I recently asked my Facebook friends to share what has been the biggest breakthrough or most helpful tip they’ve ever received or experienced in energizing their prayer life. Wow. You would have thought I had promised free gift cards or smartphones! Prayer motivates people. It inspires others. When we share our own prayer journeys, we often encourage others in their journeys too.
So many people shared helpful insights that it is hard to choose from among them. But here are seven tips that may stimulate your prayer efforts, wherever you may be on your prayer journey:
1) Pray as you can.
David in California says the words of the Orthodox theologian Father Thomas Hopko have been a boon to his prayer life: “Pray as you can, not as you think you must.”
2) Listen to promptings.
Kentucky resident Sarah says, “Most encouraging to me has been when others let me know the Holy Spirit has led them to pray for us, and it’s at those times we’ve needed just that—prayer. That also has taught me to be in tune with the Holy Spirit’s prompting me to pray. And, when He does, I either try to tell the person involved or write them a note. On numerous occasions those for whom I’ve prayed have said, ‘I was in crisis and needed to be held up to the Father.’”
3) Go ahead and yell.
Sue and Debbie both cite permission to “yell” at God as a prayer breakthrough for them. Sue, who lives in Pennsylvania, says, “I thought I had to be so pious and quiet in my prayers. But He already knows what we’re thinking, so why hold back? I always end up praising Him at the end and feeling much better.”
And Debbie (from Colorado) says, “After my husband died, I couldn’t ‘pray silently’ with all the emotions raging inside me. So I walked around the house, just talking with God. And sometimes, it got pretty heated.”
4) Pray while commuting.
John from Ohio says his daily commute provides a helpful place of prayer. “Every morning while driving to work or from work to home, I talk with our Lord as if He is sitting in the passenger seat…we have a conversation.”
Judi (also from Ohio) adds, “Every morning on the way to work I have my daily talk with God. I thank Him for the day, ask Him to be with the kids I am working with, and I ask Him to say hi to my loved ones in heaven. Then I turn on my Christian music and sing.”
5) Pray wordlessly.
Several people spoke of turning silence into prayer. Kristal from Pennsylvania says, “Sometimes sitting in silence and letting my heart speak on behalf of others when words just won’t come, but tears flow from being overwhelmed, is okay because the Holy Spirit groans on our behalf and Jesus gives intercession for us to the Father as well.”
And Don from South Carolina says, “I have a fresh appreciation for wordless praying. I am learning to abide in the presence of the Almighty without needing to fill the silence with my own words.”
6) Pray scripture.
Ohio resident Leslie says that praying scripture has been helpful, especially in praying for a prodigal child, which also helps her to be “very consistent and specific with particular requests (asking for division in relationships, protection from authorities, etc.).”
7) Start with just one.
Karen from Ohio says someone once gave her priceless advice: “Start with just one!” She explains, “I had a hard time with prayer because it seemed like there were endless people to pray for. Someone then told me, start with just one. So I did. Now I pray every morning for a few, but it all started from ‘just one.’”