We may not like to admit it, but prayer can sometimes feel like a chore. We’re tired, we’re busy, and it feels like just one more thing to add to our list. And, If are we are praying with any kind of consistency it can become boring if we do it the same way, with the same words every day.
Let me assure you; you don’t have to feel guilty about this. Every relationship needs intention and creativity to stay fresh our prayer life, and relationship with God is no different.
I used to believe that my prayer time needed to look a certain way for God to be happy. As a result, my relationship with God was like a roller coaster with the ups and downs of pride when I was getting “it right” and guilt when I wasn’t.
God is more concerned having a relationship with us than how many minutes we pray or the exact words we use.
I love routine but often crave change. I know this about myself, so when I designated “Time with God” as one of my non-negotiables, I knew that if I wanted to be consistent, I’d have to seek creative ways to do this.
Instead of getting stuck with a formula I often do a combination of these:
- Record specific ongoing prayer requests in a dedicated notebook. Each need gets one page followed by any scriptures that support what I am praying for. I write a date, so I know when I first started praying for it.
- Designate different days of the week to pray for various topics such as family, friends, ministry, community needs, and our government.
- Create and read affirmations that are rooted in scripture and truth. I created a few about body image that you can download HERE.
- Rotate through study and devotional apps such as She Reads Truth, If Gathering, and First 5 from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Here are a few things that have been a staple in my prayer life over time.
These books have been instrumental books in teaching me about prayer. Divided by topic, each chapter shares the importance of praying in a particular area. It provides specific prayers, which are each tied to biblical promises including their scripture references. Over the years, this book has helped me stay consistent in prayer. When my little ones were young, and life was overwhelming, I knew I could open the book, select a theme, and pray it through in less than 5 minutes.
When my kids were little, and I had very little time or energy to have a consistent prayer time I would find a scripture that addressed my most pressing issue and wrote it on an index card. On the back of the card, I turned the verse into a prayer. I kept it in my back pocket and pulled it out whenever I had a moment to spare or needed encouragement. Eventually, I created a set from my kids. Some of the topics included are Anger, Obedience, Thankfulness, Words, Fear, Kindness. They are free HERE as a download. More topics are available in my Etsy shop.
Once a week, during the school year, since my oldest daughter was four, I have prayed with a group of moms. When life has been crazy, I can count on this group of faithful women to pray regularly. We pray for our children together, our schools, and our kids’ teachers, coaches, and administrators. I wrote about it HERE.
There is no one way to pray. Just like other friendships, we nurture our relationship with God through consistency, authenticity, and even creativity.
If you are looking for creative ways to change up your routine here are a few ideas:
- Celebrate the answers so you can stay encouraged in your prayer requests.
- Find new scriptures on the same promises to memorize and pray.
- Pray with a friend who can build on your requests with their thoughts and prayers.
- Pray in a different location.
- Journal your prayers. Let the page be a dumping ground for what’s on your mind then write out your prayers addressing your concerns.
- Install a prayer app on your smartphone.
- Take the Joy Dare. It’s like a God scavenger hunt -- 3 gifts to hunt for every day that you can offer up a prayer of thankfulness for.
Don’t let boredom and or a rigid formula in your prayer life can create indifference or distance in your relationship Him. Prayer is simply talking to God. He wants us to get to know Him better by spending time with Him, and there are plenty of creative ways we can to do that.
I’d love to hear about the creative ways you pray!
For more on prayer and the creative ways my friends and I pray check out the Slice of Life Podcast Episode 51 The Ways We Pray. Elise Daly Parker, Noelle Rhodes, and I talked about how our prayers have changed over time while in addition to offering encouragement for those who are trying to get “it right.”