Wednesday, February 25, 2009

9 Ways to Improve Your Prayer Life

There has been so much written about prayer that every Christian should be an expert at it. Yet, there are so many misconceptions about prayer that this seemingly simple, all important, Christian discipline is often neglected because of our lack of confidence in our ability to pray.

God doesn't want fancy words or flowery phrases. He wants to communicate with His children. And one of the ways He does that is through prayer. Here are seven ways to improve your prayer life, and through it, your intimacy with Jesus.

1. Pray while driving. This can be the most productive time of prayer you have. Just talk to the Lord about whatever is on your mind. (But keep your eyes open and on the road!)

2. Pray with your spouse and/or children before going your separate ways each day. A simple prayer time before everyone heads out the door will improve your outlook for the entire day.

3. Pray together before bed every night. It helps to settle our minds and spirits, and prepares us for a more restful sleep.

4. When asked to pray about something, stop right then and there, and pray. Then remember the need whenever it comes to mind throughout the day. Your friends and loved ones will appreciate knowing that if they ask you to pray about something, you will.

5. If you get irritated, angry, frightened, impatient... pray. Also, if you're happy, peaceful, on top of the world... pray.

6. Pray before meals no matter where you are - even in a restaurant, or at a friend's house. Pray silently if you need to, but honor the Lord and thank Him for providing the food you need.

7. Pray in your own words. You don't have to use "thee" or "thou" to pray (though you can if that's more comfortable). But God speaks and understands the language you speak. He just wants to hear from you.

8. Thank God for anything that comes to your mind... the beauty of creation, safety, warmth, an A on your final exam. Nothing in the lives of God's children is trivial to Him.

Do you feel it's trivial, silly, or inconsequential when your child asks you for something? Or if they thank you unexpectedly? Of course not! Nor does God, our Heavenly Father, who loves His children, too.

9. You can pray sitting, standing, or lying down. Kneeling isn't a mandatory position for praying.

Prayer is communicating with God. So simply talk to Him as if He were your very best friend. Share with Him. Be honest and open about what's on your heart. (He knows it all, anyway.) He invites us to bring everything to Him in prayer because He cares for us. And it makes us feel so much better when we pray, too!

So... pray.


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