KEEPING A PRAYER JOURNAL

We can talk to God any time, but it helps to set aside a specific time for prayer. Consider using a prayer journal as a reminder of who and what to pray for.

Keep a list of people and needs you want to talk to God about. Pray for particular needs and areas each day. For example; on one day, pray for family members (their needs, salvation, etc.); on the next day, pray for friends (their needs, salvation, etc.); on another day, pray for your church; and on another day, pray for the world (world leaders, missions, and the spread of the gospel) In your prayer journal, record the date you began praying for your need or that of a friend. Then record the date it was answered. Learn to celebrate answered prayer.

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God”. (Romans 8:26-27)

A while ago the MCF posted spiritual practices on this website with the aim of assisting people grow their understanding of God. One practice was called Contemplative prayer which is a means to connect with God, without giving Him information about what we would like to see happen. In contemplative prayer we sit and wait and depend on God to initiate communion and communication. It requires patience. To understand and enjoy its benefits we do need to try this type of prayer often. 

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

The practice

  • Set aside a time of quietness with God.
  • One way to quiet our minds it to quiet our bodies.
  • Spend 5 minutes intentionally relaxing your body and breathing deeply. 
  • Afterwards, spend 5 minutes noticing where your mind wanted to go. 
  • Offer what you noticed to God, then let go and open yourself to God’s love. 
  • Be receptive to a prayer God may be giving you to say. (Remember that contemplative prayer is more receptive than active). 
  • If it is difficult for you to sit still in God’s presence, then go for a walk. 
  • Say to God “Here I am. I am with you.” 
  • Be with God and welcome Him. 
  • Try to not to control or influence the situation and just give God your attention.
  • End your prayer time breathing in God’s love by being aware that your every breath is God’s gift.

Obstacles to Prayer

From: ‘Prayer changes everything’,
written by Bennie Mostert, Carpe Diem publishers


Sometimes we feel as if our prayers just bounce off the ceiling and are not breaking through.

There can be many reasons for this.

Listed below are only a few of them.

Ask the Lord to show you other things that may also hinder your prayer life.



  1. Conscious unconfessed sins: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened …”   (Ps.66:18). “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor His ear too dull to hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear” (Is.59:1-2).
  2. Stingy and covetous: “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered” (Pr.21:13).  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim.6:10).
  3. Unbelief and doubt: “…in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me” (Jn.16:9). “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (Jas.1:6-8).
  4. Unforgiveness and bitterness: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
  5. Pride: (Jas.4:6) “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
  6. Selfish motives in prayer:  (Jas.4:3) “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
  7. A critical spirit: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Mt.7:1). “You, then, why do you judge your brother?  Or why do you look down on your brother?  For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat” (Rm.14:10).
  8. Ingratitude: (1 Th.5:18) “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
  9. Love for the world and worldliness: (1 Jn.2:15) “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
  10. When you do not pray according to the will of God: (1 Jn.5:14) “This is the assurance we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

Prayer for a peace within

Oh Lord, sometimes my insides feel like a battle zone, where missiles are falling too close to home. Other times I’m caught in an endless storm, with thoughts flying out of control. Confusion reigns and defeat creeps in to steal my joy. I need your peace—the deep-down-in-your-heart kind that stays with me day and night and speaks confidently into the wind.
Calm my anxious spirit, Lord; all the attacking “if-only’s” and “what-ifs” fill me with needless worry.

I know that trust is a big part of experiencing peace and that fear has no place in my life. Most of the things I worry about or dread don’t even happen.


So I’m declaring my trust in you. I’m releasing the reins of my life again and asking you to take control.


I may need to pray this same prayer daily, but I’m tired of the frenzy of life that leaves my schedule and my thoughts without any margin. I need more of you, Lord, and less of me.

