“Pray without ceasing.” This was one of the apostle Paul’s final admonishments to the people in Thessalonica. To apply the concept to our lives today seems close to impossible! However, even with a busy schedule, I’ve found easy ways to incorporate more prayer time into my life and you can too! Here’s five simple things you can do to increase your prayer life:
- Pray for yourself first. This may sound counterintuitive, but an effective prayer life begins with a solid relationship with God. Find a quiet place and a quiet time to read his word and really connect with him. Meditate on the truths of scripture and share your hopes and your troubles with the Shepherd of your soul, the one who cares for you like no one else!
- Create prayer prompts. Who are the people you feel called to pray for on a regular basis? Turn your refrigerator (or your office cubicle) into a prayer wall with pictures of your loved ones. It’s an easy way to remember them and to pray every time you enter the kitchen or sit at your desk. For urgent requests that come to me in a text or phone call, I’ll jot their names on a sticky note and post it somewhere in plain sight so I’ll be reminded to pray.
- Pray in the moment. Have you ever had a friend mention a prayer need and you warmly reassure them you will be praying – but then forget? Pray now. Don’t walk away from that conversation without first taking hold of their hands and speaking a prayer. It’s too easy to say we’ll pray and then forget the need until days later.
- Take a walk. This is my favorite way to incorporate prayer into my daily life. There’s just something about the regular movement, the step-by-step rhythm that helps me release the stress of the day and frees me to pray. It’s a recentering time for me to remember who God is and then bring the people that are on my heart before his throne. The exercise is a bonus, releasing endorphins that improve my outlook and cultivate a thankful heart.
- Open your heart to the Holy Spirit. It seems obvious, but just telling God you’re listening and available will open a new dimension to your prayer life. It’s amazing what he will show you throughout the day. Instead of a vague “God bless her” type of prayer for your co-worker who’s struggling, you’ll be able to pinpoint with Holy Spirit accuracy exactly what she needs. “God, remove the wedge in her marriage” or “God, give her the wisdom she needs to manage her work well.”
When you make yourself available to God, you’ll even sense the Holy Spirit’s prompting as you scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed. Listen closely and pray a quick, but God-inspired prayer for those people who come across your screen.
With simple adjustments in your daily life, you can become the praying person God has called you to be. It’s all a part of the big picture of who you are in Christ!
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT