An active prayer life is vital to your spiritual well-being and yet modern life makes having an active prayer life difficult.
We all struggle to make time for prayer in our overly busy lives, and long for our prayers to be effective and not dry and meaningless. Here are some great ideas to improve your prayer life and get more out of it.
1. Decide on a particular time you will pray each day
Are you a morning person who is sharpest and most alert when you have just woken? Then spending time in prayer as soon as you wake may be the ideal time for you to use for prayer.
By starting your day off with prayer you are setting yourself up for an excellent beginning to your day by getting focused on God and heavenly concerns rather than worldly worries and distractions.
If you are more focused and alert in the evening, setting aside a chunk of time then will help you shed the worries of the day and get in a godly frame of mind before you go to sleep at night. Making a habit of setting aside your chosen time for prayer will help you establish it as a routine and make it easier to develop a more regular prayer time.
Daily prayer is essential to a strong faith, and carving out set times daily helps make prayer become more effective.
You may find that the only time you have to pray in peace is when your children are napping, or while you ride the bus to work. Be creative in finding the time that works for you, but make sure you set aside at least a few minutes to pray every day.
2. Pray during the good times as well as the bad
Too often we only turn to prayer as a last resort when all other avenues have been exhausted. When we do this, we are acting as though God is a remote, uncaring figure who does not wish to be bothered with us unless we are in terrible need. Nothing could be further from the truth: God wants to have an active and vibrant relationship with us and he welcomes us to tell Him everything that concerns us.
God wants to hear from us constantly, and we can pray silently as we walk, commute to work, or as we do chores like mowing the lawn. When things are going well in our lives, we can pray for the needs of others in our community and about events in the world at large.
Listing the blessings God has given you fosters an attitude of gratitude and is an excellent way to begin your prayer. Before reading the scriptures, pray that God would help you to understand and you’ll find Bible study will become more meaningful as well.
If you only pray when you are in some great need, you cannot develop the warm, deep relationship with God that He desires to have with you. When you love someone, you spend as much time with them as you can. Praying is the primary way that we draw closer and closer to God and get to know Him personally.
3. Get rid of the distractions
We all struggle to find time to do it all. All of the pressing needs in our lives demand our time. How can we make time for God when so much else must be done? How many times have you started to pray, only to have the phone ring and interrupt you?
One of the best ways to make a little more time for God is by turning off technology. Switch off the phone, turn off the laptop, log off of Facebook, turn off the television and retreat to a quiet place. Technology is a huge time-waster and is one of the greatest enemies of a productive prayer life.
Some Christians find that fasting from technology for a time helps them to grow exponentially in their faith. Examine your life and identify which technology competes with your prayer time the most. Then, deliberately fast from it for a few days and see what effect it has on your prayer life.
Make a deliberate decision to tune out all of the electronic distraction when you are praying, otherwise, you will be interrupted constantly by phone calls, texts, Facebook chat or tweets.
You will be able to get into a more spiritual frame of mind and your prayer will be more meaningful. Silencing the distractions may mean that you will hear more clearly from God.
James 5:16 states: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” For our prayers to be effective, we must be able to make time for them, setting aside a particular period each day. For our prayers to be fervent (passionate), we must feel free to bring our every concern to our loving, caring and living God.
When we do this, our prayers avail much (help, become of value) and things change in our lives and in the world around us.
Your spiritual well-being will benefit from making these few changes to your prayer habits. Your prayers will be more effective and you will feel stronger in your faith.
All it takes is setting aside some time each day, praying in good times and in bad, and turning off the distractions that compete for your God time. You’ll be glad you did, and your heavenly Father will too.