Thinking and praying about prayer this past week (see previous post on prayer), has led me back to the question that started this whole process. It is a bit overwhelming to consider. I’m not sure I am up for what the Lord might ask of me. This is the question.
How can I center my day around prayer?
If prayer is to be more than a transition (in a service, at home, in a Bible study), it needs to take center stage in our daily lives. It can’t just be something we talk about. We must actually do it, do so regularly, and improve the quality of prayer in our lives.
I’m going to give you a list of ideas. Originally I was going to try and come up with 10 ideas, hence the title of this post. Don’t try and do everything all at once, obviously. Grab 3 ideas that jump out at you and pick one of them to start this week.
- Keep a list of prayer requests. Pray for each once a day or once a week. Once every week or two, follow up on those prayer requests.
- Find some written prayers and pray those daily. Decide how many times a day you are going to pray them and stick to it. Might be once, twice or even several times a day.
- Adopt an Unreached People Group as a church and pray for them during your weekly service.
- Pray the same prayer everyday.
- Pray through the Scriptures. Psalms are a great place to start.
- Pray different prayers everyday.
- Write your own prayer to recite in prayer.
- Pray on your knees.
- Don’t talk. Just listen. Ask the Lord to speak to you.
- Use Samuel’s prayer, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Then listen.
- Get a group of friends together at church. Play some worship music as everyone prays individually for 30 minutes to an hour. Then group up and make prayer requests. Pray for the person next to you.
- Pray for your neighbors.
- Pray with your family/roommates.
- When people request prayer online, you follow up with an online message, text, call and/or visit.
- Try short repetitive prayers, like the Jesus Prayer: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Google it. I dare you.
- Pray from the hip. Just pray what comes to mind.
- Pray in a group using Lectio Divina.
- Pray with your neighbors.
- Ask and listen prayers. Begins with saying, “God, what do you want me to do with this time” Or ask, “God, how do you want me to pray for (insert name, place or situation here).” Then listen. Then pray accordingly.
- Grab a copy of Operation World or go to the Operation World website and pray for a different country each day/week. Use this in Sunday School or in a small group.
- On Twitter, search “pray for me.” Then pray accordingly.
- Pray in the bathroom.
- Watch the news, but not too long. Write a prayer for someone or for a group of people in need.
- Adopt a country as a small group and pray for it regularly. Find missionaries in that country and reach out to them for prayer requests.
- Hang out with people that pray a lot.
- Prayerwalk. Yes, it’s just praying while you walk.
- Go to a high place in your city/town and pray over that place. You could do this on a vacation too.
- Facebook message people the week of their birthday asking for prayer requests. Then pray for them on their birthday. Maybe even message them on the day praying a prayer, typed out.
- Prayer text someone. A friend of mine, at a weekly Bible study, spends time, between worship and study, asking everyone to pray for someone and then text that person telling them you prayed for them…
- Pray the Lord’s Prayer alone or in a group.
- Pray for your pastor, even when you don’t like him/her.
- Pray for that person that made you have a bad day. Ask God to bless him/her.
- Go to the same coffee shop/restaurant regularly. Pray for the servers.
- Make a list of people who don’t know Jesus. Pray for them everyday.
- When I was doing ministry at En Vivo in Spain, we used to have a weekly staff prayer time. We would keep a running list of prayers, a really long list! We would first read through the whole list for updates and for new requests. Then we would run through several at a time, give each person 2-3 prayer requests, and each pray silently. Once you were done, you were to raise your head and open your eyes. Then we would divy up another 2-3 per person. “En Vivo Style” praying allows you to pray for a lot of people, not miss anyone, but then get back to other work.
- Send a note, card or email to someone on the anniversary of the death of a loved one. Holidays and birthdays are also big. Let them know you are praying for them.
- Stressed? In addition or in place of the things you normally do when you are stressed, try praying. Perhaps you should write a prayer for those moments.
- Pray for your family.
- Invite people to pray for a specific purpose for a specific number of days or weeks. Update them during that time. Possibly give them prayers to pray. “Pray this with me and/or create your own prayer as the Lord leads you.”
- Write prayers down (yours or others) and put them in a system to remind you to pray for them regularly. When the reminder brings up the prayer, pray it and then reset a new reminder for another date. I call these “rotating prayers.” Yes, I use Evernote for this.
- Prayer Calls. Invite people to join you in a group prayer call (using FreeConferenceCall.com, Skype, or Google Plus). Option 1: Do this weekly. Option 2: Make it a once a week commitment for 3 weeks. Then start a new group.
- Facebook Group Prayer. Invite friends to join you in prayer on Facebook. Again, you could do this ongoing or just do a 2-4 week group. The cool thing is you wouldn’t have to all be online at the same time.
- Ask God how he wants you to pray. Then do what he says.
Do you have any ideas to add? Please do so in the comments section.