Quick disclaimer: The bulk of this blog is more focused on how to pray, why to pray, and the hindrances to prayer than how to pray specifically for your family, finances, and future. If you want to know how to pray for one of the specific items in the title, just jump to the bottom of the blog and you can select the appropriate link, which will take you to a blog devoted to that topic.
So often we go through life only considering the issues of the day. Get the kids to school. Rush to work. Put out fires. Pick up the kids. Take them to soccer. Eat dinner. “Is your homework done?” “Get ready for bed.” Then, we rinse and repeat. I know what that’s like. I’ve been there. I’m there right now… It’s hard to prioritize the more important things, like prayer, when the day’s tasks consume our time.
But let me ask a question. When you think about taking time to pray, do you assume it has to be a 30-minute appointment? Does getting into a prayer routine feel comparable to starting a workout routine? Like it’s all or nothing? Like the environment has to be right? The words have to be right? Your mood has to be right?
Our assumptions keep us from prayer, but here’s the truth. Prayer is simple.
How to Pray When Prayer Feels Hard…
Prayer being simple doesn’t mean that it’s easy or that it’ll feel natural all the time. Truthfully, there are so many things at war with our desire to pray. Our preconceived notions, our guilt, lies, distractions, and the evil one are all things we have to fight, but for just a minute let’s focus on one thing.
We think prayer has to be a big to-do, but does it really?
Imagine you’re at the grocery store, short on time. You run in to grab two things, and as you’re speed walking down an aisle you run into a friend. Even though you’re in a rush, do you ignore them or say a quick, “Hey! How are you? I don’t have a whole lot of time, but it was good to see you!”? Odds are you do the latter.
Prayer can be like that.
Just a quick conversation or acknowledgment that God is there is often overlooked as prayer. “God I feel short on time, but thank you for the sunrise.” That’s prayer.
As you’re driving down the street an ambulance rushes by. You say, “Oh Lord, please be with that person and their family.” That’s prayer.
Now, just like with any relationship, there should also be times of extended uninterrupted connection. If you and your spouse are like two ships passing in the night, well, that can only go on for so long before you feel very disconnected. The same is true of our relationship with the Lord.
Going to church on Sunday is great, but that’s kind of like going on a group date. It’s important and fun, but you also need time to yourselves – just you and God. Intentional times of individual prayer give us an opportunity to cultivate a healthy, deeper, and more intimate relationship with God.
But how do we do it?
How to ensure your time of prayer will be a success:
- SET AN APPOINTMENT – It can be first thing in the morning or last thing before you get in bed. It can also be an actual blocked-out time on your calendar.
- MAKE A PLAN – sometimes it’s fun to go on a date with no plan and just make it up as you go. However, if you want to see a specific movie or visit a specific restaurant you need some advanced planning. Having a list of people and things you want to pray for can be really helpful if you’re planning to spend an extended time in prayer.
- NOTIFY YOUR FAMILY – nothing wrecks a plan more than your family members having a different plan. If your prayer appointment lands on a Saturday, and you haven’t notified your wife of your intentions, she may have a whole “honey-do” list prepped for you. Now you have a problem – do you keep your prayer appointment and annoy your wife or scrap your plans? If you notify her in advance then you avoid situations like this.
Why does prayer feel so hard?
Have you ever felt unsure of whether or not you were praying the right types of prayers? Have you ever felt like your prayers were a waste of breath? I know I have.
I’ve watched hundreds of people rally in prayer around a sick child and the child still dies. I’ve also watched the opposite, and it leaves me wondering, “Why?” Was it the type of prayers being prayed? Or the faith of the people praying? Was it just God’s choice to save one and not the other? And if that’s the case, do my prayers even matter?
One of the things I’m continuing to learn is that God doesn’t work for me, and he’s not a genie in a bottle. He’s in charge and he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants. What I’m learning is that prayer is less about asking God to do what I want and more about joining him in what he’s already doing.
Prayer is a way for me to talk to him about my own struggles or the struggles of my friends and family. It reminds me of how I used to stay up late talking with my mom when I was in high school. We’d just get talking about whatever. I’d ask her questions, she’d ask me questions. Sometimes we’d cry, laugh, or both. Sometimes she’d give me advice and other times she’d just listen.
The course of the conversation wasn’t always the same, but one thing was always true. I always felt more connected with my mom after a late-night chat. I think if we would all approach prayer more like that it would feel more fulfilling.
How to Pray Scripture (my favorite type of prayer)
Here at Kaloway, we have a passion for faith, family, and finances, but it’s so easy for us to try handling those things on our own. I don’t stop as often as I should to ask God to join us in our quest. Maybe you’ve been there too. I have to regularly be reminded that my life wasn’t meant to be lived apart from God. I need to pray. To invite Him in. To seek his guidance.
Because I frequently feel unsure of my prayers, one of my favorite things to do is pray words straight from Scripture. Here’s an example from Matthew 28:19-20, which says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age…”
Praying for myself I could say, “Holy Spirit, today as I’m going about my day, help me take advantage of all opportunities to make disciples, even if it’s as simple as beginning a conversation. Please help me teach others about the things you have commanded and how to be obedient. Lord, when I get nervous or scared, remind me that you’re with me.”
How to Pray for Your Family, Finances, and Future
The information I’ve shared so far is good no matter who or what you’re praying for. However, in the blogs linked below, I’ll explain how to pray by sharing a series of Scriptures and turning them into prayers. You can print them off and put them by your bed to remind you to pray at night, or tuck them into your Bible.
I just ask one favor. If you choose to use the information in any of these blogs in any way, would you let me know? And not just me, but the other readers. Leaving a comment is so helpful because it shows other readers how they can use the information in their own lives. Never underestimate what can happen with a simple comment 🙂
Because there’s a better way,
question: What was the most helpful or encouraging statement from this article? leave that in a comment 🙂
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