Do you find it hard to pray in your daily life?
Prayer is so necessary for us to remain connected with God.
In the past, when the thought of praying crossed my mind, it felt like a struggle…well, I thought I struggled.
The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing”. That is continuous and active pray. There was a time when this was part of my life.
Surely, God heard my prayers – all that constant complaining…that continued throughout the day.
Yes, God wants to know every part of my life. He should be included for sure.
But would you want to listen to someone complain all day long?
In addition to bringing our problems to God, the Bible reminds us in Psalms 113:3 that “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” (NIV)
My prayer life needed some balance. And in balance, I mean a lot more praise and much less complaining.
God had the answers. When we get right down to it, He is the answer!
In the search for balance, there were a few prayer strategies that I learned.
Changing the focus from myself to God was more important and beneficial than I knew they would be.
Yes, we can go to Him and ask Him for what we desire, but we should also thank Him before we do.
Of course, He knows He’s the King of kings, and Lord of lords, but it doesn’t hurt to tell Him.
The way we approach God in prayer is so important.
Telling Him how amazing and awesome He is, isn’t for Him. It’s a reminder for us!
There will be times of emergency prayers or right now prayers; when we just need to go to God informally, because life is just that way.
But, when we are in our daily prayer time and can use some structure, these 5 prayer strategies could be helpful.
#1 THE LORD’S PRAYER
The most important prayer, that Jesus, Himself prayed. This is definitely the prayer we are to use as a model for our own prayers.
If you don’t know where to find this prayer it can be read in:
Luke 11:2 – 4
How can we go wrong using a prayer that Jesus prayed?
When I don’t know what to say, I read this prayer. It’s amazing that it says everything I need to say. How powerful is that?
There’s no work to do. We just say the words that have already been written for us.
But when we say them it should be with our whole hearts and gratefulness to God.
Most of the time, if you create an acronym for something that will help me a lot.
A.C.T.S is one of those acronyms that helps me when I pray daily.
It stands for:
Adore – We should adore God for His goodness, His mercy and His grace toward us…and just because He’s God!
Confess – We should confess our sins, our hurts, our grief and whatever else we need to say to God. When we confess that opens up the door for Him to forgive us, to heal us, to help us find peace in our own world, and in our own space.
Thanks – This is where we practice gratitude. What are we thankful for in our lives? We should thank God for it.
Supplication – What are we in need of? This is the time to ask God for it.
I first saw this on Pinterest, and I really liked the idea of it. But, it was when I participated in prayer with a local church that I realized the power in this prayer strategy.
This is another acronym that helped me learn to focus and balance my prayers.
I learned it from Priscilla Shirer’s book, Fervent.
This strategy is also a powerful option for prayer that is focused on God.
The letters are:
P – Praise; which is very similar to the A in A.C.T.S
R – Repent; it of course is similar to the C in A.C.T.S. We are confessing and repenting.
A – Ask; it is like the S in A.C.T.S. We are asking God for what we need.
Y – Yes; She says to pray with the scripture. If it’s one of (God’s promises) repeat it back to Him in prayer. If He promised it, He will do it. If He doesn’t do it, He will change our perspective about it. (It can’t be one of our own promises we made up. It must be God’s promise).
#4 PRAYER FOR DIFFERENT AREAS OF OUR LIVES
I also learned this from the book Fervent.
Shirer, has some very specific areas of your life that you can pray over. Some of the areas include: your own peace and your family.
She discusses other areas, and if you’re looking for a book on how to pray with power, I definitely recommend Fervent.
The areas she discusses in the book are so important for us to be able to live successful Christian lives.
I really enjoyed learning to pray, and it helped me see what key parts of my life were missing in my prayer time.
#5 PRAYER JOURNAL
I use a prayer journal (notebook) to keep track of who I should be praying for.
It works so well for me.
When someone asks for prayer, it’s important to me to remember. So, I write it down. Of course, sometimes it’s recorded in my phone, until I can add it to my journal.
Praying for others gives me the opportunity to focus on someone else’s needs and not just my own. This practice adds purpose to my life.
My prayer journal keeps me organized in prayer too.
I’m not saying, I just go through it mindlessly.
While writing prayers, then pausing to reflect on what I write, gives me time to interact with God.
Sometimes, I come to a name for the second or third time, and I’ll add emphasis to the prayer for them if I feel led to do so. It’s just simply adding a new note.
The goal is to really be active when I’m praying in that book.
When I take a step back and reflect, all of these strategies are used in my prayer journal.
My prayer journal is actually a notebook that is separated with tabs, for specific areas of my life.
God comes first. That’s my first thought when it comes to the journal. How will I worship God, today?
That’s what the first section is for – praising God and adoring Him. He deserves all the praise and honor!
Then I have emergency prayers. These are those prayers when people call or text, for a need or concern that needs attention right away.
After the emergency prayers, I pray for myself, my husband, and our marriage.
Prayer for my business comes after that.
Each day from Sunday to Saturday, I pray for important parts of my life.
Sunday – My Pastor and my church
Monday – My family
Tuesday – My friends and my growth groups from church
Wednesday – Other churches, locally and around the world
Thursday – Those who are not saved, those who have turned away from God
Friday – Government
Saturday – The World
None of these strategies were created by me. I learn from others. It’s important to keep prayer fresh. It should never be something that we slack on.
When approached the right way, daily prayer can be more powerful than we will ever know.
The strategies that are noted above were the ones that were important to me. I believe they cover every part of my life.
Being in contact with God as much as I can, is crucial to me. When I start feeling down or something feels off, I can tell that my connection with Him is fading.
That’s a reminder to check my prayer life and refocus on God.
SIDE NOTE: TRY STILLNESS
In addition to powerful daily prayer, making time to be still during the day is also becoming a practice for me. This is something that I’ve talked with a lot of people about, and many of us are just not finding the time.
Understandably, it’s hard for people to do too. Just trying to be still and listen for the voice of God can be tough.
But stillness takes practice. Sometimes, I find myself falling asleep. I was really upset with myself when that happened, but I believe the Holy Spirit calmed me and let me know that it takes time.
Remember, it’s worth it and anything that is worth having, we all know how to finish the saying… it’s worth fighting for.
Time with God in stillness, is truly worth fighting for.
I hope that these prayer strategies were a refreshing addition or reminder for your prayer life.
Which one do you practice, or which one will you try?
Let me know in the comments.
I look forward to hearing from you!
God loves you family, and so do I!