3 Practical Ways to Make Prayer a Priority

February 19, 2020

3 Practical Ways to Make Prayer a Priority

I love sharing the things that God has taught me in hopes that it will help you as well!  Here are 3 steps that you could take today to help make prayer a priority: 

1. Start your day with God. 

While we were attending our previous church, I had a woman challenge me to start making time for the Lord right when I woke up in the morning.  I remember her telling me that as soon as she woke from her sleep, she would begin praying. Before her feet hit the ground or she had anything to eat or drink, she wanted to make it a priority to show God that she was seeking Him first.  I thought that was beautiful, and I loved her spiritual discipline. 

As I have started my day in the same way, I have found it to be powerful because it truly positions my heart in the morning!  I may wake up and listen to a praise song or thank the Lord that He's given me another day to breathe.  Praying the first thing in the morning reminds ourselves that God is God and we are not! He has a plan for our day, and we can rest in His provision.


2. Carve out intentional time and protect it. 

Months ago, one of our pastors, Jordan Hill, shared about making time for the Lord each day.  He challenged us with this question: "What stirs your affections for the Lord?"  Is it an early morning quiet house?  A fireplace?  A beautiful sunset?  A stream of water?  Think of the things that draw our affections and love of the Lord, and then merge it into how you spend time daily with the Lord.

For me, I love early mornings when no one else is awake.  I don't always love waking up early, but there is something about a quiet room and the darkness outside that makes me feel like it's just me and the Lord sitting down. 

My husband, on other hand, has a harder time in the mornings, and so sometimes he has a lunch date with the Lord, or gets into bed earlier and has his time with Him then.  

Depending on the season we are in, it might be 5 minutes, or it might be 3 hours.  I think it's less about how long it is, and more about having a heart that is faithfully seeking Christ and making time for Him.

I often hear people say (and I have said it myself) that they can't hear from the Lord, and I wonder how many times we don't hear from Him because we haven't slowed down enough to listen.

If you can't find time each day, I challenge you to assess the things that are taking up your time.  Maybe you could watch one less show at night or maybe you could delete an app off your phone.  Bring it to the Lord and see if there is something you could cut off your to do list.

In Mark 9, I love how a father came to Jesus weeping and told him, "I believe, but help my unbelief."  It reminds me of how Jesus desperately wants us to go to Him even we don't "have it all together."  Don't be afraid to pray - Lord, I want to have time with you, but I don't know how to make it a priority.  Please guide me on finding a time to meet with You.   Jesus isn't looking for specific words for us to say ... He just wants our hearts! 

3. Make prayer a rhythm in your day 

To be honest, this is the hardest one for me.  I'm much more of a planner, so it's easier to be more intentional in the "quiet time" with God.  What I have learned over the years is that God wants constant communication with Him ... He wants us to seek Him ALL throughout the day.

Years ago, a pastor shared the example of how he "dates his wife." He talked about how important it is to have the scheduled date nights and getaways, but also how the day to day texts and calls were important.  The quick texts about nightly dinner planning, updates of what's happening with the kids, and other connection points throughout the day are important to keep merging your lives together.  The same is true with our prayer lives.  We need the "date time" with our God, as well as the continual prayers throughout the day.  Lord, I'm about to go in this meeting - please guide my words.  Lord, thank You for the beautiful trees that You created.  Lord, I feel scared about this appointment, but I know You are with me.  

Here are some little ways that you can begin to weave prayer throughout your day:

    • Popcorn Prayers- Each morning, as we we drive out of the driveway, I begin praying and praising the Lord. When I am finished sharing my heart, I say, "Popcorn,                     " and name another child in the car with me.  They pray and then say, "Popcorn,                   " and the prayers continue until each person shares their heart. I love this because each person has an opportunity to pray out loud!
    • Prayer Cards- We have a set of prayer cards that we use that has a specific word to pray each day.  This helps us be intentional in praying for different aspects of our lives.

    • Timed Prayers- Our church's name is 121 Community Church, so our pastor has encouraged us to set our alarm and pray for our church each day at 1:21.  You can also set your alarms to pray for different family members at special times.  (Example: My son's birthday is November 5th, so I can set my alarm each day at 11:05 to pray for him.  Our anniversary is December 21st, so I can set my alarm each day at 12:21 to pray for our marriage.)
    • Laundry Prayers- I have known others who pray for each person in their family as they fold their laundry.  

I love Daniel in the Bible, and one of the things I always remember about him is that he got down on his knees three times a day to pray.  The Bible never tells us how long he prayed, but we know that he had a discipline of stopping in his day and seeking the Lord at least three times!

Discipline isn't always easy, but we can take it the Lord and ask Him to help us!   We can’t rely on our own strength and discipline because we will always let ourselves down, but instead we can pray to the Lord to help us grow in our discipline as we are desperate before Him.    

Until the day we die, we pray that we will be learning and growing and moving closer to God.  Don’t let the enemy attack and tell you are not doing enough or you are not doing it right.  Instead, let the quiet voice of the Father draw you in.  Remember that ANY step you take towards making prayer more of a priority is a step in the right direction!!!   

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