life could use a boost, and honestly whose couldn’t use a little improvement, then take a look at some of the practical guidelines below, and who knows they just might make your time with the God more fruitful.
Be aware that these are suggestions and as such not every one will apply to your particular situation, but if you begin to incorporate some of them, your prayer life is sure to be strengthened.
1. A quite time should start off by being quite, so choose a place to pray that is free from distractions so you can concentrate. Sitting in front of the TV and hitting the mute button for ten minutes doesn’t cut it. Find a place where you can be alone and uninterrupted during this time.
2. Pray at the same time every day. Why is this important? Well, simply put, it will help you to make prayer a regular routine and by making it a regular routine it will eventually become a habit and we all know habits are hard to break, so why not have a good habit of prayer in place.
3. When possible pray out loud. This will help keep your mind from wandering off in a thousand different directions. It is so easy to let our minds wander to our cares, concerns, to do lists and so on. Praying out loud helps maintain focus and keeps your attention on God.
4. Mix it up. Don’t be afraid to incorporate a few different ways of connecting with God. You can spend some of your prayer time praying scripture, worshipping through song, meditating on a psalm, or even going for a walk and allowing God’s creation to inspire your prayer time.
5. Keep a prayer journal. This can help you keep track of what you have prayed for and when you prayed for it. You may choose to simply make a few notes or you may want to write out your prayers completely. Either way this will help you to keep a record of how God answers your prayers.
6. Keep a prayer list handy. Let’s be honest, sometimes our minds can use a little help and by keeping a prayer list handy you can help jog your prayer memory, so here is a list of 30 Things You Can Pray for:
- Praise to God
- Family Members (By name)
- Friends (By name)
- Co-workers (By name)
- Church Family
- Church Ministries (Youth, Children’s, Missions)
- Corporate Church Body (Local, world)
- Your Town
- Your City
- Your State
- The Nation
- The World
- Personal Struggles
- Family Struggles
- Special Needs
- Salvation Requests
- Evangelism/Spreading the Word
- Giving Thanks
- Physical Needs/Health (Personal, Others)
- Christ-likeness (Thoughts, Words, Actions)
- Loving (1 Corinthians Example)
- Stewardship (Time and Treasures)
- God’s Word
- Gods Will