I was working on yet another project, and instead of turning on music, I decided to pray to my heavenly Father while working. I began to tell Him how wonderful He is. And that’s when He spoke to me, “I want your heart, not your words.” That quiet impression caused me to pause and contemplate.
I had been busy for quite a few days. So much of it was in service to Him, but was I serving out of my own strength? Had I taken quality time to get to know Him better lately? Or was I treating Him as a pep stop, where I get a quick fix and rush on with life? Was I just speaking words, or was I giving Him my heart?
It’s easy to fit God into our schedule, and a bit harder to fit our schedule around Him.
It’s a struggle. But most good things are.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
Prayer is a part of our relationship with our Maker.
Today, let’s give Him more than our words, let’s give Him our hearts.
It takes choices. It takes faith. It takes abiding in Yeshua (Jesus).
Our busy schedules try to stifle it. Distractions hinder it. Sometimes even when we’ve set aside time to sit in God’s presence, our minds start drifting in other directions, and minutes later we realize that we’ve hardly even said a word to Him or listened to what He’s trying to show us.
I’ve been there. There are times when I feel my prayer life struggling, and times when it feels so alive. The good news is that every day we have a choice, and every year is a new start.
Here are some ideas to encourage your prayer life this year:
Listen to Music
Most worship songs are prayer put to music. When we praise God, it welcomes His presence into our everyday lives. Scrubbing baseboards, cooking dinner, or driving to town can become times of worship, so turn that music up.
Keep a Prayer Journal
Keeping a prayer journal can help you stay focused while praying. When I write a prayer to my heavenly Father, it’s often more reverent, thoughtful, and focused than when I say it. Plus, if you’re crazy about starting journals (like I am), this is yet another excuse to get a cute notebook (T.J. Maxx, y’all).
So often the minutes of free time in our days are twiddled away, but they can be wonderful opportunities to take a break and rest in God’s presence. Do you have a few minutes to spare because you’re ready to leave the house early? (Confession: that doesn’t happen with me.) Do you have ten minutes of free time while the cookies are baking, or a minute before your toddler calls for you again? Each of these minutes are gifts from the Father.
Find a Prayer Partner
Prayer doesn’t have to be a lonely thing. Perhaps there’s a prayer group you could join, or maybe you have a friend who would like to commit to a regular time of prayer together (whether in person or on the phone). Can’t think of a prayer partner? Pray for one. If it’s God’s desire, He’ll bring along someone who will join you in prayer. Not only will this bring accountability and focus to your prayer life, it can strengthen a friendship in a special way as you seek His face together. Which leads us to…
Pray with Friends
After a chat on the phone or an afternoon spent with friends, prayer is a great way to close your time spent together. Also, if something comes up in your conversation that needs prayer, volunteer to pray right on the spot. It’s amazing the comfort and strength we can receive from God in those times. It might seem awkward at first, but I’ve found that it means a lot to friends.
Set a reminder on your phone to pray at a certain time of the day, or place sticky notes around your home. Also, when you think of someone, pray for them. This is a great way to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Use Prayer Guides
Not only will prayer guides give you inspiration, they can also help you stay committed to daily prayer. What are you wanting to pray more about? There are quite a few prayer guides online that might be just what you were looking for. (You can also check out our “Resources & Reviews” page for a collection of prayer guides and inspiration.)
What are some more ways to focus on prayer this year?
As another year comes to an end, we can look back on these past months and see the victories and trials, the laughter and tears.
I don’t know what you’ve been through this year. Maybe it’s been your best year, or maybe your hardest. But as you look back, I pray that you can see His hand guiding, feel His presence leading, and hear His voice speaking. Even in the darkest nights the stars were still shining, and after the storm, the sun warmed your face. I hope you can see each blessing as a gift from above.
Let’s start off the year with thankfulness and prayer.
-A Prayer to Start off Your Year-
Father, I surrender my year to You, all its joys and tears, all its victories and trials. I want to walk in the power of your resurrection–rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, staying devoted to prayer. I want to draw closer to You this year and seek Your face like never before. Please give me the strength to be Your hands and feet and share Your love with this world. Remind me who You are and how you hold the whole world in Your hands. Thank You for providing all my needs, and saving me. May You receive all the glory this year. In Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) name, amen!
Father, I surrender my year to You, all its joys and tears, all its victories and trials. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I want to walk in the power of your resurrection–rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, staying devoted to prayer. (Philippians 3:10, Romans 12:12)
I want to draw closer to You this year and seek Your face like never before. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Please give me the strength to be Your hands and feet and share Your love with this world. (1 Peter 4:10-11)
Remind me who You are and how you hold the whole world in Your hands. (Psalm 95:4)
Prayer is something that is sometimes hard to understand. Why do we pray? The Bible answers that question.
It connects us to our Creator.
“The Lord has heard my supplication, the Lord receives my prayer.” (Psalm 6:9)
It’s a way to love one another.
