I don’t know about you, but making prayer a habit has always been a struggle for me. I go through stages where I’m consistent in my prayer time, and other stages where I struggle to meet with God.
I’ve noticed that changing my prayer routine helps me take advantage of the opportunity God gives us to commune with Him. We have the freedom to approach Him—and He promises to listen! By being creative in our prayer habit, we begin to enjoy prayer time instead of looking at it as a duty. Here are a few ways you can cultivate a creative prayer life.
1. Make your car a war room.
Do you spend a lot of time in the car commuting to work or school? This is a great time to pray! Instead of turning on the radio or even listening to a podcast, spend that time speaking to God. If it’s morning, tell Him your concerns, fears and blessings. If it’s evening, tell Him what happened during the day. This is a great time to “vent” to God’s ear instead of to friends, and creates stability of soul and mind both before and after work or school.
You can make your car a “war room” by posting verses in places you always look. I had a small stack of index cards in my glove compartment and also taped verses to my steering wheel. This helped me memorize them faster. You could also keep pictures of friends where you see them so you can pray for them during your commute.
2. Create a designated prayer space.
Similar to a car war room, create a designated space to pray. In my teens, my prayer space was my walk-in closet. I included things like:
- CD player for worship music (before phones and iPods!)
- Notebooks and pens for prayer requests or Bible study
- Corkboard with prayer requests, pictures of friends, Compassion sponsorships
- Verses to memorize and encouraging quotes
You get to make this personal to you! My prayer space is now an armchair where I keep a Bible, prayer notebook and pens. Make it work for your stage of life.
3. Cultivate an answered prayers journal.
This is extremely beneficial for hard times. By keeping a prayer journal where you record and date requests and answers, you have a tangible place to see God’s faithfulness. When I’m struggling through a difficult season, I can look back to how God blessed me in past difficulty.
For each request, put the date. When the prayer is answered, write the answer in red and put the date down again. You’ll see how fast many prayers are answered, how specifically (you should be specific in your prayers!) and who was impacted by the answer.
4. Pray the Psalms.
This is simple, but it’s a great habit for those who struggle with what to say during prayer. All Scripture is God-breathed, and when we pray Scripture, we are praying God’s promises back to Him. The Psalms are a great way to start this. Not only did King David, the author of many Psalms, face extreme difficulty, pain, loneliness and trial, but he is also an excellent example of humble praise. By praying the Psalms, you’ll find something to identify with every time you pray.
5. Focus on adoration.
Many times we only pray to ask for things. While supplication is certainly part of prayer, our communication with God shouldn’t center on our wants and needs! He is a Person, and He longs to know and be known. So focus your prayer on adoration a few days a week; simply spend time thanking God for who He is, rehearsing His attributes and reminding yourself of His goodness. One way to do this is to pray the names of God.
6. Find a prayer partner.
Finally, a good prayer life requires accountability. Find someone to pray with regularly, whether weekly over coffee or at home, if it’s a sibling, parent or spouse. You could find a workout or walking partner and turn her into a prayer partner, too! If you have a best friend who moved away, send prayer requests and answers via email or text. There are myriad ways to keep prayer central to your relationships.
Do you have creative ways you cultivate a strong prayer life? Share additional ideas in the comments!