Throughout the New Testament, it’s clear that prayer is not just meant to be a Sunday thing or even just before meals, tests, and bedtime. It’s meant to be an all-the-time thing.
“pray without ceasing,” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17(ESV)
“…be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12(ESV)
“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication….” – Ephesians 6:18(ESV)
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” – Colossians 4:2(ESV)
You get the idea. One commentator said unceasing prayer is like “keeping the receiver off the hook.”
(For those born in the 2000s who don’t know what a “receiver” or “hook” are, think of a never-ending, always-ready bluetooth connection…like Jim and Pam in season 5 of The Office.)
Praying without ceasing invites God into every part of our day. As we develop a pattern of prayer, I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of tricks that will help you pray more and more consistently…
Limit any distractions possible.
You can’t limit every distraction, but limit what you can. Find a quiet place and time to pray, get distracting technology out of the room, and have a pen and paper ready to write down your thoughts.
Let sin drive you to God, not away.
Our natural tendency when we’ve failed is to run from God. Let it have the opposite effect in your life, causing you to run to God to repent and receive forgiveness.
Don’t overcomplicate prayer. Be yourself.
Don’t get caught up with the wording, posture, or timing of your prayer. Just be real and raw, and most importantly, be yourself! God wants to talk with you!
Prioritize daily prayer.
Don’t believe the lie that you are “too busy” to pray. Every day, you accomplish what you believe are the most important things. Make prayer one of them.
Remember God is always present.
Even if you end up somewhere you shouldn’t be, there’s nowhere you can go where God is not present. Wherever you find yourself, talk to God from there!
If you think it, pray it.
If it comes to your mind, let it trigger a prayer. Good or bad, talk to God about it. Whether it’s confessing sin, being thankful, or asking for wisdom, talk to God about it!
Write it so you can track it.
Use any notebook as a prayer journal. Write down what you’re praying for as well as how God has answered your prayers. This will keep you organized in prayer and grateful for answered prayer.
Pray day by day and moment by moment.
We all need daily, focused times of prayer as well as short, text message-style prayers throughout the day to stay in communication. It shouldn’t be either/or; make it both/and.