I surrender and admit I can’t control people, plans, or even all my circumstances, but I can yield those things to you, and focus on your goodness. Thank you today for every good gift you’ve given, every blessing you’ve sent, all the forgiveness I did not deserve, and, yes, for every trial you’ve allowed into my life. You bring good out of every circumstance if I’ll only let go and believe you. I know that when I pray and give thanks instead of worrying, you have promised that I can experience the kind of peace that passes all understanding. That’s your kind of peace, Lord. And it’s the kind I crave.

Whenever I’m stressed, anxious, or afraid, help me remember to run to you. You’re the only one that can calm my fears and end my fretful behavior.


Whether in trivial or heavy matters, I know you will not only give me peace; Lord, you will be my peace.


And when I draw close to you—in prayer, in reading your Word, in helping another, in taking my mind off myself—you will be there, up close and personal.

I can’t handle these times alone, Lord. Will you speak peace and calm my storms, or hold my hand while we walk through them together? Will you bring the reassuring wisdom of those who have come through similar times into my life? Thank you, Lord. I’m trusting you. In the name of the One who makes the wind and the waves stand still, Amen.
~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan

Take Time to Be Still

On one of Jesus’ visits to the Temple, he expressed His anger as to what the Temple had become. The gospel of Matthew tells us in “Matthew 21:13”. He was frustrated that the Temple had become a business within a place of worship and that the hustle and bustle were drowning out God’s voice.

The world around us is noisy, and there seems no solitude from its noise. Even our churches are loud. However, that does not mean we can’t hear God or find Him or that we condemn church facilities. What it means is we need to be more intentional in our efforts to seek and praise Him. Maybe today, you can isolate yourself and spend some quiet time to hear God whisper to you. But if that is not possible, be comforted in knowing that He is with us no matter where we are as a follower of Christ. With your body/temple, become a house of prayer today.

  1. Set aside a minimum of 15 minutes (increase the time as you can). Set a timer to help you be less concerned about when you are to stop.
  2. Select a location where you will not be disturbed or distracted and then settle into a comfortable position.
  3. Intentionally place yourself in the presence of God.
  4. Choose a simple word or verse of scripture that expresses your desire for God (e.g. love, peace, grace, Saviour, great shepherd). Let this word or phrase guard your attention.
  5. Take time to be quiet. It is not unusual for your first few minutes to be filled with noisy thoughts about activities in your life, family, work etc. Don’t worry about these thoughts and do not focus on them. Let them go and gently return your attention to God’s presence and love by repeating your sacred word. When your thoughts wander, let them drop and don’t go after them. Don’t focus or think about them.  Let them go and gently return your attention to God’s presence and love by repeating your sacred word.
  6. Rest in the center of God and trust the Holy Spirit who abides in the depths of your spirit to connect you with God.
  7. Take several minutes to come out of prayer. Don’t just end. Don’t hurry and breathe in the presence of God. Offer yourself to God for the task that awaits you (e.g. say “I am yours” or “Remain with me”).

Below is a link to help you set your time with God in Silence from Emotionally Healthy Discipleship. This 15-minute experience was created to provide a guided experience to help people integrate the spiritual practice of silence into their daily relationship with Jesus. Originally used in a sermon by Pete Scazzero at New Life Fellowship Church in 2010, it has since been expanded and revised to its present form. Enjoy!
Breathe: Being with God in Silence
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5_vOr6mPCA&t=453s

Praying with Scripture

During Lent we are using different scripture to reflect on Jesus, the cross and His resurrection. This would be an opportune time to use the practice known as Lectio Divina (divine reading) to gain more insight into what the scripture is saying to you. Below are steps of the practice.
Set aside time, and a place with no distractions.



