Every Christian agrees that prayer is essential to living the Christian life in a God-glorifying and joy-filled manner. Every Christian would also agree that the majority of Christians don’t pray as often or as well as they should. Here are five ways to help you become more faithful in your prayer life.
1. Set aside designated time each day to pray.
Prayer is a combination of both duty and delight. Some days you will not feel like praying—but God calls us to pray anyway. Once we start praying, delight will often follow. Set aside five or ten minutes each day to pray—in the morning if you are a morning person, or at night when you may have more time.
2. Pray different types of prayers. Change it up.
The Bible contains many different kinds of prayers: prayers of thanksgiving, confession, praise, lament, etc. There are also different forms for prayer: use the Lord’s Prayer, follow a Psalm, pray a Psalm, or pray one of Paul’s prayers in his epistles. You can also use a prayer book such as the Book of Common Prayer or Arthur Bennett’s The Valley of Vision.
3. Use the Bible to aid your prayers.
Ideally, we should pray in response to reading the Bible, but use the Bible itself to pray your prayers. The Psalms are immensely helpful and are full of time-tested, inspired prayers for every human emotion and occasion. One helpful resource that I like to use for our family devotions through the Psalms is The Songs of Jesus, written by Timothy Keller. It has a handful of verses, explanation, and a prayer to get you and your family started. It's also short enough for us to actually use daily with our young children.
4. Read more often and more deeply to pray more effective prayers.
The more we learn about God and what he has done for us in Christ, the more we know what he is like and how to pray to him. As we grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Triune God, we will also know what we need and how best to ask for it. We will also have a better idea of how to thank him for all he has done.
5. Write out some of your prayers.
When you feel like you are in a spiritual rut, try writing out your prayers in a journal. When we write, we are forced to think more deliberately than when we talk. Write out your prayers to the Lord.
The more empty and hollow we feel inside, the stronger the guards we place to keep others from finding out who we really are.