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44)
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1Timothy 2:1-4)
It gives us courage and faith.
“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,” (Luke 18:1)
It keeps our souls from harm.
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
It works in ways we cannot see.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
It makes miracles happen.
“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)
Yeshua (Jesus) showed us how to pray.
“But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” (Luke 5:16)
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ ” (Matthew 6:9-13)
I hope these verses encourage you to today.
Whatever you’re holding inside your heart, pour it out before Him. He’s waiting to hear your voice, to bring you peace when you surrender, and to refresh your thirsty soul with His Spirit.
Some of the dearest friendships in my life are connected with prayer.
When my family moved to Alabama nine years ago, I struggled deeply with loneliness. Two year later, on a summer afternoon, I surrendered my longing for friendship, declaring that Yahweh was the best friend I could ever have, and that I’d rather be lonely than have friends that would pull me away from Him. It was only a few weeks later that my family met another like-minded family in our community. Over the following year I was able to spend many hours playing board games with them, particularity with their oldest daughter, who later became my sister-in-law.
In 2014, I went on a camping trip with my brother’s family and their friends for the Feast of Tabernacles. By the end of the week, I connected with a girl who soon became a sister by heart. Later we discovered that leading up to this trip, my mom had been praying for me to find a new friend. The girl had been praying for a friend as well. It was the perfect timing and stage of our lives for us to meet and encourage each other.
After graduating from high school in 2015, I wanted to know what Yahweh desired for me to pursue. I felt there was something missing in my life. My mom and I prayed that I would have direction by the time I came back from our family trip to Israel that fall. Two days after I arrived home from Israel, I was contacted with the opportunity to babysit a 9-month-old baby girl. Fast forward a year and a half, and that precious little girl has blessed my life more than words can say.
Last spring I had the opportunity to volunteer for two weeks at a Christian kibbutz in Israel. I worked alongside a prayer warrior from Colorado. Our times of prayer together nurtured my passion for prayer and deepened our friendship. When I came back to the USA, she and I continued to pray over the phone. Those times inspired me to have prayer times with others, including weekly prayer times on the phone with Peyton, which led to launching this blog.
My heavenly Father has blessed me with each of these friendships as a result of prayer.
He’s the best at connecting friends.
Do you have a friendship testimony?
P.S. Revelation 12:11 shares that one of the ways to overcome is by the word of our testimony. Sharing our testimonies of answered prayer is a powerful reminder to us and to others of how our God is faithful. Do you have a prayer testimony you feel led to share in a blog post? Please contact us at: email@example.com
With a police officer in my family, praying for these public servants is something dear to my heart.
With all the conflict between police officers and citizens that has been raging through our nation, the point of this post and these prayer prompts is not to take sides, but to fall on our knees in prayer for this nation and our police officers.
Yahweh cares about every soul in this country, no matter their race, gender, age, or religion (Acts 10:34-35). His desire is that all people (police officers and citizens), come to know Him and walk in His ways (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
May we see a spiritual revival sweeping this nation, calling it back to the Word of God, and placing our hope in Him again.
Please join me in prayer for the physical and spiritual protection of our police officers.
Each of us fail to measure up to the idealistic Proverbs 31 woman.
But there are two ways to deal with this reality:
1) shrug it off, and keep living our lives the same way we always have;
2) seek the Father on our knees, asking Him to show us how we should live.
Striving to live like a Proverbs 31 woman will look different for each one of us (as we all have different personalities, talents, families, cultures, etc.). And yet there is unity in the fact that a woman who fears Yahweh is the one who is giving of her time, effort, finances, and emotions to see the Kingdom of God draw nearer to this broken earth.
Let’s be women who fear Yahweh.
Let’s get on our knees in prayer.
And then let’s rise up in action.
This printable can easily be used as a two week prayer guide.
As you pray each point, allow the heavenly Father to speak to your heart, showing you how to become the woman that He has called you to be to make a difference in this world for His glory.
Keeping a prayer journal is a wonderful way to remember prayer requests and to build a prayer strategy.
As far as choosing a notebook, I’ve found that a three-ring binder is a great option. I’ve used a regular notebook for a prayer journal if it’s only focused on one subject, but when it comes to a book with multiple prayer requests, a three-ring binder is excellent for organization.
Benefits of using a three-ring binder:
You can rearrange the pages as desired. (If you fill a sheet of paper with prayers for a certain person, you can move a blank page to the next spot and keep writing.)
You can add prayer guides that you’ve printed online. Simply hole-punch them.
You can store pictures of people to pray for in the pockets on the inside of the binder.
Writing down prayers definitely has it’s benefits. It can help you remember what you’ve prayed and when you’ve prayed (if you write down the date). And as you mark the prayers that the Father has answered in His mighty way, it turns into a wonderful testimony of His faithfulness.
Here is a fictional sample that I’ve written as an example to get your creativity flowing:
Have you ever kept a prayer journal? What are some tips you’d like to share?