By: Jordan Sparnroft
If you’re like me, sometimes prayer can slip right through the cracks in the busyness of life, and even slip from my quiet time routine! Yikes! I get distracted and sometimes don’t even know what to say to God.
Prayer can often be viewed as a tool that many of us grasp for when things are getting out of our control. When we use prayer this way, it can often feel as if the “tool” is not working quickly or efficiently enough…if at all. Maybe when you do pray, you spend the entire time making demands, asking for wishes and desires, and (if it crosses your mind) maybe lifting some people you know up in prayer.
Sometimes, I even struggle with the desire to pray and develop excuses as to why I don’t have the time or energy.
All of these reasons for praying or not praying, can leave us feeling bored and empty in our relationship with God. Do you realize that because of Jesus, we are able to pray whenever and wherever we want?! Before Jesus came to Earth, people would have to make sacrifices and/or contact priests and prophets to get any sort of communion with God. What a gift we have in Jesus! This is why we often say, “In Jesus’ name,” when we are ending a prayer.
Okay, so how do I pray? What do I pray for? How can I deepen my prayer life?
Here are 10 prompts you can utilize during your quiet time routine with God and anytime you choose to pray!
Please keep in mind He is always near and ready to talk with you. Even if you have the desire to pray but don’t have the words, Scripture tells us that the Spirit intercedes for us when we pray. Be honest and vulnerable with Him. Nothing brings Him more pleasure than hearing from His children.
1. Rejoice in the character of God! Worship Him! When we do this it turns our hearts and minds to Who it is we are speaking to and away from distractions such as fears and to-do lists. It turns our pride into humility. Phillipians 4:4 tells us, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.”
2. Confess and repent of sin in your life. Ask God to show you where there is sin in your life and in the deepest part of your heart. Ask Him to align your heart with His. Thank Him for his patience, gentleness, mercy, grace, healing, and forgiveness. 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
3. Thank God for the blessings in your life! Paul tells us multiple times in the New Testament to be thankful. Just like rejoicing in the character of God, being thankful humbles our hearts and turns our eyes back to Him and away from negativity and fears in our life. Phillipians 4:6 tells us, “…do not be anxious about anything but in everything with prayer and supplication and thanksgiving present your requests to God.”
4. Ask God for what you need and desire. He wants to meet your needs and give you the desires of your heart. However, ask God for these things with the heart posture of “God you ultimately know what is best and good for my life. Your will be done.” Jesus says in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
5. Ask God to soften your heart and mind and open your eyes to the truths He has for you for that day, before you open the Bible. This is the way you can ask Him to give you focus. Request that He remove any distractions in your mind so that you can hear from Him. Psalm 51:10 confirms, “Create in me a pure heart Oh God, renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
6. Pray Scripture back to God! We see Jesus do this! The book of Psalms is a great place to start.
7. Ask God to equip you for when temptation strikes. Ask for truth, wisdom, endurance, strength, courage, and grace when fighting temptation. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
8. Pray for our world, your nation, and your local community. Pray for political leaders. Pray for first responders and their families. Pray for teachers and all other public servants that work hard to keep your community running. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 encourages, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
9. Pray for the church as a whole. Pray for the church you attend and it’s pastors, elders, and the people that are there. Pray for missionaries around the world and the people they are ministering to. Colossians 4:3-4: “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
10. Pick a day of the week or a specific time each day (set an alarm on your phone) to pray for someone or something specific to you and your life. I have a category for each day of the week of a person or people to pray for. And I change the categories as seasons of life change and as prayers are answered. 1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.”
Jordan grew up on a farm located in a small town in Virginia. She married her NY native husband 8 years ago. A real country mouse/city mouse love story! Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Jordan was a professional mental health therapist. Apart from raising her 2.5 year old daughter with a complex medical diagnosis, Jordan also teaches English to kids in China online. Through numerous trials involving grief and loss she endured in her 20s, Jordan fell more in love with Jesus and realizes her need for Him everyday. Her passion for studying God’s Word and knowing Him more deeply grows with each passing day. She enjoys traveling with her husband, reading, all things “hygge”, and apple pie a la mode.