Making prayer a daily habit is something I’ve wrestled with for a long time. I’m good in short bursts, but consistent prayer over the long haul can be hard work. It’s not something that comes naturally to me or to many other people.
We go about our days, engaged in our homes or workplaces, distracted by good things that, if we let them, would keep us from praying. If you are anything like me, I tend to wander off into self-reliance and my prayer life slips away.
Prayer is like any other relationship; my connection with God won’t thrive unless there is the intention – and this takes effort. Perhaps you sense a need for time with God and want to develop a habit of prayer but you’re not sure where to begin.
How To Make Prayer A Daily Habit In 6 Steps
Sometimes prayer appears intimidating, like a high mountain to climb, or maybe the pace of your day does not appear to allow for this time. I’ve often felt like that, but I’ve made some changes to help make prayer a joy and something I look forward to. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learnt; I hope they help you too.
Make A Choice
Developing any habit necessitates action. First, I have to decide that I want to make prayer a daily practice. That is the first step. Then, once I have made that decision, I need to put things in place to help me follow through on that decision.
Pick A Time
Are you a lark or an owl? If you’re like me, mornings are not a time to pray. In the morning, I’m grumpy and the only thing on my mind is coffee. I remember listening to preachers talk about the importance of morning prayer. They would even quote the Bible and say Jesus and David prayed early in the morning, so you should too. I felt terrible, so I tried to pray in the morning. Guess what? I was still grumpy and I hated it.
Then I discovered that there are Bible verses about morning prayer but there are also accounts of evening prayer.
I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord, and I will obey Your decrees. I call out to you; save me and I will keep Your statutes. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in Your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on Your promises. Hear my voice in accordance with Your love; preserve my life, Lord, according to Your laws.
So I started praying more in the evenings and you know what? God met me in the evening and He still loves me. So don’t let anyone tell you there is a right, wrong or best time to pray. Pick what works for the person that God made you to be.
Pick A Place
I was always told I had to pray sitting down, in my room, in silence. The problem is, I hated it. I’m not wired to sit still and be quiet. I think best when I’m moving and I pray best when moving, ideally out and about in nature. When I’m standing on the seashore, I feel an instant and intimate connection with my Father, which is my favourite place to pray.
Don’t let anyone dictate to you where to pray. Instead, find a spot that suits you, your house, your family and your routine. Find a place that you love and you are far more likely to keep up the daily habit of prayer.
Ask For Help
Prayer can be wonderful and it can be challenging. It can be effortless and it can be hard work. The good news is that the Father wants us to enjoy being with Him and wants to help us come to that place. On the other hand, suppose prayer becomes merely a spiritual checklist item, a joyless obligation. In that case, we will pray for all the wrong reasons and prayer will be a chore.
Read Your Bible
God has graciously communicated with us through the Bible, and we can open our Bibles every day to help us hear from Him. It is an incredible experience to hear from the God of the universe through words, phrases, sentences, chapters and books!
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it that I will follow Your righteous laws.
Use A Guide
There are some great resources available to help you pray. The Glorify app has exceptional teaching to encourage you on your journey. If you’re stuck, then pray through the model prayer that Jesus taught us.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
It’s Never Too Late To Start
At this point, you might be feeling discouraged because you haven’t sought to make a habit of prayer. It’s ok; most of us struggle but our great Father comes to us in our struggle and uncertainty. He lifts our drooping heads and strengthens our weak knees. Our Father delights in providing for us the desire, motivation and ability to talk with Him in prayer. He has secured this fantastic privilege for you to draw near through the sacrifice of His Son.
You’re never too late, nor is God ever too far away. Prayer is a gift, and it can become a habit for you through His strength.
Photo by Federico Respini on Unsplash
Photo by Werner Sevenster on Unsplash