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How to Be a Daily Pray-er - Guideposts
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How to Be a Daily Pray-er

Eight tips to help you draw closer to God one day at a time.

How to Be a Daily Pray-er
Credit: Roman_Gorielov
Prayer is a powerful force for good. At Guideposts, we believe in the strength of prayer to bring comfort, hope, and healing. Your generous donation today will help us continue to share the power of prayer with those in need. Together, through prayer and support, we can make a difference.

A block from Kearney State College, I felt the butterflies in my stomach. I was scheduled to participate in a public forum, and I suddenly felt inadequate—just plain scared. “Please, Lord, don’t let me make a fool of myself. Help me to …”

A guilty thought stopped me in mid-sentence. “Forgive me, Lord. Here I am, coming to You in a time of need again. So often I forget to pray when things are going smoothly. What’s the matter with me, anyway?” My hands tightened on the steering wheel as I realized I hadn’t turned to God in prayer all day. Maybe not the day before, either. I couldn’t remember.

I wanted to be faithful in prayer. I wanted to pray every day. But I kept trying and failing.

Then and there, I decided to concentrate hard on developing some “support systems” that would help me have a daily time with God.

Little by little, I did find ways to have a time for prayer, even on super-busy days. Now I’ve written down my discoveries, hoping maybe they’ll help you too.

1. Set a prayer goal.
Sit down with your Friend Jesus and ask Him to help you set a realistic prayer plan. It’s better to start with one prayer period a day, adding more after daily prayer becomes an established habit.

2. Schedule prayer time into your day just as you would a business appointment or lesson.
Find the time that’s best for you so that God gets the best of you—when you’re most alert.

3. Establish a regular place for prayer.
When you enter that special room and sit in that same chair, your mind automatically begins to tune in to the Lord. It should be a place where you can be alone, without being interrupted.

4. Minimize distractions.
Take the phone off the hook or ask whoever’s home to take calls. If you can’t find a quiet place to pray, buy a pair of earplugs. They worked for me!

5. Shorten instead of skipping.
On those days when you absolutely cannot get in your full prayer time, you can at least offer an abbreviated prayer. Five minutes with the Lord are better than no time at all. Just be sure you shorten only on the days when that’s the only alternative to skipping prayer.

6. Keep a prayer diary.
It takes just minutes to record the date and any insights that come to you from your time with the Lord, I like to note specific prayer requests and people I’ve prayed for. When I look back through my diary, I’m always amazed at the number of prayers the Lord has answered, the surprising ways He has done it, the steady movement of His Spirit in my life.

7. Find a prayer partner, someone you feel close to, who is committed to the Lord and who will join you in regular prayer.
Agree on a daily time. My friend Carolmae and I meet periodically to pray; on days between, we signal each other with one ring on the telephone when it’s prayer time.

8. Give thanks for your dry, inarticulate periods in prayer.
Remind yourself, whenever you feel a dryness, that this is precisely the time when the Lord is working behind the scenes to prepare you to come closer to Him!

I’ll admit that sometimes I still find it hard to discipline myself in prayer; but my lapses are getting farther apart. And I can tell you this: Since I’ve had a regular prayer schedule, I’ve had a more peaceful mind—knowing that I’m steadily nourishing my spiritual health.

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