In January I shared a fresh call to prayer for all of us in the New Year. Prayer is such a neglected spiritual discipline, both in the lives of individual Christians and churches. Throughout Church history we can see that the times when God’s people faithfully sought Him in prayer, God moved in marvelous ways, bringing revival, conversion, and change to His people.
All this is well and good, but good intentions won’t be carried out without practical planning. In light of this, I’d thought I’d share my plan of action for becoming a woman of prayer this year.
Pray first thing when rising. This concept just dawned new for me as I was preparing for women’s Bible study. The author was discussing our need to give to the Lord our “first fruits”- and generally we apply this to our finances. But what about our time? I should use my time to seek the Lord first. I’d like to try to pray, even if only for a minute or two, each morning as I lay in bed before getting up, or even as my feet hit the floor to go after a crying child. There is certainly a Biblical precedent for it:
“O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” Psalm 5:3
“But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” Psalm 88:13
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35
Pray over the Word. As a general rule, I try to read the Word first thing in the morning too. As a mama of two little ones, this often happens while I’m nursing a baby, or later in the morning than I would like. Some days I won’t get into the Word until nap time, but as I’m reading I try to pray through each text of my daily reading plan.
Pray over meals. It’s so easy to rush through an obligatory prayer before we eat, anxious to fill hungry bellies before food grows cold. Yet this is a wonderful time to quickly turn your eyes back to the Lord, connect with Him, repent of recent sins, and thank Him for His blessings.
Pray with the little ones. Last year I read Elyze Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson’s Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus. The biggest impression it left on me was how desperately I needed to drench my own heart in the Gospel if I want to be a godly mother. One great way I can point my children to the Lord and show them what relationship with God looks like is by regularly praying with them. As we start the day, as discipline issues arise, as good things happen, as emotions elate and deflate.
Pray to kick off nap time. Once my children are asleep after lunch, I will set a timer for ten minutes of prayer. This allows me to refocus and be renewed in my mind, just in time for the late afternoon “witching hour” (the mamas all know what I mean).
Pray when I can’t fall asleep. It takes me ages to unwind each night before falling asleep. Instead of staring at the clock, running through my mental list of to dos, and allowing my mind to wander aimlessly, I am trying to take this time captive for prayer. I find it helpful to go over each part of the day just finished, using it as a structure to tether my focus. I confess sins committed, give thanks for blessings, pray for the people I’ve come into contact over the course of the day, etc. Usually this winds me down very well!
Attend corporal prayer meetings. Each Wednesday night our church gathers for prayer. Because the time usually runs over an hour past our kids’ bed time, my husband goes and I stay home with the kids. Now that our newest baby is getting older and less dependent on mom, we plan on rotating and taking turns attending. This helps me to connect with other believers as well as to the Lord, and is such a vital part of my Christian walk!
How do you make time for prayer? Let’s band together again and make a fresh commitment to prayer this month!