Creating prayer habits can be challenging. Here are six simple tips that will make it a little easier to make prayer a habit. Use them until they’ve become so familiar that they become a part of you.
Are you trying to make prayer a habit but having a hard time?
Trust me, I get it. Between the kid’s schedules, taking care of my family and everything in between, making time for anything else seems almost impossible.
Yet, we know that time with God is important.
I love this quote from Martin Luther: “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
In other words, prayer is as vital to us as air itself. We cannot live without air and we cannot live fully and joyfully without a relationship with God.
And the truth is we can only develop that relationship through time spent in prayer.
So now that we are both on the same page that prayer is incredibly important to our lives, let’s move on to how we can make it a lasting part of our day and lives.
6 Ways to Make Prayer A Lasting Habit
I often long to be one of those women who spend hours in prayer and hear God’s clearly speaking to them.
Here are 6 Ways to Make Prayer A Lasting Habit starting today.
1. Plan And Put It On The To-Do List
The number one way to follow through on a habit is preparation. There was a time when I wanted to drink a glass of green celery water every morning. But if I don’t buy the celery and cut then up the night before, I sometimes don’t do it because the mornings are so hectic.
Similarly, sometimes we forget to do that new thing we were trying simply because we are not prepared. Maybe we forget that we’re supposed to be having eggs for breakfast instead of a stack of waffles, or that we need to get that daily walk in.
Plan for your new habits or make it part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically.
To plan for your prayer time, first decide when you are going to do it.
Action Step: take a brief minute to think about your day. When would be a good time for you to schedule time for prayer? A time that you are almost sure will work.
2. Make It Public and Be Accountable
Prayer is such a personal activity that you might be hesitant to tell anyone you are doing. But it can be so helpful to let your family know what new habits you’re trying to establish. They will give you space and time to develop your new prayer habit.
Tell them why spending time in prayer is important to you and ask them to support you in giving you the space to pray.
You may even go as far as sharing it publicly on Facebook or write a blog about your new journey. Knowing that others read it and know about it might be just enough to keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel.
Action step: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me you are going to start a prayer habit. I always write back to cheer you on.
3. Attached It To A Habit You Already Have
Whenever possible, add the new habit to one you already have. For example, if you go to social media as soon as you wake up, and you want to add prayer to your morning routine, then plan to read a passage in the Bible or say a prayer and then go on social media.
This is actually the technique I use to get in regular, frequent prayer. I do not get on social media until I prayed. Sometimes I am not able to view my social feed until the afternoon, when I’ve had a few minutes in prayer.
It’s much easier to amend an existing habit or ritual than creating an entirely new one.
Action Step: What is something you can attach your prayer habit to that you can do either before or right after you’ve prayed. Write it down in your journal.
4. Give Yourself Grace
Depending on the season you are in, there will be days when you do not have the time or the desire to pray. That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up.
Instead, be curious about what may be getting in the way of your prayer time. Do you need to adjust your plan so you are praying at a different time each day?
If you don’t feel like praying, ask yourself why? Curiously explore your heart and your feelings to spot any limiting beliefs you might have about prayer.
Action Step: Promise to be gentle and forgiving of yourself if you have times when you do not pray.
5. Find A Partner and Help Each Other Along
Having a prayer partner is such a wonderful gift. Not only do they share the common goal of building a relationship with God but you could encourage each other to keep going.
“Where 2 or more are gathered, there shall I be in their midst.”
You can pray on Zoom, my phone or in person – whatever works best for both of you. It’s much harder to skip prayer time if you know someone else is depending on you being there.
If you already have a prayer partner, I am so happy for you. If you do not yet have one, prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to show you who would make a great prayer partner and then reach out to that person to see if they would like to partner up.
Action Step: Take a minute now to ask the Holy Spirit to send you the right prayer partner who will help you grow in faith. Write the names that come to mind in your journal.
6. Make It A Group Challenge
If one accountability partner is good, a whole group is even better. And they don’t even need to be local. Find a supportive group online and challenge each other to stick to your new habit for the next 30 days or so. Not wanting to be the first one to give up will keep all of you going until you establish that new habit.
Action Step: Find a friend or group of friends who share your passion for prayer
Which one of these 6 tips will you try first? Maybe all 6?
Whichever one it is, keep using the ones that you find helpful until you have made new habits you can stick with without the help of any tools or support.
I am so excited for you and applaud your desire to create a prayer habit. As you continue this habit, expect God to show up and do amazing things in your life. God delights in you and He wants to be in a relationship with you.
My prayer is that you feel Him near you and that His love, joy and peace floods your heart as you spend time with Him.
“The prayer offered to God in the morning during your quiet time is the key that unlocks the door of the day. Any athlete knows that it is the start that ensures a good finish.”
– Adrian Rogers