I think I can safely say that praying habitually is hard. Hopefully these next few articles will help you along in that area. The first thing we talked about was how important it is to pray daily…but when? There would be no point in discussing how to pray or what to pray about, if we don’t first talk about when to pray. Because if you don’t set time aside to pray in the first place, then nothing else will matter.
Fix Your Eyes
I believe your heart needs to be in the right place, first. If you’re not dedicated to this, then it’s not going to happen. You need to be prepared to sacrifice time…after-all, prayer is a huge and vital part of your relationship with God, which should always be your first priority in life. Make sure your eyes are fixed on your Savior, as He is the reason you’re praying in the first place.
Taking time to pray doesn’t always mean you have to set aside an hour to pray each day. Sometimes it means just taking a moment to ask God for strength, or thank Him for something He’s done for you recently. If you’re fairly new at this, or beginning to pray habitually, then I especially encourage you to start simple. Even if you’re just praying at meals or right when you wake up in the morning. This is honestly a great way to get started. Then, as you fall into that simple habit to start, it will become easier and easier to dedicate more time later on. And when that time comes, try setting aside a half hour each day to talk to God – whether it’s before or after your devotions, on your lunch break, or right before bed…make a point to have that time. (I cannot stress enough how important this is.)
As you continue to build this habit, it’s going to matter less and less where you pray. But as you begin this journey, I think you’ll find it matters quite a bit. If you’re constantly distracted during your prayer time, then it’s going to be a bit of a struggle to pray habitually. So to start out, try and find a quiet place – I’m sure you’ll find that your mind and heart will clear up a bit and you’ll be able to focus more on what you’re talking to God about. Be like a kid again – have quiet time! You’ll surely appreciate the silence as you pray.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6 NIV)
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 NIV)
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
You can pray, rejoice, and give thanks whenever…how amazing is that?? Don’t just pray when you’re struggling with something – you can always be praying or praising God, whether it’s about something you’re struggling with, or just thanking him for Who He is or what He’s done in your life.
And finally, as I always say – keep persevering!