For the next 30 days, I will be posting a daily prayer guide. It is my hope that over this next month, your prayer-life will become deeper, richer, longer, and stronger each and every day. That being said. . . I am sorry to say that there is nothing new here. This guide is only a tool to help the pray-er focus on what he/she is praying. After all, whose mind doesn’t begin to wander after a few moments? It also guides the pray-er as to what to pray for next. Basically, this is a guide to help you and me be intentional about praying.
How it works. . .
This guide was written for those who pray in the morning, but feel free to adapt it if you’re a nighttime pray-er. So, if the guide tells you to think of something from “yesterday,” just adapt it to earlier in your day.
As you begin the prayer guide, you start on day 1. You will pray the type of prayer for that day. Try to answer as many questions as you can in your prayer. You may not be able to answer all of the questions but make an effort to do so. It may take a moment to think through the answers, but that’s okay. Remember, prayers are conscientious petitions and praise to God. Therefore, time should be taken to think through the whys and what-fors.
When you get to Day 2, you start back at Day 1, pray for 1 minute (answering the questions) and move on to Day 2 for 1 minute. Day 3 follows the same pattern all the way to Day 30. I will be adding each new day to the post. So with day 2, you will see day 1 first and then day 2. On day 3 you will see day 1, day 2, and then day 3. This way you do not have to keep switching between articles. At first glance, it may seem like you’re just praying the same thing over and over again, but usually this is not the case. It only becomes the case when there is something that is heavily weighing on your mind. And in that case, it is good to be persistent in prayer.
At the end of 30 days, you will be praying for at least 30 minutes at a time. You will also be looking deeper into the whys of your requests, sins, and praises.
Quick tips. . .
Let me give you two or three quick tips as you begin this challenge.
- Set aside time to pray. Going into this challenge, you know that by day 30, you need at least 30 minutes to pray in one sitting. Think now as to when you can do that. If it is by getting up early before anyone else, great. If it is at the end of your day while sitting up in bed, fantastic. But be consistent. Consider this to be the most important time on your calendar for the day. This is your appointment with the Sovereign God of the Universe. He’s invited you to come before the throne of mercy; don’t take that appointment for granted.
- Write in a prayer journal. This, for me, has become critical. I write out my prayers because even with guidance, my mind will wander. Writing tends to focus me on the task at hand. If you’re concerned about someone reading it, either write in code (after all God knows what you mean) or tear up or burn the papers when you’re done.
- If you miss a day, keep going. Obviously, we want to develop a consistent prayer life, but there may be days that are missed. Personally, for some reason, weekends get the better of me. Don’t quit. Just pick back up with the date of the month. So, if you left off on Day 17, but it is now November 19, start as normal (Day 1), and go through Day 19. Include Day 18, but there’s no need to just stop on it unless you really want to.
- Okay, one more: Try not to look ahead to the following day; if you do, it’s not a big deal. Just let each day’s prayer type be a small motivator to do your prayer time the next day. You will find that these types are often times not related, though sometimes they may be. This is intentional. As you go through, knowing what is ahead, you may want to take certain days out of order because it flows better with your thoughts. Do it. This is just a guide, but these are your Do what works for you as you dive deeper and longer into prayer, even if it means doing the days out of order.
Personal Testimony. . .
Finally, I just want to give my personal testimony about this challenge. I found my prayer life was kind of “meh.” Even after learning to pray the Psalms, I just didn’t have the desire for prayer. That’s when I realized, for me, it was more about intentionality. I simply started from scratch. I literally went to praying just 1 minute on Day 1, determining what I would pray for just before I prayed. I wrote down how I wanted to pray for that minute. I did the same thing the next day, except I added the same type of prayer (not simply the same prayer) that I prayed the day before. Currently, my prayer time in the morning takes between 45 minutes to one hour and I enjoy it so much. I don’t say that to brag, but only as a testimony as to what intentionality has done for my prayer-life. Like I said, I still struggle on weekends to pray in such a manner. However, I can honestly say that being intentional about how and what and why I am praying and praising has elevated the level of desire to pray exponentially. I hope it does the same for you.