Prayer is an essential form of communication for those who are reliant on God. We recognize prayer as our direct-line to the Lord and as one of the most powerful tools we have for managing this rollercoaster called life. Here are 5 simple ways you can begin to incorporate prayer into your daily routine.
Simple Strategy for Success
Let’s face it, sometimes things get in the way. Between work, family, and the never-ending demands of each season, we often allow our prayer lives to become stagnant, distant, and neglected. One of my biggest convictions (that actually led to me wanting to write this post) was this; how often have you told someone in need “I will be praying for you!” and had every intention of following through on that, only to forget? Y’all, I am so guilty of this. I am convinced that I would forget my head sometimes if it wasn’t attached to my body.
When I first started asking God how to overcome this convicting, embarrassing, and frankly guilt-inducing habit, the first thing He prompted me to do seemed simple:
- Slow down and be present.
A Short Backstory
I’m going to expose myself here a little bit now and let y’all know that your girl has ADHD. My brain (and also my mouth) want to run at 90mph at all times, even when I don’t realize it.
Since childhood I have been a talker and one who notoriously talks fast. If this is what is happening in my brain as an adult, causing my speech patterns to be in a perpetual state of “fast-forward”, it is no wonder why I sometimes forget things. Especially things that are not right in front of me. It is almost like everything that runs through my mind is like The Flash. I am aware of thoughts passing by, but only because I can see the remnants of the trail they’ve left behind. They go just as quickly as they come. My fellow ADHD-ers know the struggle! So how do you take a high-speed human like me and make her slow down and be present? One word: discipline.
With ADHD comes impulsivity. In general, it is very hard to make yourself do something that you physically do not feel like doing, right? It is a thousand times more difficult when your impulsivity tells you to go with what you’re feeling, rather than what your brain knows is best.
Practicing What We Preach
When someone asks you to pray for them, when someone pours out their heart to you, and/or when The Lord burdens your heart to pray with/for someone, you’ve gotta just stop and do it right then and there. Even if you don’t feel like it. We have to somehow get our brains to understand that when someone is communicating a need to us, that is our cue to stop and take a deep breath, and focus in. Everything else can wait for just a moment.
It is never going to be easy. It is never going to be second nature. Maybe at some point, by the grace of God, it will become routine and have an air of effortlessness. Until then, we have to force it. Or “fake it til we make it” as I like to say.
Thoughts Vs. Feelings
Did you know that the Bible actually tells us that our feelings are liars? It is true!
Crazy, right? Our “heart” as written here (which is referencing our emotions/feelings) is heavily influenced by our flesh, which we know by nature is sinful! This is why the Word also says this:
Basically, this passage is saying “Hey, the culture is going to tell you to do things one way, but that isn’t God’s way. Your feelings will be heavily influenced by that culture. Instead, you must know what the Word of God says. Read it, meditate on it, hide it in your heart so that when your feelings start to cause you to want to justify your sin, you will realize it. You will then be able to tell the ways of God apart from the ways of the flesh and not walk into the trap of sin.”
I know this might feel like a little bit of a tangent I’m on, but man, is it ever true. We are so emotionally driven and the Word is clear. That is simply not God’s way.
This strategy might sound simple (and even like common sense to some), but it was a revelatory lesson I learned that really changed the trajectory of my prayer life. It also changed my intentionality, which helped me to steward my gifts of mercy & encouragement. *GASP* – it is almost like God had it all planned out to work together for my good!
He’s the best, isn’t He?
Alright, now that we know the strategy, on to the long awaited list!
5 Simple Ways to Incorporate Prayer into Your Daily Routine
Fear not my friends, for I have compiled a list of 5 simple ways to incorporate prayer into your daily routine that will leave you feeling blessed, present, and guilt-free.
The Commute Prayer:
If you are like most people, your commute to work can be a real drag. Instead of listening to the same old playlist, try reciting a prayer or two aloud. Not only will it make you feel more centered, but it will also make the person next to you on the bus feel awkward (and I think that is funny!) Hey, it could be a great ice breaker. Just after saying “Amen”, pop an eye open and say “Hey, you need prayer for anything?” I bet they will share a request or two!
The Mealtime Prayer:
We all have to eat, so why not make it a spiritual experience? Before you dig into that avocado toast, take a moment to give thanks for the food on your table, the hands that prepared it, and those you are breaking bread with. And for an added bonus, try praying for those who don’t have access to such luxuries. This is a great way to teach empathy to children, too!
The Shower Prayer:
One of the best times to pray is when you’re in the shower! The warm water is not only relaxing, but it serves as a great white noise machine to help clear your mind. Take advantage of this time to say a prayer or two. Just make sure you don’t accidentally sing “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “Baby Shark”.
The Workout Prayer:
If you maintain a regular exercise regimen, why not incorporate prayer into your workout? Instead of listening to music, try reciting a prayer or two while lifting weights or running on the treadmill. Yoga and Isometric Stretching are also complimentary workouts to prayer and meditation. Try listening to Scripture set to music (like this playlist on Spotify) while doing these relaxing activities.
The Bedtime Prayer:
Last but not least, the bedtime prayer. As you lay your head down to rest, take a moment to give thanks for all the blessings in your life. If you are married, praying at bedtime with your spouse is diversely beneficial. You can empathize with one another, communicate about all of your feelings and stressors, and you can bear one another’s burdens in love. A core part of God’s design for marriage (which you can read more about here!) If you’re a parent, having an established bedtime routine with prayer incorporated has immeasurable benefits as well. So much connection can happen when we are vulnerable with those we love. When we are vulnerable and it is received well, we are able to build trust with that person. When we have trust, our relationship can deepen.
So there you have it friends, 5 simple ways to incorporate prayer into your daily routine. I hope these have sparked some ideas and encouraged you. Let me know in the comments how you best incorporate prayer into your daily routine!