Consistency in praying is one of the most common struggles I hear. People want to pray but can’t get in the rhythm of praying. Mornings are too rushed. Evenings are too exhausting. Not enough time. Just forget until someone mentions the topic of prayer. Then the sequence starts itself all over again.
Let me suggest a very simple technique that will help break that cycle – reading a devotional prayer book with others.
But I have tried that!
Hear me out.
One of the reasons we struggle with prayer is because it is intangible. We can’t see prayer. It is not an object.
Prayer isn’t something sitting on the kitchen counter next to the cereal. We don’t keep prayer next to our toothbrush. While it certainly is important to “put on” prayer, it’s not a clothing item we grab from the closet.
In fact, if you don’t pray, nobody will ever know. You forget to comb your hair, people notice. You don’t eat, your stomach growls (sometimes in the middle of a meeting). Forget a deadline, it’s a mad scramble. Forget to pray, sure you may feel bad – perhaps guilty – but really…nobody notices.
So, how do we put prayer in the forefront where it can be visibly seen?
Answer: Read a devotional book on prayer with someone else.
Here’s how it works:
- 1Make a prayer plan with a friend or a group.
Working with others is the best way to develop healthy habits. Doing it with others improves the chances you will succeed. So do not skip this first step.
- 2Buy a physical copy of a devotional prayer book.
Why a physical copy? Remember one of the problems of prayer? Intangible. A physical copy allows you to put it somewhere you can see (Step 3).
I like E-books, but unless you are a daily avid reader you will be faced with the same problem of out-of-sight-out-of-mind. This is not about preferences or even cost, this is about improving your prayer life. Do what it takes.
Now if you are an avid E-reader, buy an electronic edition of a prayer book. My biggest sales are from e-books, but experience teaches hard copies of devotional materials work best for most people.
Size: Listen, if you are struggling to pray, don’t go buy a prayer book that has 8-page daily devotionals. Keep it simple at first. One-page or less is what you need to shoot for right now. Get in a rhythm and then consider longer versions.
- 3Place it in a highly visible location.
Put the book where you are most likely to see it. If you are a morning reader, place it on the bathroom counter. Kitchen counter next to the Keurig. If you get rushed, grab it and take it with you. Keep it on you until you read it. Don’t throw it in your purse, leave it in the car, or place it in your desk drawer. If you are an evening reader, place it on top of the remote on the stand next to your favorite spot. Make it so you must touch it before you can grab the remote.
- 4Read and mention.
After you read the devotion and pray, make sure to mention something about the devotion to your prayer partner. Even if this is a late-night Facebook message to one another.
Why it works?
So, give this a try if you are struggling with prayer. What’s the worse that can happen? You spend $5.99 on a devotional book. Jesus once taught: Doing nothing is not an option. Do something.