Prayer Ideas You Can Try
Want to weave prayer into your daily life? Here are six ways you could approach your time with God, each with simple, creative ideas to help you turn theory into practice…
- BE GOD CONSCIOUS
“GOD, I WANT TO GIVE YOU EVERY MINUTE OF THIS YEAR. I SHALL TRY TO KEEP YOU IN MIND EVERY MOMENT OF MY WAKING HOURS.” – FRANK LAUBACH
Try Laubach’s game with minutes. See how many minutes in a day you can become conscious of God’s presence. Come up with ways to remind yourself to think about God every, hour then, every half hour, 15 minutes, etc. until you’re thinking of God unprompted.
Talk to Jesus throughout the day and look for His presence in ordinary events. Is He trying to get your attention? What is He saying to you? Offices, universities, supermarkets, restaurants, coffee houses, planes, open spaces: God is everywhere, look for Him and listen for His whispers.
- BE BALANCED
We all have our favourite topics of conversation; the same is true in prayer. If you often find yourself praying about the same things why not try this easy to remember tool to bring some variety and balance to your conversation.
The ACTS Pneumonic:
- A is for Adoration – spend some time worshipping Jesus. Use your favourite music, a Psalm, write something, or choose a characteristic or recent answer to prayer to inspire your praise.
- C is for Confession – Ask the Holy Spirit to show you when you have sinned and fallen short of God’s love recently. You might want to use the words of Psalm 139:23-24 as your prayer. Say sorry for whatever comes to mind and ask the Holy Spirit to help you change your future behaviour.
- T is for Thanksgiving – think, speak or write a list of good things in your life today and thank God for each of them.
- S is for supplication – supplication is an old fashioned word for asking. What needs do you, your family and friends, your church, town or nation have? Ask God to intervene in each situation. There’s no special language or strategy needed, Jesus encourages us to keep it simple (Matt 6:5-8) and if we’re unsure about what God wants then pray for the most positive and loving outcome to each situation.
- BE SILENT
We live in a noisy world full of distractions. Whether you love or hate silence, there is an amazing peace and connection to God to be found in practicing stillness.
“STEP OUT OF TRAFFIC, TAKE A LONG LOVING LOOK AT ME…” – PSALM 46:10 (MSG)
Try building times of silence and stillness into your day. Choose a time and place with few distractions. Turn off your phone, computer, music and any other sources of noise or connection. If you find silence hard just try 3 minutes and build from there. If you find your head full of unwanted thoughts give each one to God and consciously keep focusing back on Him. Posture can help or hinder our focus so sit up, open your hands as a symbol of willingness to meet with God and breathe deeply and slowly inviting the Holy Spirit to spend time with you.
- BE PERSISTENT
Jesus told a story of a woman so passionate about wanting justice she succeeded in getting her way simply by annoying the Judge who could solve her problem until He finally relented (Luke 18). Our Father is a lot more willing to act than a reluctant Judge, but Jesus used this story to illustrate the importance of not giving up when prayers aren’t answered immediately. It’s ok to ask, ask again and keep asking God until we see a change.
Are there specific things you want to persist in asking for? Try these three simple ideas to help you remember to pray and not give up:
Use your hands – choose five people or situations you want to persistently pray about. Assign a finger or thumb to each, and spend five minutes a day holding each in turn and praying for the person or situation by name
Use your mirror – is there something you look at several times a day like a mirror, window, computer screen or phone? Write a note and stick it where you’ll see it most as a reminder to pray
Use your clothes – do you have a favorite accessory or piece of clothing you wear often? Why not assign a prayer request to a specific item and every time you wear it make that request your prayer project for the day.
- BE UNPREDICTABLE
Struggle to focus during quiet times of prayer? Bring some unpredictability and interaction into your time with God. Try using dice and assign each number someone you want to prayer for, or a way of connecting with Jesus (e.g. silence, thanking, singing, etc.) Roll the dice and spend a few minutes on the prayer assignment it gives you.
Alternatively take your prayers to the streets with something like Revival Run. Choose a place, think of your best prayer of blessing and go pray it over that place, planting a stake in the ground. Find out more about how you can get involved in this movement that has people travelling across nations and borders to plant generous prayers.
- BE KIND
Random acts of kindness are an easy way of making prayer practical and positive. It can move our focus away from our needs, and onto others. Kind acts can often be small or large, just be aware of the people and situations around you and have fun thinking of ways to bless them. You could try:
Doing the washing up and praying that your household have clean hands and a pure heart
Treat someone to lunch and pray that your love and attention reflects that of Jesus’
Send someone chocolates or flowers anonymously and pray they better understand how much God loves them
Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in the queue and bless them with joy
Leave food next to a sleeping homeless person and pray that the Father would provide for their needs
Help a person struggling with a heavy load carry it to their destination and pray that they know the light yoke of Jesus (Matt 11:30)
Looking for more daily prayer ideas? Check out these recommended resources:
Try the ‘Pray-as-you-go’ podcast – a daily audio podcast designed to help you pray in the midst of a busy day