In Isaiah 56:7 YHWH mentions that His house will be known as a house of prayer. He even says that His people will be joyful in this beit tefillah. Most of us have good intentions about prayer, but sadly this often gets placed on the back burner in our busy lives and often comes out only at meal times or in distress. While those are excellent times to pray, we would do well to incorporate more prayer into our lives.
Here are some simple ideas to pray more:
1. Set aside a few minutes. Take five minutes to pray in the morning or on your lunch break. Set a reminder on your phone. Sit in the car on pray in the shower if you need to. You can make it happen.
2. Correlate! If Pavlov trained his dog to correlate eating with the sound of a bell we can learn to correlate prayer with a daily task. Pray for the thirty seconds of walking from your car into the office. Pray through mundane tasks like vacuuming or emptying the dishwasher. Correlate getting dressed with “clothing yourself with compassion and kindness,” from Colossians 3:12.
3. Pray for what you see. When you hear an ambulance or police siren ask YHWH to move on behalf of the person who needs help. Give thanks for the emergency respondents and ask YHWH to fill them with wisdom. If you notice a mom with small children at the library, pray for her. Say a quick prayer for a coworker if they're having a bad day.
4. At the places you go. When we are on the way to a wedding my husband and I make it a point to ask YHWH to bless the marriage. Pray for your friend before ringing their doorbell. At businesses you frequent ask YHWH to draw the owners and employees to Him while you’re waiting in line.
5. Place reminders. Instead of getting caught up in what you need to get done, refocus yourself by placing sticky notes of prayer requests on the bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, or near your computer.
6. Pray with someone else. Make it a point to pray with your family or spouse each Shabbat or before going to bed. When you are with a like-minded friend pray together before parting ways.
7. Shut off your music. Shut off the radio on your next commute and pray instead. Leave behind your headphones when you go for a walk and use that time for prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” I’d like to remind you that it takes practice to do so. Be gentle with yourself as you learn. When is your favorite time to pray? Do you pray a certain Scripture?