I will admit it. Praying isn't that fun—I'm just being honest.
Perhaps you don't agree with me, but I would guess you don't look forward to praying, at least not in the same way you look forward to things like movies, sporting events, or hanging out with close friends. It's okay, I'm the same way.
I think most we don't look forward to praying because we are locked into a narrow mindset about what prayer is, or what it should be.
Do you think of prayer as only a solemn and solitary venture, one that is supposed to be performed on your knees, with hands folded and eyes closed?
Would it surprise you if I told you that NOWHERE in the Bible does it say we should close our eyes during prayer. Nor does it say we should fold our hands. On the contrary, in the Bible people prayed while kneeling, sitting, standing and flat on their faces.
Think about this, the Apostle Paul encouraged his friends in Thessalonica to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). How could you pray continuously if you're eyes were always closed and if you were stuck at your bedside on your knees?
I want to help you change your mindset about prayer because I believe that it can be a meaningful experience and, dare I say, fun!
Here are some suggestions that you can try to open up your prayer life and enjoy it more.
1-Prayer Journaling or Drawing
It might be hard for you to stay focused when you're kneeling at your bedside in a warm and quiet room. However, if you are mentally active during prayer it helps a lot.
Try journaling your prayers—literally writing down your words as if you're writing a letter to God. If that sounds tedious, make lists of what you are praying for or about. And if that sounds like work, try drawing pictures of what your praying about. It's a unique way to stay engaged in your prayer. Your pictures can be anywhere between simple doodles to full artistic representations of prayer—the choice is yours.
Plus, when you journal your prayers you will be able to go back and see how God has answered your prayers in the past.
A lot of people tell me they have trouble praying because they don't know what to say. Well, guess what? There are a bunch of really great prayers included right in the Bible. Many of them are in the Psalms.
When you're not sure what to say, open your Bible and find a psalm that describes how you feel and then simply read the words out loud as if they were your own. Trust me, it's easy to find one that will work for you and it's not cheating to do this. Here's a list of prayers that you can adopt into your own prayer life:
- The prayer of confession – Psalm 51
- Being thankful for others – Romans 1:8-10
- Receiving Comfort – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
When I said that there were prayers in the Psalms I forgot to mention that most of those are also songs (the word psalm means song). If you spend any time at all in the Psalms you might also notice that lots of our modern day worship song lyrics are ripped right from the pages of the Bible. That's right, Chris Tomlin is basically plaigerising King David and getting rich off it!
Try finding your favorite worship songs and then singing along. If you're heart is in the right place, it counts as a prayer! Here are a couple psalms/songs that you might recognize:
4-Praying While You Exercise
If you're the kind of person that regularly walks, jogs, hikes, or does yoga at home, you have a perfect built in opportunity for prayer. One of the reasons why this is such a good time to pray is because your brain becomes flooded with endorphins while you exercise. It feels great to exercise your body and exercise your soul as well.
It's possible that you might raise suspicions if you're walking down the street and talking to yourself at the same time! Even so, I recommend praying out loud when you can during your workout. This could be pretty difficult if you're on a treadmill or the eliptical but for several types of exercise it works out great. For example, biking, hiking, and stretching are perfect times for prayer.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to up your prayer game this year? Try some of these new options and send some feedback my way. I would love to help you find more fun and meaningful ways to talk with God.