“LECTIO DIVINA”

  1. Choose a scripture text for your meditation.
  1. Place yourself in a comfortable position.  Allow yourself to become still and silent inside.  Be aware of God’s presence within you and all around you.  With the eyes of your heart, take a moment and ‘look at God looking at you’.
  1. Now turn to the text you have chosen and read it slowly, gently.  Savour each portion of the reading, attentively listening for the “still, small voice” of God in a word or phrase that somehow seems to say, “Stop, listen…here I am…this is for your today.
  1. Allow yourself to be drawn more deeply into God’s presence and love through the word or phrase you have chosen; take the word or phrase into yourself by slowly repeating it to yourself.  Allow it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories, and ideas.  Do not be afraid that the memories or thoughts that come are distractions.  They are simply parts of yourself which, when they rise during lectio divina, are asking to be given to God along with the rest of your inner self.
  1. Then, respond to God in your own way.  Allow this inner pondering with God to lead you into a deeper relationship with the One who knows you and is with you.  Whether you use words or ideas or images or all three is not important.  Just interact with God as you would with someone who knows and loves you deeply.  Give to God what you have discovered in yourself during your experience of meditating on this word or phrase.
  1. Then, let go and simply rest in God’s embrace…let the words and images go.  Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence, in spiritual activity and inner receptivity.
  1. You may come to a point where you are ready to move on to another word or phrase.  You may proceed as in #2 above or else you may systemically ruminate on the text phrase by phrase.
  1. When you are ready to end your prayer, thank God for this time and conclude with an Our Father or some other favourite prayer.

Ash Wednesday

Week of Ash Wednesday

ASH WEDNESDAY

Confession: Psalm 51:1–4 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 8:27–33 (NIV)

Reflection: If Peter was called a stumbling-block by Jesus, as not minding the things of God in what he said but the things of men, what is to be said about all those who profess to be made disciples of Jesus, but do not mind the things of God? [What is to be said about those who] do not look to things unseen and eternal, (but mind the things of man) and look to things seen and temporal? Would they be seen by Jesus as a stumbling block to Him, and because they are stumbling blocks to Him, as stumbling blocks to His followers also? In regard to them He says, “I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink,” so also, He might say, “When I was running you caused me to stumble.” Let us not therefore suppose that it is a trivial sin to mind the things of men—since we ought in everything to mind the things of God. —Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

Response: How are you mindful of the “things of people”? Are you harboring mindsets, possessions, goals, and desires that are incompatible with God and His kingdom? Make a list of these things and pray about them.

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THURSDAY

Confession: Psalm 51:5–8

 Reading: Mark 8:34–9:1 (NIV)

Reflection: Some are saying, Oh, that the world was crucified to me and I to the world! Oh, that my heart were as dead as a stone to the world and alive to Jesus! Do you truly wish it? Look, then, to the cross. Behold the amazing gift of love.… Sit down like Mary, and gaze upon a crucified Jesus. Then will the world become a dim and dying thing. When you gaze upon the sun, it makes everything else dark; when you taste honey, it makes everything else tasteless; so, when your soul feeds on Jesus, it takes away the sweetness of all earthly things—praise, pleasure, and fleshly lusts all lose their sweetness. Keep a continued gaze. Run, looking unto Jesus. Look, till the way of salvation by Jesus fills up the whole horizon, so glorious and peace-speaking. Then will the world be crucified to you, and you unto the world. Robert McCheyne – Glorifying in the Cross

Response: Has the cross changed the desires of your heart? During the season of Lent, many choose to fast or refrain from certain practices. If you have done so, are you focusing your gaze upon the cross?

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FRIDAY

Confession: Psalm 51:9–12 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:2–13(NIV)

Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first? “Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

Reflection: If other men cannot read our motives, we ought at least to examine them carefully for ourselves. Day by day, with extreme rigor, must we search our hearts. Motive is vital to the goodness of an action. He who gives his body to be burned might yet lose his soul if his ruling passion were obstinacy and not desire for God’s glory. Self may be sought under many disguises, and a man may be utterly unaware that thus he is losing all acceptance with God.

