What’s the quality of your prayer life? Do you pray often and daily, or just when you need something, or are at a church service or social event where prayers are publicly recited?
A prayer life of good to outstanding quality nourishes the soul and is necessary for spiritual growth. It is an effective way for man to respect and worship his heavenly Father and Creator as well as receive guidance and assistance in meeting important physical, mental and spiritual needs.
The power of prayer appears repeatedly in the Bible. Jesus taught prayer, and the New Testament is filled with servants of the Most High who accomplished important goals, even the most difficult and seemingly impossible, by engaging in powerful prayer lives in which they talked to God often and daily.
Improving prayer life can also contribute to self-healing and other important health benefits as studies have shown. Greater internal harmony, peace of mind, and improved relationships with others are just some of the many contributions that prayer and meditation can make to reducing the conflicts, uncertainties, and other stresses involved in everyday living.
The following are simple guidelines and tips to help improve your prayer life:
Develop a habit of praying
Choose places and times that you can pray on a regular basis. Opt for times that are convenient and places that are quiet, where you will not experience distractions and interruptions.
Keep in mind that you can take one step at a time to successfully develop new habits. If you cannot start by praying every day, pray once or twice a week, or whatever other time you can realistically commit to. Habits require repeated behavior and consistency. You can also gradually build your prayer time, adding five to ten minutes to your sessions, until these extra moments become a regular part of your prayer life.
Pray often and for different reasons
People often take the initiative to pray in times of crisis or great desire. There is nothing wrong with praying for relief from an illness or to win a championship or other prize possession. However, these kinds of prayer requests are usually infrequent and end when they are answered.
You can expand your prayer life by adding prayers that go beyond personal need and desire. This includes reciting prayers of worship and obedience to God. It also includes reciting prayers of appreciation and prayer requests for others and for the world around you.
Often, it is too easy to think about what one doesn’t have rather than what one has and to see the glass as half empty rather than half full. Getting into the habit of reciting prayers of gratitude, including those that thank the Higher Power for the small things often taken for granted, such as waking up each morning to a new day, helps provide reminders and affirms the blessings and positive elements in one’s life. Additionally, praying for a depressed relative, sick neighbors, abused animals, and for peace in the world takes a focus off personal needs and promotes spiritual growth.
Pray with the right attitudes
Thoughts related to prayer requests should be on obeying the will of God, which may or may not coincide with what individuals want or think the Almighty should do. Those who pray with the right attitudes are inclined to follow the Almighty’s guidance, not only in cases when they receive what they asked for, but in cases when they don’t, listening and accepting direction to the resources by which they can obtain what is God’s will for them to have or do.
Creating more time to talk with God on a regular basis improves the quality of prayer life and can make a healthy difference, physically, mentally and spiritually. Developing the habit of praying often and daily is a positive practice that can ultimately enhance the very quality of human existence and personal experience.