The Priority of Prayer (with a printable)

Last fall, I began a Bible Study on Prayer. It has been an excellent study and has reminded me of the importance of prayer. However, no matter how important we say we think prayer is, there is still the little matter of just sitting down and doing it.

I am not sure anything is more of a challenge for me in my Christian life than taking time to pray. I think this is for a number of reasons, but, thankfully, God has not given up on me yet.

A few Sundays ago, we even had a guest speaker who reminded me once again the priority of prayer, which served as a reminder that I cannot give up on strengthening my prayer life, no matter how discouraged I get.

He gave us some tips to help us make prayer a priority in our lives–

1. Make prayer a priority. Okay, that sounds redundant, I know. Of course, you need to make prayer a priority if it is going to be a priority. But think with me about the truth of this statement for just a moment.

He went on to say that we always make time for what is important to us. It’s true, isn’t it? How many of us are not able to find a half hour to pray and yet we somehow we manage to spend an hour or two watching TV or playing a game or reading a novel? We find time to shop for non-essentials or to work on our hobbies. We find time for the things we want to do.

This is rather an indictment to most of us and our desire to pray. Perhaps we don’t really want to pray as much as we say we do. Actions speak so much louder than words.

2. Remove something from your schedule if it’s too full. If we are truly too busy to pray, then we are most certainly too busy. At this point, it is time to evaluate our schedules carefully and remove something. This can be difficult because sometimes it requires us removing something good. I’ve already had to back out of a church ministry because I was too overwhelmed and did not have time to focus on my private prayer and Bible time. Sometimes this is necessary.

If we literally don’t have time to pray (and study our Bibles), then we need to take the steps to change this as soon as possible.

3. Remove noise and distractions. We probably all pray throughout the day–in our cars, while washing dishes, or in bed at night. But, in order to have a dedicated time of prayer, we need to find a quiet place that has no distractions. This means putting the phone and tablet in another room.

I became very convicted of this yet again recently. I am sincerely trying to break myself of the habit of having my phone nearby during my morning quiet time. It is so easy to get distracted. It is one of the main reasons I like using an actual Bible and an old-fashioned prayer journal that I write in with a pen (rather than apps).

Committing to remove these things from our presence during this time can be difficult but, oh, how it yields such a rich quiet time when it’s just me and the Lord, without the distraction of texts or notifications or even simply the temptation to look something up or add something to my calendar.

4. Pray together with others. The Bible talks about the importance of praying together in Matthew 18:19-20–

Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.

This is a great way to get in the habit of praying regularly.

5. Let your feelings in the corner and go to the other corner to pray. The speaker shared how someone he once really respected talked to him about prayer. This mentor had said {and this is my paraphrase}: In order to really become a prayer warrior, he had had to let the “I don’t feel like praying” feeling in one corner while he obediently went to the other corner of the room and prayed.

In other words, we can’t be dominated by our feelings. If we wait to pray until we feel like praying, we will rarely pray. Sometimes our feelings will straggle over to join us from the other corner while we are praying and sometimes they won’t. It doesn’t matter. We just need to do what is right.

I found this a profound and convicting illustration.

I hope these five things have given you food for thought as you seek to make prayer a priority in your life. Will you join me in taking the steps to become a vibrant and strong pray-er? Satan knows that this is a key weapon in the battle against him, not only for us personally but for our families, for the lost, and for…well, everything. May he never be victorious in distracting us into prayerless lives.

________________________________________________________

If you are still a little uncertain about how to really pray seriously, I wanted to share something that I prepared for my Bible Study ladies. It is a little hand-out that gives instructions on how to pray for a half hour. You will find that, if you follow it, it will be hard to keep it to just thirty minutes. It’s easier to pray for that period of time than you may think.

I hope this is a blessing to you as you seek to strengthen your prayer life.

Click here to find a printable that will help you pray for a half hour.

(p.s. The printable is set up in a landscape orientation and in bookmark form, with three copies per page.)

 

 

6 thoughts on “The Priority of Prayer (with a printable)”

  1. thank you for sharing those very helpful points on prayer. I struggle also in prayer and am so thankful that I can always find help from knowledgable people that share their views.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I sometimes struggle, especially with interruptions and stray thoughts. I recall reading or hearing a statement (may not be word-for-word): “Satan trembles when he sees a Child of God on their knees because he knows he is in trouble”.

  3. I so struggle with wayward thoughts when I pray. Breaking it down into segments is a helpful idea. Thank you for the download.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: