In a world full of distractions, prayer is becoming more difficult and more countercultural. To approach God in prayer, we often need limited distractions, silence, and space. All of these things are difficult to find in our hurried world and culture of calendar invites and new notifications popping up constantly.
Here are five easy ways to strengthen your prayer life today!
Invite other people to pray with you
"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20
One easy way to strengthen your prayer life is simply to invite other people to pray with you. It's much easier to stay focused and attentive in prayer when you have the accountability of others around you. When I was in college, I had an easier time studying in the library as opposed to in my dorm room.
In my dorm room, I could close my door and no one would notice if I was studying or not. But in the library, there was natural accountability when there were other students studying around me. I felt like I had to look like I was studying too, and that meant I actually was studying more than I did in my dorm room.
This can be applied to prayer too. When we're praying with others, our prayers become more focused and there's natural accountability. Also, the Bible tells us that when we gather God is there with us too.
Use scripture to guide your prayers
"Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." Colossians 3:16
Using scripture to guide your prayers is an easy way to pray more powerfully and succinctly. Sometimes, the most difficult part of praying can be discovering what to pray. The entire Bible can be used to guide your prayers.
Oftentimes, you can find prayers in the Bible that resonate with your current life circumstances. It can strengthen your prayers to borrow and use those prayers in your life. You will simultaneously become more familiar with God's Word and be praying in line with God's heart.
Commit to praying for one thing for a length of time
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1
A great way to strengthen your prayer life is to practice endurance in prayer. I think it's easy to get distracted by the highs and lows of life and to forget to be persistent in our prayers. Committing to praying for one thing for a length of time can train you to pray continually, as the Bible prompts us too.
Pray out loud
"The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Luke 10:17
Praying out loud strengthens your prayer life in many ways. It limits distractions because it's more difficult to lose your train of thought as you're speaking than it is when you're praying quietly to yourself. It also exercises faith as you speak aloud and pray for and against things out loud in Jesus' name. There is something really powerful about speaking God's name, and praying out loud makes a practice of it.
Find a specific place to pray
"One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1
Finding a specific place to pray can strengthen your prayer life because it tells your brain and body this is the place where we pray. Habits are powerful, and creating a specific space that invites you into a posture of prayer can strengthen your ability to pray consistently. It can be helpful to find a specific time that works well for you too, it might be early in the morning like how Jesus often woke up early to pray.
I think He did this because it was when He was least distracted and could focus on His Father the most. We should be eager to find times like that, and spaces as well. Going for a walk to pray has often been helpful for me, because I'm away from distractions and I always feel close to God when I step outside.
What strategy are you going to try to strengthen your prayer life?