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As a Christian, I have a desire to grow in my faith and in spiritual disciplines. One area The Lord has helped me with is praying more throughout my day. But I know many people struggle with prayer, so continue reading to learn how to pray regularly without repeating yourself.
As a Christian, I’m sure you have heard that the best way to grow in faith is to pray and read The Bible.
So, since you love The Lord and want to grow, you go about reading The Bible and praying.
But a few years down the road, your prayers are all starting to sound the same, and you may even feel like you’re just going through the motions.
Has this happened to you? It has for me.
There are many times at the dinner table that I’m just spouting off a quick prayer, not even focusing on what I’m saying, just getting the blessing done and over with.
When our prayers get repetitive, what’s the first thing you do?
For me, I learn more about prayer and how to pray more or be more meaningful. I start implementing a few things I’ve learned and feel excited about bringing my prayer life back to life.
But then, it all starts feeling like a chore to do, and a bit overwhelming.
Turning prayer into a chore
For example: When my oldest daughter started going to school, I googled prayers for going back to school. I found a great post that had a list of verses and even a calendar with specific prayers to pray on specific days.
I have nothing against these blog posts because I also write them.
But I looked at the calendar and felt overwhelmed. I tried keeping up the routine but could not do it.
So, maybe you are like me. You want to pray regularly, but you don’t want the prayers to be repetitive, but you also don’t want to “learn new prayers”, or add more things to your list of things to remember or do.
So how do we find this balance?
Before I continue, I want to be 100% honest with you and tell you I’m still trying to figure this out. I’m still learning how to do what I’m suggesting. But, there are a few things that I do to help me in this process.
How to pray regularly without repeating yourself
1. Remember who we are talking to
When I first started dating my husband, we would go to museums and read all the plaques. Then we would pass a display that was closed to the public, and I always wanted to go over the rope or open the door. This petrified my husband, and he thought I was crazy to want access to these areas.
I hate feeling like I can’t go somewhere.
So, for me, anytime I’m feeling down about my prayer life, I remember that I have.
- Hebrews 4:16, NIV Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
As Christians, we have access to God’s presence.
This is the same God as we read about in Jeremiah 10:12-13
“But God made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. With his own understanding, he stretched out the heavens. When he speaks in the thunder, the heavens roar with rain. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses.Jeremiah 10:12-13
When I remember whose presence I have access to, it humbles me and encourages me to continue being in His presence and take advantage of the access I have.
Last year, we got a family pass to the science museum, and you better believe we go as often as we can to get every penny’s worth out of our season pass.
This is the same attitude I want to have about having access to God’s presence.
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2. The Lord hears our prayers
1 John 5:14-15: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
The God we serve is alive and hears our prayers. One perfect example of this is when Elijah had a “competition” with the prophets of Baal to see which god was better.
I’m not going to read the full story because it’s long, but you can find the story in 1 Kings 18: 20-39.
I will give you a quick recap of the story. The prophets of Baal went first and they built an altar and called upon Baal to consume their offering.
Verse 26 says: and (they) called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered.
Then it was Elijah’s turn. He built the altar and then drenched the altar and trench with water until the trench was full and everything was soaked with water.
Once everything was ready, Elijah cried out to God.
Verse 37 says: Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.
These events teach us that God not only hears us, but He responds. That point brings me to my last point.
3. The Lord answers our prayers
The Bible is full of verses that assure us that God answers our prayers.
Today, I just want to share 2. One from the OT, and one from the NT.
- Psalm 34:4 NIV I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
This verse is part of a Psalm that David wrote. Here, he gives us a first-hand account of praying to The Lord and The Lord answering his prayers. The Lord delivered him from his fears.
If God answers David’s prayers, then it’s logical that God would also answer ours.
To cement that belief, we move to The New Testament.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.Matthew 7:7-8
These words were spoken by Jesus Himself during the sermon on The mount. He is teaching his disciples the meaning of things and encouraging them to know it in their minds, but also in the way they live.
These verses assure us that if we ask, it will be forgiven.
This doesn’t mean that we can ask for a large house and get it the next day. It’s an encouragement to ask The Lord for everything.
Not only do we have evidence of answered prayer from The Bible, but we have people on earth today that follow The Lord, ask Him something in prayer, and their prayers are answered.
This “cause and effect” is one way I knew 100% Jesus is real. He hears us and responds. We serve a LIVING God.
4. You can pray about anything, at any time
Growing up in the church, I got the perception that there were “better times” in the day to pray, and that prayers had to have a certain format.
So, I got stuck thinking that prayer looked and sounded a certain way.
It took me way too long to figure out I could pray anywhere I wanted to about anything I wanted to, in whatever way I could.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
This verse tells us we can pray at all times with any type of prayer.
It wasn’t until I started going to other denominations and speaking to other Christians that I realized how many ways there were to express our worship and pray to Him.
2 years ago, I met someone who receives images when she prays for people. When she gets that image, she will pray it over someone. I had never experienced that type of prayer before, and it was beautiful.
Too often we get caught up in what to pray for or how to pray. But The Lord just wants you to come to Him.
One thing that really helped me understand this was watching my son communicate with people.
The Lord understands our prayers
At 3 years old, my son was diagnosed with a severe speech delay. He didn’t have many words and most people could NOT understand what he was saying.
But for me, I understood him the most out of my three kids. I don’t know if it was because I was a seasoned mother and learned to anticipate his needs, or that he was very good at using sounds and gestures to communicate his needs.
Any time my son tried to communicate with me, I was happy to hear the grunts and the sounds he could make. I understood Him, and it didn’t matter that he had a speech delay or communicated in a different way than my other kids.
It’s the same with The Lord. He already understands what we say because He is our Father. But, He is also happy for us to speak to Him in whatever way we can. There isn’t a certain level we need to reach to talk to Him.
We can just come and communicate with Him how and when we can, and He loves it.
I’ve just shared with you a few things I do, but I want to sum it all up into 1 action step.
Remember, I am talking about how to pray regularly without repeating yourself, even if you don’t know where to start.
1 action step: Remember that God is always with you, and you can talk to Him throughout your day about anything that is going on.
You don’t need to wait for a certain time or pray a certain prayer.
Just start bringing God all the things. When you do that, your prayers are honest. They build relationships, and you may repeat a thing or 2, but it’s not empty.
Do you have a personal and thriving relationship with The Lord?
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