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Ten Tips for Enriching Your Prayer Life

December 4, 2021

Another Way for week of November 26, 2021

Ten Tips for Enriching Your Prayer Life

One of the treasures I found in Mother’s things was a list of suggestions to use in one’s prayer life. Many of us have ups and downs in how faithful we are in praying and we slide away from a focused time. God certainly knows our habits—and understands.

But no matter where you stand regarding a regular quiet time sharing what’s on your heart, we can foster a closer relationship with God by talking with the Almighty consistently.

My mother’s mother, Ruth Stauffer, reading her Bible in her parlor.
Photo by my cousin, Judy Yoder.

Here are some of the tips I found on that list which I’ve partially revised:

  1. Set aside a regular time to pray. Often people get up early to pray but you could set aside any time of day—whether at lunchtime or in the evening before bed.
  2. Choose a regular place to pray. For me, that’s in bed, before I rise to start the day. (That’s easier to do when you’re retired.) But others set aside a corner of a room, a special chair, perhaps in your car or a place outdoors. Perhaps use a candle to set a quiet mood.
  3. Write out prayers. If that doesn’t work for you, no worries. But written prayers can be used at times in a Bible study or devotional or just to remind yourself of what you’ve prayed for in the past.
  4. Pray out loud. You can even yell at God, especially in difficult times or when angry or frustrated. Again, God understands and as you express yourself, at times this leads you into a calmer, settled self.
  5. Include silence. Don’t do all the talking when you pray. Take time to listen to God as well.
  6. Include singing. Music can set a tone that lifts your spirit and leads you into true worship with God. I love singing in the car—and in the shower!
  7. One pastor offered a structure for prayers that may keep you from getting into ruts of saying the same old. Using the word ACTS as a mnemonic (think of the Bible book of Acts), you can use this list:
    1. Adoration – Reflect on who God is and how God cares for you
    1. Confession – Honestly tell God where you’ve succeeded or failed
    1. Thanksgiving – Offer up thanks to God for goodness shown to you and others
    1. Supplications – That’s a fancy church word for prayer requests—often the first and only part of praying. But I like the idea of saving specific prayer requests until you’ve taken time for the first three in this mnemonic.
  8. Pray with others. You can do this in person, on the phone, a small group, or while walking with a partner. My husband and I usually take turns praying before meals and to me, it is a special time when I hear what my husband is concerned about.
  9. Use prayers written by others. Many prayers are included in hymnals or devotional books or magazines. They can inspire and rev up your prayer life.           
  10. Be realistic about your efforts. If you’ve only been praying 30 seconds a day, don’t set a goal of 30 minutes. Start with a small routine you can keep.

Mom had a regular prayer time after her morning bread and coffee, when she’d sit and read the Bible or a devotional, and then go over a long list of family and friends and folks she’d only heard about. I wish to follow her example.

I couldn’t find an author for this list but if you know who wrote it or a similar list, please let me know! I do not like to use pieces that should be attributed to the original writer. I hope this can enrich your prayer times.

***

Where and when are your favorite or best times to pray? What are tips you can share?

Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt you couldn’t pray?

Comment here or send to anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

2 Comments
  1. I greet the morning with prayer, usually in a blue velvet chair where I keep my Bible and journals. And, yes, I am familiar with the Adoration/Confession/Thanksgiving/Supplication structure for prayer. These days supplication is a big part of my prayer life because many on my prayer card have serious needs. It helps to keep names of those I pray for on a 5×7 index card, and when an answer comes, I can put a date by the name. (You and your family are on the list, Melodie.)

    When we were going through Mother’s and Aunt Ruthie’s things, we found treasures like you describe. A short devotional book from Aunt Ruthie is on my night stand. I’ve read through it at least twice to capture all of the wisdom. (I’ve been out of town most of the week, or I could give you the title and author.) Mother gave my sister Jan a copy of Wings of Mercy by Laurie Kehler, which I featured on my blog a few week’s ago,

    Your timely topic reminds me that we have a goodly heritage, which we are both trying to pass on to the next generation. Thanks for all this, Melodie! 😀

  2. Yes, I know, so many many serious needs, among both the young and the older. And thank you for your continuing prayers, that is so sweet. I find it harder to note when definitive answers have come. It is more in looking back over years and decades where I see outcomes that make me rejoice. Blessings!

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