Do you sometimes forget to pray, or not know where to start or how to go about it when you do remember? It takes a while for prayer to become a habit, but it’s one that’s worth cultivating because it can solve so many problems, sometimes before they even happen. If your prayer times need a jump-start, these tips should help.
Keep a prayer list. Write down a list of people or situations that need prayer and carry it with you or post it somewhere you’ll be sure to see it at a good time. Then, as each prayer is answered, give thanks and mark that item off your list. “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”1
Establish regular prayer times. Regularity is a key to forming any good habit. The more often you pray, the easier it will be to form a habit of praying about decisions and committing your activities to God.2
Have prayer promises handy.God has made hundreds of promises to us in His Word, and He likes for us to hold Him to them—“ask and it will be given you,”3 for example. As you read and study the Bible, mark promises that stand out to you and compile them into a list that you can refer to and claim when you are praying.
Find a place conducive to prayer. When possible, find a quiet, distraction-free spot. God looks at the position of your heart, not the position of your body, so get comfortable enough to focus—but not so comfortable you fall asleep.
Begin your prayers by praising and thanking God for His goodness. “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving.”4 In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “The presence of thanksgiving in the heart together with prayer produces peace.”5
Tailor your prayers to the situation. Some situations call for longer, more fervent, or more frequent prayer than others. It’s always important to be specific and definite. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”6
Join forces. Pray with others when possible, or ask others to pray separately for the need at hand. It can be humbling to pray with others if you’re not accustomed to doing so, but you’ll soon find that it’s as inspiring and faith-building as it is effective.7