Intentional Prayer: Actually Praying

Date posted: March 22, 2012

I am not good at praying.

There.  I said it.  I’m a bit embarrassed to even throw that out there, but it’s true.

I want to be good at praying.  I mean, if I really sit down and think about it, I am awestruck by the fact that God– the same God who powerfully created the entire universe and delicately knit my children together in my womb–cares to listen to small and insignificant me.  But He does.  It says so over and over again in the bible.

I want to pray.  I know prayer is powerful.  I’ll even go as far as to say that I believe it’s life changing.  Yet I don’t do it nearly enough.  Why?  I don’t have a good answer.  My bad answer is that I am distracted.  I am busy.  I even have a little reminder on my phone that pops up every morning to remind me to pray and I find myself hitting “dismiss” over and over and over.  I fill my time with other things.  Other less important things.

But this month, I’m working on changing that.  Here’s what I’m doing:

1.  Journaling. I’ve always been a journaler, but this month, I’m intentionally journaling my prayers.  Yep, I’m writing them down, raw, uneloquent and real.

2.  Scripture.  I’ve been inspired by Kathi Lipp and her upcoming book “Praying God’s Word for Your Husband” to use scripture when I pray.  So, I’m working to dig into God’s word as I pray for my family– allowing His truths to help me to build a relationship with God.

3.  Specificity.  I’m giving myself assignments.  I know that really takes away from the spontaneity of crying out to God with what he lays on my heart, but like I said before, I get distracted.  And when I have a mission, I tend to stay on track.  So, I’ve been spending one day each week specifically praying for each of my children and an additional day praying for my husband.  That doesn’t mean I don’t ONLY pray for that one child during that day, but simply that I focus on him or her through my prayers.

4.  Grace.  I used to get really upset if my prayer time was interrupted by a crying child or a phone call from work– I felt like if I stopped praying mid-prayer, the rhythm was broken and it was over (perfectionist, much?).  But now I’m giving myself grace.  If my prayer time is interrupted, that’s okay. I can always pick it up later.  If I don’t get a full 30 minutes to pray in the morning, that’s okay.  I can pray throughout the day.

Question for you: How are you intentional about praying?

One thought on “Intentional Prayer: Actually Praying

  1. Warren Baldwin

    Praying is hard at times. One thing that prompts me – If someone asks me to pray for them, I do it right then. Even if it is an email or a comment on the blog. If I wait I will forget. That is one of the best motivators for me.

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