Prayer Ideas

Want to pray but need help with how? Here are some helpful hints and simple practical ideas to help you talk to God…

Be God Conscious

“God, I want to give you every minute of this year. I shall try to keep you in mind every moment of my waking hours.”  Frank Laubach

Try Laubach’s game with minutes. See how many minutes in a day you can become conscious of God’s presence.  Come up with ways to remind yourself to think about God.  Talk to Him throughout the day and look for His presence in the ordinary events. Is He trying to get your attention? What is He saying to you? Offices, universities, supermarkets, restaurants, coffee houses, planes, open spaces: God is everywhere, look for Him and listen for His whispers.

Be balanced

We all have our favourite topics of conversation; the same is true in prayer.  If you often find yourself praying about the same things why not try this easy to remember tool to bring some variety and balance to your conversation.

The ACTS Pneumonic

  • A for Adoration – spend some time worshipping Jesus.  Use your favourite music, a Psalm, write something, or choose a characteristic or recent answer to prayer to inspire your praise.
  • C for Confession – sin there anything you’ve done or not done that has been unloving to God and others?  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you when you have sinned and fallen short of God’s love recently.  You might want to use the words of Psalm 139:23-24 as your prayer.  Say sorry for whatever comes to mind and ask the Holy Spirit to help you change your future behaviour.
  • T for Thanksgiving – think, speak or write a list of all the good things in your life and thank God for each of them.
  • S for supplication – supplication is an old fashioned word for asking.  What at the things that you, your family and friends, your church, town or nation need?  Ask God to intervene and meet the needs of each situation.  Uncertain how to ask?  There’s no special language or strategy needed, Jesus encourages us to keep it simple (Matt 6:5-8) and if we’re unsure about what God wants then pray for the most positive and loving outcome to each situation.

Be silent

We live in a noisy world full of distractions.  Whether you love or hate silence, there is an amazing peace and connection to God to be found in practicing stillness.

“Step out of traffic, take a long loving look at me…” Psalm 46:10

Try building times of silence and stillness into your day.  Choose a time and place with few distractions. Turn off your phone, computer, music and any other sources of noise or connection.  If you find silence hard just try 3 minutes and build from there.  If you find your head full of unwanted thoughts give each one to God and consciously keep focusing back on Him. Breath deeply and slowly and invite the Holy Spirit to meet with you.

Be persistent

Jesus told a story of a woman so passionate about wanting justice she succeeded in getting her way simply by bugging the Judge who could make it happen until He finally relented (Luke 18).  Our Father is a lot more willing to act than a reluctant Judge, but Jesus used this story to tell us about the importance of not giving up when prayers aren’t answered immediately.  It’s ok to keep asking God.

Are there specific things you want to persist in asking for?  Try these simple ideas to help you remember to pray and not give up:

  • Use your hands – are there five people or situations you want to pray about.  Assign a finger or thumb to each and every day spend five minutes a day holding each finger and thumb of your hand and praying for each situation
  • Use your mirror – is there something you look at every day like a mirror, computer screen or phone?  Write a note and stick it there to act as a daily reminder to pray.
  • Use your clothes – do you have a favourite accessory or piece of clothing you wear often.  Why not assign a prayer request to a specific item and every time you wear it make that request your prayer project for the day.

Be adventurous

Struggle to focus during quiet times of prayer?  Bring some adventure and interaction into your time with God.  Why not use something like a set of dice and assign each number you could roll with a request or kind of prayer (silence, thanking, singing, etc.)  Roll the dice and spend a few minutes on the prayer assignment it gives you.

Alternatively take your prayers to the streets with something like Revival Run. Choose a place, think of your best prayer of blessing and go pray it there, planting a stake in the ground. Find out more about how you can get involved in this movement that has people travelling across nations and borders to plant generous prayers.

Be kind

Random acts of kindness are an easy way of making prayer practical and positive. It can move our focus away from our needs, and onto others. Kind acts can often be small or large, just be aware of the people and situations around you and have fun thinking of ways to bless them. These can be spontaneous, so be ready to act and pray on the spot. You could try:

  • Doing the washing up and praying that your household have clean hands and a pure heart
  • Treat someone to lunch and pray that your love and attention reflects that of Jesus
  • Send someone chocolates or flowers anonymously and pray they better understand how much God loves them
  • Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in the queue and bless them with joy
  • Leave food next to a sleeping homeless person and pray that the Father would provide for their needs
  • Help a person struggling with a heavy load carry it to their destination and pray that they know the yoke and lightness of Jesus
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