It's quite easy to get caught up with the hustle and bustle of life. One moment you a have enough time to hit the snooze button a few times before work/class. Then the next thing you know, it's 11:11 p.m. and you are wishing you had more time in the day to rest or relax.
In this day and age, it can be hard for us to "be still and know," but as we get closer to Easter, we hope that you can join our congregation-wide challenge to spend the first 15 minutes of each day and dedicate them to Jesus.
Here are a few tips that may help you!
1. Give Your Alarm a Name
Many of us use our smartphones as our alarm clocks. A simple reminder to spend time with Jesus is to name your alarm. So at whatever time you need to wake up, name that alarm with whatever it takes for you to be reminded of God's grace and love.
If you don't have a smartphone: place a sticky note on that pesky snooze button on your alarm clock!
2. Bedside Bible
For many of us, the closest thing in reach to our bed is our phone. Place your phone slightly out of reach, and place a bible in the place you would normally set your phone. Instead of reaching over to your phone first thing in the morning, reach over to God's word.
3. Keep a Prayer Journal
Place a journal at your bedside. Each morning write the things that you are thankful for and the things that you are concerned about. At night or the next morning, read over the previous days concerns and see how they have evolved. Have they lessened, have they gone away, have they worsened; whichever way, bring that to God and thank Him for carrying you through the day.
4. Message in the Mirror
If you have been listening to your dentist, chances are you are spending at least a minute in front of your mirror every morning. You may be brushing your teeth, applying your makeup, or shaving. Either way, we suggest placing a note on the mirror simply saying "Genesis 1:27" to remind you that you, and everyone that you come in contact with, was made in the image of God. Contemplate on the significance of that. If you do that, chances are it won't be long before you start praying praise, and who knows maybe even forgiveness.
5. Praying in the Shower
We know that even Adele is jealous of your shower-singing prowess, but why not take this time to pray as well? While you may be cleaning off the dirt and grime from the previous day, remember that our sins were washed away by the blood of Jesus.
6. He Brews
Some of us are absolutely reliant on the dark caffeinated fuel. It's a shame that at times we feel like it's a bigger necessity to our day, than time with Jesus. Use your time brewing, buying, or drinking your coffee to dig into God's word. What book would we suggest for this? Hebrews, of course!
7. Family Prayer
If you share a roof with family or roommates, take time out of the morning to pray together. It can be an extremely powerful thing to pray for each other's day, and thank God for each other. This is also great practice for those who are uncomfortable with praying in public!
8. A Prayer Card
If you're buying breakfast or just a cup of coffee, you are handling some sort of monetary item. Place a small card or note within your wallet, either with your cash, or in front of your debit/credit card as a reminder to yourself. This can also work as a great stewardship practice.
9. Dedicated Days
It can be daunting task to pray for everyone in your life. It can also feel bad when you forget to pray for someone. To help, dedicate individual days of the week to praying for particular individuals or groups of people. For example: On Mondays, pray for your coworkers and fellow students. On Tuesdays, pray for your family. On Friday, pray for your friends. On Sunday, pray for your church family, pastor, and all those serving the church that morning.
10. Create a Prayer Playlist
There's a reason that we sing praises together in worship. There's no reason that we shouldn't be able to do that at home as well. Take time to create a Worship Prayer Playlist in music apps like Apple Music or Spotify. Take 3-5 songs that you can listen to, sing to, worship to, and pray to. The lyrics or composition can help guide your prayer.
11. Kneel at the Bed
This is how many of us were taught to pray at night, before bed time. It also works now as a tangible expression of humbling ourselves in God's presence. We believe that you can pray in many ways, but some classics stay relevant for a reason. Is there a more beautiful representation of the marriage between spiritual and physical in your daily prayer life?
12. Run with God
Some of us like to get our exercise done in the morning. Take this time to pray and think. Running is a great way to clear your thoughts. Praying while running, though, brings your thoughts and concerns to the foot of the Lord. Don't run from your problems; run towards Christ.
13. Keep a Prayer Request List
Giving yourself the responsibility to pray for the needs of others can help keep you in-line with the effort to pray daily. Ask your friends and family what they need prayer for, or ask prayer groups in your church who to pray for. There is always someone who needs prayer (Actually, we all need prayer). Make this list, and place it by your bedside, and pray through this list in the morning.
14. Pray for the Church
One thing we often forget to pray for, is the church. Not just the church, in general, but the place and community that we call our "home church." Praying for our pastors, congregation, ministries, and visitors is vital to the health of the church. Pray that the leaders of the church do what is best for the kingdom of God. Pray that the congregation be bold and reach out to others to invite them to church. Pray for the ministries to be effective and in-line with what Jesus has called His bride to do. Pray for the visitors who have come and who have yet to come, that they may find comfort amongst the church body, and more importantly find comfort in the Lord.
15. Pray Before Bed
Don't just start your day with prayer, but also end it with prayer. Allow time to bookend your day with prayer, as well as finding time through the day to spend with God. Sleep and rest is a wonderful thing, but what is more wonderful, is the fact that we get to rest in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
We hope these tips will help you on your journey to a more active prayer life. Please feel free to comment below with more tips, or updates with how your prayer life is changing.