Prayer is a foundational component of faith. It takes what we know and channels it into a relationship, making it a part of who we are. Yet, prayer feels hard, and it often gets put on the backburner of our to-do list or happens only when there is nothing left to turn to. In this post, learn 7 tips to refresh your prayer life.
Yet God says, prayer is our power. And in prayer, we can bring anything.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God.Philippians 4:6-7
Prayer is our lifeline, and I want to help you get back to that or start it if it’s never been. But first, can we clarify that there is no standard for prayer. Okay, I take that back. Jesus did show us how to pray in The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), but prayer is not about saying all of the right words or doing it at the perfect time.
Prayer is about doing it for the right reason.
To be close to God, to know Him more intimately, and live in step with his purpose. In good and bad. So I hope you can use these tips to help refresh your prayer life. Getting back in communion with the Living God and experience Him today.
1. See God in you, not just outside of you.
Growing up with the idea that God is a relational God made prayer extra important. Like any relationship, the only way to make it work was continual communication. Just like God wants. But living in the social media era, relationships don’t mean the same thing they once did.
One of the most pivotal moments of my Christian walk was recognizing that God is not just a relational God, like another friend on Facebook. God is a personal God. He is part of me and living within me. It took what felt like a distant God I had to work to get attention and turned it into a personal God who already knew the deepest pains and longing of my heart.
You don’t have to chase Him down but invite Him in, and this is where the fun begins.
2. Talk as if you’re talking to a friend.
How you pray will not look like how your pastor prays on the pulpit. Nor should it. God knows you, and he wants you. More holy words will not get you closer to God.
Real, authentic honesty is what He wants. And it will desire to come back because it’s real, and our soul longs for the authentic.
3. Let go of your fabricated expectations.
While prayer can certainly look like something to you, for me, I love to write out my prayers, at least my morning prayers. But it shouldn’t end with that. Systems can keep you on track, but God’s looking for continual communication. Even just a sentence as you pull up to work or a few lines muttered in the shower. There does not have to be a rhythm to your prayer life. Just start and ask Him to fill your mind with thoughts of Him.
4. Get specific.
It’s easy to get lost in what you think you should be praying for. And certainly, we should probably be praying for those things. But if God is a personal God, then he always wants our personal stuff. Get specific, no matter how big or little it seems. God is here for it.
Don’t forget, we serve a big God who can handle it all, even our selfish prayers. The more you come to him, unafraid of if you’re saying the right things, the more he’ll morph them into prayers of our heart.
5. Write them out
While this certainly isn’t something you have to do, having a framework for what you’ll pray for if only a list of prayer requests helps you stay focused and consistent. Personally, journaling my prayers transformed my prayer life. Slowly these prayers turned into mumblings in the shower, prayers in the car, and even getting on my knees on my bedroom floor. Don’t underestimate consistently praying even once a day and allow it to move you forward.
Prayer isn’t just about us talking – it’s about us listening. It’s a conversation with God, which means that we can and should probably be spending a decent amount of time just listening. It’s in the listening where you’ll find your answers. Just as much as we’re praying, he’s communicating, but we have to create space to hear it.
7. Look for answers
This last one is taken straight from John Piper, who reminds us that prayer maintenance happens because we not only talk but we experience God. It is the experience that drives our desire for more.
“Take note of them. Keep some kind of record, maybe in your journal or in another folder: answers. And what keeps it all fresh and authentic is the way it all flows from the word and goes back to the word, the Scriptures. And I can’t stress enough that we don’t want to become rote. We don’t want to become mechanical and repetitive. And the best way to do that is to let the word be fresh daily and let the word make your prayers for people fresh daily.”
The bottom line is to pray in whatever way you know best and ask that God give you the desire for more and that He would teach you how to pray.
More times than I can count, I’ve asked God to show me what to pray for, and in little movements of my soul, I see them. It’s been the listening that s changed my prayer life, seeing there is a God alive and active on the other side.
Here are some of the most profound books I’ve read on prayer.
He doesn’t just answer big prayers but all prayers.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.1 John 5:14