We must not impute ill motives to others, but we must be equally clear of another more fascinating habit—that of imputing good motives to ourselves. Severity in estimating our own personal character very seldom becomes excessive; our partiality is usually more or less blinding to our judgment. We will not suspect ourselves if we can help it; evidence must be very powerful before it can convince us of being governed by sordid aims. The stream of generosity does not always spring from gratitude to God. Zeal is not at all times the offspring of deep-seated faith. Even devotional habits may be fostered by something other than holy affections. The highest wisdom suggests that we spend much patient and impartial consideration upon a matter so fundamental as the heart’s intent in the actions which it directs. “If your eye is sincere, your whole body will be full of light” (Matt 6:22). Dear reader, stand by your inner springs and watch, and make faithful notes of what you see, lest you be deceived. Charles H. Spurgeon – Springs Uncovered

Response: Do you know yourself for who you truly are? This knowledge is not an end in itself, nor does it end with ourselves. Truly knowing ourselves means we are constantly fleeing to Jesus. Set time aside daily to honestly examine the motives of your heart and then turn to God in prayer.

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SATURDAY

Confession: Psalm 51:13–19 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:14–29 (NIV)

Reflection: The praying sinner receives mercy because his prayer is grounded on the promise of pardon made by Him whose right it is to pardon guilty sinners. The penitent seeker after God obtains mercy because there is a definite promise of mercy to all who seek the Lord in repentance and faith. Prayer always brings forgiveness to the seeking soul. The abundant pardon is dependent upon the promise made real by the promise of God to the sinner.

While salvation is promised to him who believes, the believing sinner is always a praying sinner.… “Behold he prays” is not only the unfailing sign of sincerity and the evidence that the sinner is proceeding in the right way to find God, but it is the prophecy of abundant pardon. Get the sinner to praying according to the divine promise, and he then is near the kingdom of God. The very best sign of the returning prodigal is that he confesses his sins and begins to ask for the lowliest place in his father’s house.

It is the divine promise of mercy, of forgiveness and of adoption which gives the poor sinner hope. This encourages him to pray. This moves him in distress to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy upon me” (Luke 18:38). E. M. Bounds -The Possibilities of Prayer

Response: Like the father of the child in Mark 9:14–29 and the prodigal son—needy and at the end of themselves—may you, too, cry out, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” Confess your sin today, seek God, and know that you find mercy because He is merciful.

Lent – Week 1

MONDAY

Confession: Psalm 25:1–5 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:30–32 (NIV)

Reflection: Oh, do not forget to admire infinitely more the dear Lord Jesus, that promised seed. He willingly said, “Lo, I come,” though under no obligation so to do, “to do your will,” to obey and die for men, “O God!” Did you weep just now, when I bid you fancy you saw the altar, the wood laid in order, and Isaac laid bound on the altar? Look by faith. Behold the blessed Jesus, our all-glorious Emmanuel—not bound, but nailed on a cursed tree. See how he hangs crowned with thorns and in derision of all that are around Him. See how the thorns pierce Him, and how the blood in purple streams trickle down His sacred temples! Hark how the God of nature groans! See how He bows His head, and at length humanity gives up the ghost! Isaac is saved, but Jesus, the God of Isaac, dies. A ram is offered up in Isaac’s room, but Jesus has no substitute. Jesus must bleed. Jesus must die. God the Father provided this Lamb for himself from all eternity. He must be offered in time, or man must be damned for evermore.

And now, where are your tears? Shall I say, refrain your voice from weeping? No; rather let me exhort you to look to Him whom you have pierced. Mourn as a woman mourneth for her first-born. For we have been the betrayers, and we have been the murderers of this Lord of glory. Shall we not bewail those sins, which brought the blessed Jesus to the accursed tree? Having so much done, so much suffered for us, so much forgiven, shall we not love much! Oh! let us love Him with all our hearts, and minds, and strength, and glorify Him in our souls and bodies, for they are His. – George Whitefield – Abraham’s Offering Up His Son Isaac

Response: Christ willingly died for you and has forgiven you. Consider the paths you have turned from and the roads that you are treading on right now. Pray that you would do everything out of love for Him and a desire to use your time for Him.

