5 Ways to Prioritize Prayer
by Pastor Bruce
Yesterday during our ASL worship service, I shared something God had personally convicted me that we are not doing nearly enough: prioritize our prayer life. I encouraged our faith family to focus more on deepening their relationship with Jesus in 2019. One way we can do that is by prioritizing prayer.
Prayer is a vital spiritual discipline which connects us with God. It is also how we can have a Spirit-led and empowered life as His church. This morning, I was thinking about how I can encourage you to apply this in a practical ways. Below are four ways we could begin intentionally prioritizing prayer in our daily life.
1 – Set a Time to Pray Every Day
In the Bible, Jesus often withdrew from the crowds to simply pray and be with His Father (see here for some references). Although challenging at times, I try to follow the example of Jesus by setting a time to pray in the morning as part of my daily devotional routine (normally the first thing of the day before I eat breakfast and begin working). It centers my heart and mind on God and allows Him to fill me before I serve Him in the world.
All you need is five minutes to set a time to pray every day. Right at this moment, take out your planner or phone calendar. Think about the best time in your day which you are not distracted and reserve it (and create a reminder on your phone too) just for prayer. This can happen during your devotional readings or at a different time of the day. If this is a new thing for you, you just need 5-10 minutes to talk with God. If you don’t know how to pray, read the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6:9-13 as an example. It is a time which you can just simply talk with God like you would with a friend.
2- Pray Often During the Day
God wants to be part of your daily life. Although it requires you to be intentional, brief prayers during the day is not difficult! I often talk with God while I am driving on the road and even while in bathroom! You can talk to God while folding your laundry, cooking meals, washing hands, doing dishes, and even exercising. My encouragement for you is to think of your heavenly Father during the regular everyday moments and talk to him. What are the routine moments you have in a regular day that you could use to pray?
3 – Keep A Prayer List & Journal
If I feel myself forgetting to take my burdens to the Lord, then I know I need to remind myself. How can I do this? A good way to do this is to keep a prayer list. You can post it to the fridge, keep it in your Bible, or leave it hanging where you know you will pass by it frequently.
If lists are not your thing, then use post-it notes. Place them in places where you want to pray. You could stick it to the car dashboard, bathroom mirror, or kitchen window. I have a few post-it notes around my home as a reminder.
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A prayer journal is a great way for us to keep track of what we have prayed for and also when God answered our prayers. It can be a source of encouragement (at least for me) to pray more and expect God to move in my daily life!
Set a reminder on your phone to pray for someone who is having a surgery or for an important event. Then follow up with the person to let them know you prayed for them.
4 – Use A Method of Prayer
What do I mean by a “method?” Begin your journal entry with the date and write freely. Or you could use the ACTS model of prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Just follow the simple outline for each step.
Or use the CH@T model of prayer, as I’ve introduced to many others:
c- Cheer God on for who He is:
What fact about God makes you glad? Praise Him simply for who He is.
h- Humble yourself:
If Jesus looked at your heart and mind, what would He find? Use this opportunity to ask for forgiveness and renewal.
@- Appreciate what He has done:
What happened in your life today that you can thank God for?
t– Tell God your needs:
Where do you need God to work in your life? He promises He will answer your prayers
5 – Pray Regularly With Others
God is calling our faith family to pray regularly with each other in 2019. When we gather on Sundays and in small groups to pray, Jesus is not only with us but also hears our prayer. If we desire to have a global impact and witness a mighty movement of God in our area, fervent and intentional prayers must characterize everything we do.
Beginning this month, we will be meeting for prayer time after our morning worship services at New Design Church so that we can not only connect and pray for one another but also intercede for other people. In our weekly small groups, I would encourage more time to be given toward prayer not only for each other but also for our community and other Alliance churches. Not sure what to pray for? Please pick up our latest prayer list and monthly prayer sheet so that you can keep our larger Alliance family in your regular prayers.
So what do you think about the five different ways to prioritize prayer as given above? Do you have any other thoughts on how we can prioritize prayer life in our faith family? I would love to hear from you!
In the meantime, I hope you will have a marvelous week in the Lord!
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