Last week we talked about the top reasons that keep you from not praying, we concluded that we need to make prayer a priority. We make time for things that are important to us. Many people commented and wrote in that they struggle with laziness or simply overthinking prayer. It is easy to say we need to make something a priority but it’s another thing to put it into practice, right? I mean that is why so many people fail at keeping their resolutions they set each year.
How can we change our ways and set up a new habit of prayer?
5 Ways to Make Prayer a Priority
Change Your View
It is to think that we are unworthy to come before the Creator of the universe. It is easy to think that we can’t come before Him if there a sin habit we struggle with. Move beyond the “give me” attitude, a reader a wrote in last week. When we get to the point of realizing that we can come before the Lord, anytime and anywhere, no matter where we are in life or what we are struggling with then we will be more apt to prayer more easily and start developing the habit. When we begin to shift our focus from a laundry list of wants to a gratitude perspective we will end up taking our relationship with God to another level.
Jesus has the power to turn people and situations around. –LGG
I just love that quote from Love God Greatly blog last week! Jesus has the power!
Rearrange your schedule to make time. Find a time in your day that you can set aside for prayer. Until the habit starts, add prayer to your daily to-do list until it becomes second nature and you no longer need the daily reminder.
Get up earlier if you need to. Yes, I went there. Sometimes are days seem to packed with all that we have going on that we can come up with so many excuses to keep us from the things that benefit our lives for the long haul. If you can’t seem to find a time than you’re probably looking at waking up earlier than you usually do to make it happen.
We see in Mark that Jesus rose early in the morning before the others and went to pray. He is our example and I think we need to make prayer a priority first thing in the morning to steer our day in the right direction first thing. Even if it can only be a quick prayer over your day to start with, depending on which stage of life you’re in.
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. Mark 1:35
This one idea that I have come to love. This idea came from Courtney from Women Living Well. I first read it in her book, Women Living Well. I plan on doing a book review on this great book for women. I could go on and on about it! Basically, the prayer walk is prayers that you say while working in your home. While you’re folding the laundry thank God for clothes to wear and growing children. While picking up the endless toys, thank the Lord for the children in your home. When ironing your man’s dress shirt pray over your husband or marriage. Use the daily tasks that you do in your home as physical reminders to pray.
This such a great way to always have a prayerful attitude. We’re supposed to pray without ceasing, right? How can we do that when we are serving our families? By using the prayer walk method. This is also a great way to choose gratitude during those mundane tasks. It is too easy to complain about having piles of laundry to fold our endless dishes to wash. Let’s change our outlook and use these tasks as an opportunity to lift up others in prayer.
Use an System
Maybe prayer is hard for you because you don’t know what to say, you feel like you aren’t saying the right things or you mind wanders too much. I think we all struggle with this throughout our lives. Many times over and over again. Using an acronym system helps you stay focused on your prayers and keeps you from the “what do I say next” feeling. There are so many out there!
The current system that I like to use is the ACTS system.
This system works really well for me because I like to take time to thank God for who He is and how He at work in my life first and foremost. God is so good to us and if we simply take time to reflect on that we can change our outlook on life.I also like it because it reminds me to be thankful for one thing about my man that I love and also I can pray back my gratitude list that I took time to make. (Loving the Choose Gratitude: Blessings Journal from Crystal Paine!)
In the past, I’ve also used the 4 P’s alliteration system. Pardon, Praise, Power, People. The 4 major areas of our life like ACTS just arranged a little differently. If alliterations work better for you then I recommend starting with this one!
Start with Small Goals
And give yourself grace as you start a new habit. We all fail at some point but don’t give up!
Start with 5 minutes of prayer a day. Once that becomes easy for you increase it 5 more minutes. If you set out to pray for 20 minutes a day right off the bat you’re destinated to fail pretty quickly. Just like when you’re preparing for a marathon, you need to build up your stamina one step at a time. Prayer is like a muscle that needs to be exercised daily in order to be strong.
Be realistic and start small.
A strong prayer life isn’t going to happen overnight. But when we make it a priority we can overcome the struggles.
Your turn! How are you going to make a priority this week? Let’s talk in the comments below!
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