Seven Keys to More Effective Prayers
Do you often forget to pray, or don’t know where to start or how to go about it when you do remember? It takes a while for prayer to become a habit, but it’s a habit that’s worth cultivating because it can solve so many problems—sometimes before they happen. If your prayer times need a jump-start, these tips should help.
Keep a prayer list.
Whenever you become aware that someone or some situation needs prayer, write it down. Carry your list with you, put it in your notebook or agenda, or post it somewhere you’ll be sure to see it at a good time. Then, as each prayer is answered, thank the Lord and mark that item off your list.
Establish regular prayer times.
Regularity is a key to forming any good habit. Short times of prayer throughout the day may work better than one longer stretch, because shorter times are usually more doable. Plus the more often you pray, the easier it will be to form the important habit of praying about every decision and committing every activity to the Lord. Find what works for you and stick with it.
Have prayer promises handy.
God has made hundreds of promises to us in His Word, and He likes for us to hold Him to those promises. “Ask and it will be given you” (Matthew 7:7), for example. As you read and study the Bible, mark promises that stand out to you, or compile them into a list.
Find a place conducive to prayer.
When possible, find a quiet, distraction-free spot. God looks at the position of your heart, not the position of your body, so get comfortable enough to focus—but not so comfortable you fall asleep.
Begin your prayer by praising and thanking God for His goodness.
“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving” (Psalm 95:2).
Tailor your prayer to the situation.
Some situations call for longer, more fervent, or more frequent prayer than others. It’s always important to be specific and definite.
Pray with others when possible, or ask others to pray separately for the need at hand. It can be humbling to pray with others if you’re not accustomed to doing so, but you’ll soon find that it’s as inspiring and faith-building as it is effective.
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