Prayer is so important. I know I don't spend enough time praying and my guess is other people have a hard time as well. Prayer is the conversation you have with God every single day. Prayer is what builds the relationship, it helps us but our faith in God and let go of stress and worry. Praying daily and praying well can literally change your life.
I wrote a post awhile ago "How to Pray - Really Pray" but I wanted to do sort of an update and offer a little more information that what I originally included.
Why it's important.
The easy answer is because God tells us to pray. Throughout the bible prayer is used in all kinds of ways. The reason it should be important to you is because prayer is a conversation between you and God.
Prayer is the action of talking to God and telling Him your fears, sins, dreams, hope and goals. By directly communicating what you want or need, God will answer. Not only that but prayer helps you understand your wants and needs. By forming those ideas into a cohesive thought or words you are better understanding yourself.
Praying can release the stress and worry from your daily life, and we are meant to pray regularly.
Why it's hard.
Sounds awesome, right? The hard part is putting your faith in God DAILY. Taking time out of your day to pray is something that can be difficult. Some days I get into bed and realize I hadn't prayed all day.
Praying about everything seems insane, at first. Which is why it's hard to just jump in. Praying takes work.
How to make it easy.
Set a goal. Pray before every meal, or right when you wake up, or while you shower for work. Set aside time in your brain for just you and God to have that daily conversation. For me, I have a 15 minute commute to and from work. I pray there and back.
Once you get into the habit of praying during those times, start building. Pray with your family before meals. Then start praying before bed and when you wake up. After that, set aside time in your day to read the bible for 10-20 minutes, and pray before reading.
When you pray often, it'll become automatic.
You'll say quick prayers when you hear a sad story in the news. You'll start praying for friends and family before they drive somewhere. Little things that stress you out, give them to God. When you feel overwhelmed at work, take 20 seconds to pray.
Prayer is not something that takes up time or space, it simplifies everything. I pray while driving, while showering, while putting makeup on, while eating lunch. You CAN pray without folding your hands, closing your eyes and sitting silently. Prayer can just be thinking to God. Or it can be an out-loud conversation (which I do in the car, and honestly I do get some weird looks sometimes). Prayer is prayer, it doesn't matter how you do it.
What do I pray about?
Everything. Pray for your friend to drive home safe. Pray for your stress at work to be relieved. Pray for your sister to stay healthy when school starts. Pray for your co-workers to have safe holidays. Pray for anything that crosses your mind. Anything you would talk to your spouse, friends or parents about - talk to God too.
Pray for yourself and your success and pray for others around you. Pray for strangers half-way around the world who struggle with terrorist in their home cities. Pray for all the things that worry you.
Personally I pray about a few things regularly, I made a short list to give you ideas;
- I pray for my health, my family's health and my friend's health.
- I pray for the business I work for to do well and grow.
- I pray for patience, something I struggle with a lot.
- I pray for my fiancee, for God to be present in his life.
- I pray for my neighbor to stay healthy, sleep well and stay safe- she just had a baby last month.
- I pray for this blog. I pray for my business to grow and for it to become a career someday.
- I pray for my grandpa, who is currently battling stomach cancer.
- I pray for my parents, both who have stressful jobs.
Keep your prayers in a journal. I have lists, notebooks, journals and sticky notes full of prayers. Write them down, they can be fun to look at later, especially when you look back to see how many were answered.
Pray with others. Pray with your family, friends, spouse, kids, anyone. Praying with others can strengthen your relationship with them and with God.
Join a prayer group. I joined prayerful bloggers (there's a link in the footer of this site), and they are amazing. Join a community and pray for others while they pray for you. There's thousands on Facebook, Google+ and even twitter.