For a long time I struggled with praying consistently and with a purpose. I always felt like I didn’t have enough time in my day to sit down and spend time with God. When I did sit down to pray, I struggled with what to say. My prayer life literally consisted of a tired mumbling under my breath right before I fell asleep at night.
This all changed after I watched the movie War Room for the first time (and I say first time because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve actually watched it.) If you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s about a woman who combats Satan’s attack on her marriage and family through prayer; it’s very moving and motivating. Satan had, had me blinded for a long time but this movie really put things into perspective for me.
Prayer is one of the- if not THE- most important tools a Christian has. Prayer is what connects us to the Father in heaven; the more you pray, the stronger the connection, the stronger the connection the more powerful you are (Matthew 7:7.)
Here are a few tips from what I have found to be useful in my prayer life:
1. Set An Appointed Time
Sometimes the hardest part of praying is actually making the time to sit down and pray. I’ve found that having an appointed prayer time has helped me immensely because I no longer wonder when I’m going to pray- I know that after I let my dogs outside in the morning and get my first cup of coffee, it’s time for Jesus.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Have your prayer time somewhere you and God can be alone. Turn off the t.v. and put your cell phone on silent. If you have the space, make a prayer closet (or a war room, as the movie above calls it), which essentially is just an empty closet or room where you can go to pray. Let your family know that you are having prayer and want to be alone; my family knows when the door to my room is closed I am praying. In essence, make sure your sole focus is on God.
3. Make A Plan
As I mentioned above, I always struggled with what to pray about. There’s so much stuff going on in my life and my friends’ lives and my family’s lives that it seemed impossible to keep track of everything. So I made a plan: each day of the week I pray for a certain area. Some days I pray for myself, family, or my church and some days I read a section in my devotional and pray over that. Now I’m not just listing off a series of names and problems; I’m praying strategically and with a purpose!
4. Keep A Prayer Journal
I’ve always been more of a writer than a speaker and I find writing my prayers to be a lot easier; the words almost flow out of me. Every morning, during my appointed time with God, I write in what I call my “War Binder” which is just a purple, three ring binder with filler paper divided into different sections (there is an amazing Facebook Group for those who are looking to start their own.) I love that my prayers are in one place and I can go back to read them and see how God has moved in my life!
5. Study Up on Prayer
There are countless scriptures on the importance of prayer along with various literature and Bible studies. If you are looking to develop a more active prayer life I recommend reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, an actress from War Room. This book is amazing and teaches you how to pray with power and purpose! I also recommend watching War Room!
What are your tips for an active prayer life?