I shared in a previous post the results of a question I posed to my friends on Facebook: What has been the biggest breakthrough or most helpful “tip” you’ve ever received or experienced in energizing your prayer life? The results were gratifying…and inspiring.
So many people responded that I couldn’t fit them all into one post. So here are seven more prayer tips culled from the experiences of my friends:
1) Start by listening.
Lora, who lives in Pennsylvania, says she has learned “to not pray for what I think a person needs, but to wait on God until I hear how He wants me to pray. When people ask me to pray, I only want to hear about the situation…just the facts. Then I’ll take it to God and find out what He is speaking into the situation and pray according to His desires, not anyone else’s.”
2) When words won’t come, you can groan or sob.
Michigan resident Gloria says, “There have been times when all I could do was moan to Him. Words wouldn’t come, only the groaning of my spirit.”
Linda from Pennsylvania describes a similar practice: “One family I’m praying for in particular, where the husband/father has an aggressive brain tumor. The wife/mom updates us through her blog posts. Whenever I start praying for them, there are no words—just these gut-wrenching sobs that I can’t stop or control. For a while I would try to ‘start over’ to do it right, till I realized the Spirit knows what I’m praying for—and that those sobs are probably the most intimate, heartfelt prayers I offer up.”
3) Pray about every little thing.
Amy from New York says, “When my children were younger and had a problem or concern, I would always ask if they had prayed about it! I tried to teach them that they can talk to God just like they talk to their friends or mom and dad. Just, ‘God, please help me with my math test today!’ or ‘Connie is in the hospital and I’m scared for her, please help her get better!’ My 16-year-old now says she prays her way through school sometimes (if she is sad or someone is not being kind or if a teacher is out sick) so I guess it worked!”
4) Pray breath prayers.
Ohio resident Donna says she prays a single, short prayer throughout the day: “Lead, guide and direct me.”
5) Pray tactically.
Maureen from New York says, “I learned from my husband, whose Mom taught him: When struggling with an area of temptation, pick a missionary and pray for them. Every time the temptation comes to mind, immediately start praying for the missionary you picked. Satan doesn’t like prayer, so he often lets up on the temptation.”
6) Say “thank you.” A lot.
Samantha, who lives near Birmingham, England, says she has learned to “say thank you—no matter what the circumstance because without God it would be a hundred times worse, and He has a plan. He might be teaching you something, so even when you’re not happy with Him and circumstances, say ‘thank you.’”
7) Pray all day.
Coralee from Ohio says, “I try to pray all during the day. God seems to just bring people and situations to mind.”
And Cindy from New York says prayer has “become a part of my very being! Some days I feel that I am in constant prayer. I can focus during the chaos and in the stillness because it is an ongoing dialog. A friend taught me years ago that I don’t need to summon God; He’s with me constantly, and He’s always listening.”