Pray a fresh prayer

You are given 30 minutes to talk with ____ (you decide). You anticipate it; prepare for it; delight in it when it happens. coffee_cups

The next day, you’re given 30 MORE minutes—with one caveat: Repeat the same conversation.

Okay. A repeat is fine. You missed some things the first go-round anyway.

Next day, same instructions.
Again.
And again.
And again.

And now you DREAD the conversation and long to escape it.
Instead of pleasure, it brings boredom.

Is this how we approach our conversations with God?

“I have 30 minutes (or less) to talk with God today. What do I say? Repeat the same requests as yesterday? Exact same thanks? Same confessions?”

If this is how we pray, no wonder we don’t look forward to it.

Granted, some things need repeating every day. Those things don’t get old.

But let’s not allow our prayers to become so repetitious that we recite them with no thought.

Here are 4 ways to pray a fresh prayer:

1. Rotate the focus
For example, I choose one family member per day to pray longest for. Monday: my husband. Tuesday: My oldest daughter. Wednesday: My youngest daughter. Thursday: Me. 

2. Pray through scripture
Use scripture prayer books for help. My favorites are the Face to Face books by Kenneth Boa, “Volume 1: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship,” and “Volume 2: Praying the Scriptures for Spiritual Growth.” Bible passages are phrased in the first person so you’re praying as you read.

3. Update your list
Have many of the requests on your list become outdated? Follow up and see if anything has changed. If your uncle’s knee surgery was two years ago and he’s now doing fine, it’s okay to cross off that request as “answered.” 

4. Pray through time
Past:
Thank God for his specific works in your past 24 hours. Confess areas you messed up yesterday, and thank him for his perpetual forgiving spirit.

Present: What are you thankful for in this very day? What do you need help with? Praise God right now just for who he is.

Future: Ask for his blessings on the evening’s events and for tomorrow morning. Talking and listening to him can change your attitude about what’s ahead.

Just as your circumstances change a little (and sometimes a lot) every day, so your conversations with God should change accordingly.

Praying won’t get boring if you keep your prayers fresh!

* * *

How do you keep your prayers from growing stale?

revised from the archives

 

6 comments:

Rebecca said...

Another post that I wish we could sit down over a cup of coffee and extend the conversation!
I remember reading George Mueller's "Soul Nourishment First" pamphlet several years ago and finally apprehending how to make prayer a conversation with God instead of talking at God or simply to Him. I highly recommend those few paragraphs to anyone seeking to grow their prayer life...just Google the title.
Thank you for this thoughtful and timely reminder to keep my prayer life fresh and vital!

Barbara H. said...

Excellent advice, Lisa. I'm bookmarking this one.

journeytoepiphany said...

This is excellent advice! I'm about to go and spend some time in prayer, and am glad that your e-mail came just before. Thanks!

Monica Sharman said...

Lisa, thanks so much. This one's a keeper :) and one that I will share with other friends.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Great post, Lisa. So often my prayer IS practically the same conversation, day after day. I really appreciate the encouragement and practical ways to keep things fresh.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Great post, Lisa! Now to practice it. . .

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