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June 23, 2022

A Life Devoted to Prayer


Every single person has a direct line of communication to God.

The Creator of everything, the Prince of Peace, the One who knows the beginning from the end. We all have the ability to talk to Him directly. Not only can we talk to God, but He actually hears us and listens to our prayers. This simple truth should shift the way we feel each and every day - because direct communication with the Lord means that we are never alone, never silenced, and never without hope.

Why does prayer tend to be our last resort, instead of the very thing that carries us through each day?

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

Prayer can happen anywhere or anytime. It can be as casual or as formal as you would like it to be. It can be filled with thankfulness, anger, praise, confusion, love, disappointment, uncertainty, hope, or heartache. Do not let a certain idea of what prayer “should” look or sound like stop you from living a consistent life a prayer.

My approach to prayer changed when I truly believed this one thing: Prayer is simply me talking to God, and in order to keep our relationship alive, I have to talk with Him.

With this in mind, I pray all throughout my day, communing with my Heavenly Father about anything and everything.

Sometimes my prayers are long rambles, spewing out how I am feeling - maybe I feel hurt or bitter or scared or alone.

Sometimes my prayers are very direct and faith-filled, speaking into things I am hoping for but do not yet see.

Sometimes they are desperate, asking for the Almighty God to move in a certain situation or person.

Sometimes they are direct quotes from Scripture, repeating His truths over my heart and my life.

Sometimes my prayers are purely to pause from the hustle of the day and to recenter and remind my spirit that the presence of God is with me always.

“Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

If prayer is not a priority in your life yet, or if you are looking to revive your prayer life, here are a few practical tips!

Set a reminder on your phone.

Every day at 6am, my phone buzzes with a reminder that reads “pray for Will” (my husband). This banner does not go away from my lock screen until I clear it, and I don’t clear it until I truly pray for him! This has been a game-changer because although it alerts me at 6am, sometimes I don’t complete it until 9am, noon, or sometimes in the evening. But because it is a Reminder, and not an Alarm, it will stay on your lock screen until you actually clear it. This is a visual way that I do not let a full day pass by without praying intentionally for my husband. You can set one for yourself, your family, your future, or anything at all!

Pray for other people.

I went through a period of six months in which I followed this daily practice I invented to get myself out of my own head: Every day, I prayed for three people. One person from my family or close set of friends. One person from my church community (even if I didn’t know them super well). And one person in my world who does not yet know the Lord. I wrote their names in my journal, and prayed for them by name. Sometimes the prayers would be specific if I knew what was going on in their life. Other times, they would be more general prayers just speaking Scripture and life over them. This practice really took my eyes off of myself and increased my faith that my prayers can actually change the eternity of another person. Powerful!

Try breath prayers.

If thinking about all of the millions of things you can pray for overwhelms you, take one step forward by using breath prayers. Breath prayers are made up of one or two lines based on Scripture, that are used to meditate on, allowing you to inhale and exhale through God’s Word. These are especially helpful to use as checkpoints throughout your day, when you find that brief moment of quiet and need to remind yourself of God’s presence. You can use a breath prayer as you walk from your car into work, as you wash your hands, as you eat your lunch, or as you fold the laundry. These are meant to be simple but intimate and intentional words prayed from the heart. Here are some examples.

Pray out loud.

Even if you are entirely alone in your car, there is so much power in audibly voicing your prayers to the Lord. This may feel silly at first, but press on through it, because I guarantee this will increase your faith and bring a sense of reality to what you are praying. Have you ever struggled with a thought in your head? Maybe of doubt, insecurity, fear, or anxiety? If you hold that thought in your head and never tell anyone, it is left to stew and fester, and it can truly start to chip away at your sense of identity. But if you say it out loud to a friend, who can speak life and truth over you, that thought no longer has a hold on you. Similarly, when we pray out loud and hear the words being spoken, we carry the power to change things. Remember, Proverbs 18:21 says, “death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

Pray even when you do not want to.

This is what grows us up into mature men and women of God. Anyone can thank God for the good things in life. On the other end of it, anyone can cry out to God when they have nothing left and are in need of saving. I find it is on our most average days that a life devoted to prayer is watered and nurtured. It is in these mundane times that we establish, grow, and tend to our prayer life, and prepare for the highs and lows to come. So even on the days when you feel fine, even when you don’t feel like taking time out of your Netflix marathon or your errand run...

even when you don’t think you need to - pray.
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