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TUESDAY

Confession: Psalm 25:6–10 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:33–41 (NIV)

Reflection:  What do we intend to do as a Church for Christ Jesus, “whom the king wishes to honor” (Esther 6:6)? Let me answer briefly.

Believe Him. Christ is always very pleased with His people’s faith. Beloved, confide in Him. Tell Him your troubles. Pour out your hearts before Him. Trust the merit of His blood, the power of His arm, the love of His heart. There is no box of precious ointment whose smell will more delight Him than your simple, unwavering faith.

He is a God of love: If you would give Him something choice, show Him your love. Let your heart go after Him, and with the arms of your love embrace Him. Charles H. Spurgeon – What Shall Be Done for Jesus?

Response: Jesus ushers in the kingdom of God. The ways of this kingdom often defy our ambitions and expectations. During this season of Lent, how are God’s ways overtaking your ways? Pray for the trust and love of a child. Pray that you would be a willing and humble disciple. 

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WEDNESDAY

Confession: Psalm 25:11–15 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:42–50 (NIV)

Reflection: There is a perfect cure for all the ills that man is heir to. There is a cure that is sovereign, sufficient, sure, and speedy. Jesus Christ announced that cure long ago, but most men and women have not listened, and so our evils, miseries, and despair continue. You will find that our Lord Jesus Christ proposed the cure for all our ills in Matthew 11:28–30, “Come to me, all of you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to carry and my burden is light.” Christ Jesus Himself is the cure for all our evils. He came to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). He does it for all who receive Him. Poverty, sickness, bereavement, failure, bitterness of heart, despair, and death—as well as sin and unbelief—are all works of the devil. We can have done with them by coming to Jesus, the Christ of God.

I propose to take up these various evils and show how Jesus, the Christ of God, is the cure for them all and how each one of us may be done with them right now. – R. A. Torrey – The Gospel for Today

Response: What sins are present in your life right now? Ask your spouse or a trusted friend in your church community to help you recognize and address these sins. Pray that God would shed light on the darkness in your life and use you to spread light.

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THURSDAY

Confession: Psalm 25:16–18 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 10:1–12 (NIV)

Reflection: See a teacher’s wisdom.… By His argument He showed that it was the commandment of His Father, and that not in opposition to Moses did He command these things, but in full agreement with him. Notice Him arguing strongly not only from the creation, but also from His command. For He not only said that He made one man and one woman only, but that He also gave this command that the one man should be joined to the one woman.… But now both by the manner of the creation, and by the manner of lawgiving, He showed that one man must dwell with one woman continually, and never break off from her.  John Chrysostom – Homilies of St. John Chrysostom

Response: Jesus comes with authority. How are you eager for Him to reign in all parts of your life—your relationships, your work, your thoughts, and your goals?

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FRIDAY

Confession: Psalm 130:1–4 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 10:13–16 (NIV)

Reflection: When our Lord blessed the little children, He was making His last journey to Jerusalem. It was thus a farewell blessing which He gave to the little ones. It reminds us that among His parting words to His disciples, before He was taken up, we find the tender charge, “Feed my lambs” (John 21:15). The ruling passion was strong upon the great Shepherd of Israel, who “will gather the lambs in his arm[s], and he will carry them in his bosom” (Isa 40:11); and it was fitting that while He was making His farewell journey, He should bestow His gracious benediction upon the children.

Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ is not here among us in person; but we know where He is, and we know that He is clothed with all power in heaven and in earth to bless His people. Let us then draw near to Him this day. Let us seek His touch in the form of fellowship and ask the aid of His intercession. Charles H. Spurgeon – As a Little Child

Response: Jesus says we must welcome in the kingdom of God like a child. What areas of your life are marked by self-sufficiency? Is your posture like that of a child—totally reliant on God and receptive to Him?

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SATURDAY

Confession: Psalm 130:5–8 (NIV).

