Monday, February 1, 2010

I Know I Should Pray More, But…

by Julie Gillies

Let’s face it: life is sometimes a vortex of chaos. Attempting to schedule regular prayer time into an already overloaded day can be a recipe for frustration. Instead of feeling guilty about not praying enough, (can we ever pray enough?) or trying in vain to remember who or what I’m supposed to pray for, I've learned how to make prayer a priority by incorporating it into my crazy, never-quite-normal, everyday life in creative ways.

I think of prayer as an ongoing dialogue between God and me, not a one-time event relegated to a particular time of day. Though I maintain a morning prayer time, my prayers don't cease for the day when I say Amen and head out the door.

A lifestyle of prayer isn’t as difficult as it might sound. The following sure-fire strategies are guaranteed to help you experience more prayer power.

Fill mindless activities with prayer. For instance, I always pray while I vacuum and when I’m in the shower. It’s simply become habit for me. There are always opportunities for prayer sprinkled within each day. Other possible times to fit prayer into the day include:
· Any time you’re in the car
· While folding the laundry
· In line at the grocery store, the bank, etc.
· In the doctor’s waiting room
· Waiting for your dog to do their business (ahem)
· Waiting for your kids in the car pool line
· While scrubbing the bathroom
· While mopping or dusting
· When you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep

Consider using your daily walks, bike-riding, jogging or other exercise time as a prayer boost. It's a powerfully effective stress-busting combination.

Ask God to show you who to pray for. You might be surprised who He puts on your mind. I have two friends with late-stage breast cancer. The least I can do is pray for them, and God never fails to remind me.

Pray immediately when you become aware of a need. Don't tell yourself you'll pray later, because if you’re like me, chances are you won't remember. Tell yourself to stop, drop and pray right away when you hear of an urgent matter.

Don't just moan about all the horrible stuff on Headline News. Take a minute to pray about it. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to pray in your recliner. However, when the ironing pile stacks up, I haul out the ironing board, turn on either local or national news, and pray while I iron.

Be willing to pray for someone on the spot. When a friend or neighbor tells you the awful situation they're in, don't just tell them you'll be praying for them and walk away. Ask if you can pray for them right there, and watch God move.

If you're forgetful, use a notepad to jot down the things you want covered in prayer. When things heat up at my house, I always start a prayer list. Keep the list in your Bible, on your nightstand, or taped to your bathroom mirror. You may also want to keep a small notepad in your car.
Remember, when we pray, we’re not only talking to God, we’re inviting Him to speak to us as well. Best of all, we can expect God to respond, and help us fit more prayer into our sometimes crazy lives.

Happy praying!

What the Bible has to say about prayer:

“Be unceasing in prayer—persevere in prayer…” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Matthew 26:41

“First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men,” 1 Timothy 2:1

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Julie Gillies trained in an intercessory prayer group for five years. She is founder of Word Chicks, a prayer and encouragement group for women writers and speakers. Julie has published over 80 articles, and is a regular contributor to “A Time to Love,” an online magazine. You can visit Julie online at www.juliegillies.com

3 comments:

Rachel B said...

Excellent! Thank you for sharing these very practical, yet insightful ideas with us, Julie! Needed to read this, this morning.

Tito R. Reburiano jr. said...

Thank you, your article answers on How to pray unceasingly. more power.

Nernny said...

Hi Julie! I am so blessed with this article. I am a type of person that when God reminds me something to pray for, I will replied God "later" when i am not in own room. I always think that prayer is the time where I am alone. But after read your article the Holy Spirit just refresh my mind the true meaning of prayer is a life style.Thank you so much for this article. God bless you,your family and your ministry abundantly.