If we were to be completely honest with ourselves, there are many reasons that we struggle to pray. At the top of that list is most likely something having to do with not knowing what to pray, or being easily distracted. We trick ourselves into thinking that we are the only ones that struggle to pray; when in fact, Christians everywhere struggle with this important Spiritual Discipline. So much so that there is a large market for self-help books focused on prayer. So take heart, you aren’t alone. But that doesn’t mean that you stop trying to get better with prayer. To help you in your journey of prayer, here are 3 steps to cultivating a lifestyle of prayer.
Pray the Bible
When faced with not knowing what to say we often say the same thing over and over again, or we simply stop praying altogether. Praying the Bible gives us words to pray, and helps with distractions as it guides us.
Here is a short video by Donald Whitney author of “Praying The Bible” on how to pray the Psalms.
Another great way to stay on track while praying is to journal your prayers. This could be as easy as simply writing out your praises then your requests each day, and on another sheet write down when you have seen God intervene in those requests. This is a great way to keep track of God’s faithfulness in your life.
Even when journaling, it can be difficult to know what you are supposed to write. At that point, it is great to start with a simple method of praying the acronym A.C.T.S. You can write this prayer out or use it as a guide for silent and spoken prayer.
Start your prayer by giving praise and glory to God. By starting with praise it places us in a position of humbleness as we admit we are talking to a Holy God, the creator of the universe.
Next, we confess our sins to God. Once we are humbled it becomes much easier to confess where we have messed up, but we know that we are confessing those sins to a God who loves us.
Take time to look back at how God has worked in your life over the days and weeks. The more time you spend praying, the more things you will have to be thankful for. In fact, many things from the last letter may be moved up to the Thanksgiving portion.
Finally, take your requests to God. Many times we fall into a trap of only going to God to ask him for something. In this method, the asking comes last. The praising is first. Often, when we spend the first part of our prayer praising the God of the Universe and then giving him thanks our requests that we are talking to God doesn’t seem as major as we thought before we prayed. As you keep track of these prayers many of your requests can be moved into your thanksgiving portion of the prayer.
At the end of the day, it is important to find a way that keeps you on track with praying. You can’t become a prayer warrior without taking your first steps in praying. This is a great way to start!