If your prayer life has become routine and lifeless or you struggle with consistency, try implementing some of the prayer tips below. These are changes that I regularly incorporate in my prayer life to keep my attentiveness high.
1. Schedule your prayer time. People schedule what is important to them. You can pray any where and any time, but you may need to schedule time to keep prayer from being squeezed to the margin of life or completely out of life. Having a schedule daily time for God will increase your consistency.
2. Pray out loud. I used to struggle with my mind wandering during prayer. Particularly, when I use to try to pray during long commutes. That struggled ended for me when I began verbalizing prayers. I found that I could sustain my attention much longer by verbalizing my pray
3. Pray on Paper. Writing your prayers will physically engage you in prayer in similar way to praying out loud. Writing your prayers not only helps you maintain focus, but the process of writing is very clarifying. If you are not sure where to start, try writing a letter to God. “Dear God,….”
4. Use a Devotional Guide. Using a prayer guide prompts you to pray for things you normally wouldn’t. One my favorite devotional guides is a book entitled A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie. This inexpensive paperback provides a months worth of morning and evening prayers. There are also blank pages include so that you can write your own prayers as well for every morning and evening. While the language is a bit dated, the spirit of the writing is so extremely refreshing.
5. Pray with someone. Small prayer groups can be particularly powerful experiences. Be sure to spend most of your time praying. Some prayer groups lapse into discussion and fail to spend significant time praying. Some groups passively resist moving into prayer by spending a long time gathering prayer requests from one another.
6. Keep a prayer list. Do you ever forget to prayer for people until you see them again? You had all the greatest intentions in the world, but just forgot. A prayer list helps you remember. A prayer list also aids you in watching for how God responds. Noting God’s response hones your spiritual awareness.
7. Be sure to listen. One-sided conversation with someone who can’t shut-up do not build relationship. Do not be that way with God. Take time in your prayers to listen. Still your mind. Ask questions and then be attentive to the thoughts, images, and memories that come to mind.
You don’t need to do all of these at once. One or two prayer tips periodically interspersed in your prayer life can prevent you from just going through the motions. The key is to stay very intentional in your prayer life so you don’t fall into a rut. In fact, take that as a bonus tip…