5 Simple Steps to a Better Prayer Life


Guest post by Adam Weber, author of Talking With God: What to Say When You Don’t Know How To Pray.

Ever felt like everyone else has this prayer thing figured out except you? When Paul said “pray without ceasing” did he really mean, like, never stop praying? Sounds pretty impossible to me. The truth is, prayer doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact it’s just talking. Like talking with a good friend. Here are five practical ways to a healthy prayer life:

#1 If you tell someone you’re going to pray for someone, do it!

For years, I struggled with the bad habit of telling people I would pray for them but never getting around to doing so. I would simply forget.

I didn’t want my words to be hollow, so I made a simple change. Now, if I tell someone I am going to pray for him or her, I either ask if I can pray right then and there or else I silently pray as we part ways. There are other ways to act on this. My wife will often set a daily reminder on her phone to pray for a certain person at a specific time so she doesn’t forget.

It might feel strange at first, to pray for someone audibly, but it’s amazing the impact our words have when talking with God on someone else’s behalf.

#2  Just let the words come up!

The truth is most people pray, Christians and non-Christians alike. People who go to church and those who don’t. Everybody prays, sometimes without knowing it.

When we’re on a plane, as it takes off. For some reason we pray. When we’re wheeled into an operating room, even if it’s a simple surgery, we pray. When our favorite sports team is in a close game, we bite our nails and we pray. It just happens. We might not even hear the words we’re saying, words whispered under our breath:

Lord, help my team to win!

God, help me pass this test.

Lord, help my mom be okay.

God, I hope this pilot knows how to fly.

Jesus, why am I doing this?

Whether we’re pursuing God or not, the words, our prayers, just come out.

#3 When something reminds you of God, pray!

In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes about praying without ceasing.

Without ceasing? Like never stopping?

When I first began to take my relationship with God seriously in college, if something reminded me of God, I took the time to acknowledge him. To sit with him. To talk with him.

Write a short prayer on a notecard. Set an alarm on your phone. Find something that reminds you of God and talk with him.

#4 Write prayer notes!

One of my favorite things to do is to write notes to people. To thank people. To encourage people. To let them know I’m praying for them.

I want my notes to have a personal touch, but since my handwriting looks like a first grader’s, I type them. Not on a computer. I use a typewriter. I should say typewriters. Let’s just say I have a few. I may have an addiction to buying them. Anyway, it’s just a simple way to let people know that I’m thinking about them, cheering for them, and praying for them. It’s a simple way to let them know that they’re loved and noticed by me.

As I’m typing a note, I simply begin praying for the person.

“I just want you to know that I prayed for you today…”

And I begin to list the specific things that I pray.

“For you.”

“For your work.”

“For your family.”

“For your walk with the Lord.”

“For your health.”

“For your marriage.”

“For decisions you’re trying to make.”

It’s so simple, and yet I never cease to be blown away by the responses I get.

“The timing of your note was perfect. I was waiting for test results.”

“You prayed for my marriage, and we just started seeing a counselor.”

“I’ve been struggling with depression, and your words were comforting.”

“No one’s ever told me that he has prayed for me.”

“Lately I’ve been overwhelmed by life and your letter was so encouraging.”

It’s amazing how powerful our words to God can be. How powerful our prayers on behalf of others can be.

#5 Encourage others through prayer!

Practically speaking, encouraging others through prayer can look a million different ways.

It can be done while grabbing lunch with a friend. You can ask if there’s anything he’s going through right now, then pray for him, his needs, his marriage, his health (and maybe the meal) before chowing down. In so doing, you can almost see the person gain strength right before your eyes.

Some folks keep a list of names. Others pray as God reminds them of people throughout the day. I often write a person’s name down in my Bible. It reminds me to pray for that person, either for a specific need or just because. Sometimes I pray words of comfort for a relative who’s going through a difficult season. Other times, I pray words of encouragement for a person who I know has a job interview.

Guest post by Adam Weber, author of Talking With God: What to Say When You Don’t Know How To Pray. Now available to purchase!

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