Reading: Mark 10:17–31 (NIV

Reflection: The law says, you shall not commit adultery; but you may not even desire—kindling passion by curious and earnest looks. You shall not kill, says the law; but you are not even to return a blow. On the contrary, you are to offer yourself to the smiter. How much more ascetic is the gospel than the law! You shall not swear is the law; but you are not to swear at all, either a greater or a lesser oath, for an oath is the parent of perjury. You shall not join house to house, nor field to field, oppressing the poor; but you are to set aside willingly even your just possessions, and to be stripped for the poor, that without hindrance you may take up the cross and be enriched with the unseen riches. Gregory Nazianzen – Select Orations of Saint Gregory Nazianzen

Response: What cares of this world have you elevated above following Jesus? Sometimes we prioritize even good things above our call to discipleship. Pray that your desire to follow Jesus would trump all of the good things in your life.

Change


Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
Psalms 119:27



SIMPLE STEPS TO STARTING OR CHANGING A HABIT OF PRAYER OR READING AND STUDYING SCRIPTURE

    1. Trust that your desire to change is also God’s desire that you change. Start with a simple prayer such as “God, I want to change so that I can know you. I will need your help. Amen”
  1. Pick only one area where you want to change and identify a simple statement that reflects your desire. For example:
    1. I want to “pray”, or
      1. I want to “read and study scripture
    2. I want to “pray more often”, or 
      1. I want to “read and study scripture more often
  2. Once you have selected what you want to change, break that activity down into baby steps. For example, identify a way you can do the exercise under 60 seconds:
    1. PRAYER
      1. When you first open your eyes in the morning, consider praying, “Father, thank you for giving me another day.”
      2. As you go about your day and see things happening around you, consider saying one-liner prayers:
        1. Seeing strangers on the street – “Holy Spirit, I don’t know what that person believes, but can you help them think about God sometime today.”
        2. Hearing an emergency vehicle, “Lord be with the drivers of that vehicle and keep them safe as they go to their destination.”
        3. While at work, “Father, help me be a positive example in my work and help me guard my words, my attitude and my behaviour.”
      3. Remember that God is available to us no matter the time of day or our physical location
    2. SCRIPTURE
      1. Consider starting by reading prepared daily devotionals. These are short commentaries linked to specific scripture verses that include practical life applications. Daily devotionals can be sent to you automatically via email.
      2. Ensure you select a bible that you will read. It should be a translation that you will want to read because it uses the words and language you use. If you are not sure, Bible Gateway (internet source) has all translations, You can scan through the different translation to find the one you like.
      3. Read logically – start and end your reading at a point that makes sense and allows the story to flow. i.e. Don’t end mid-chapter because you needed to read ten paragraphs.
  3. Recap your activity and reflect on what you did. Hold yourself accountable. Think of how you will approach that activity tomorrow and plan to increase your involvement.
    1. Recording your activity in a notebook is known to reinforce a habit. Simple statements such as:
      1. Today I prayed at least eight one-line prayers, which included a prayer for myself, my boss, the bus driver, the homeless fellow I passed today, and my colleagues’ son.
      2. Today I read the 23rd Psalm.
  4. The more time you become involved in your new habit, the more joy it will bring you. Once you feel comfortable that you have accomplished the baby-steps, it is time to move up to a new level of involvement. In addition to your new habit of the baby-step activity, consider spending more time participating in prayer. This could mean that:
    1. You may need to identify a specific time slot to be able to participate in your activity. Remember that you may have to give up another activity to fit this in and so choose wisely.  Missing some time in front of the TV will not hurt us, so consider replacing a little TV time with a bit of spiritual development time.
      1.  Set aside manageable time slots, i.e. 15-minute increments.
      2. Remember that praying for 15 minutes is very different than reading or studying for 15 minutes.
    2. You may need to identify a comfortable place where you will be alone and undisturbed;
    3. You may need to leave yourself reminders such as sticky notes on a mirror or an entry in a Day-Timer.
  5. If you forget to pray, don’t feel guilty. Ask yourself why you missed it. You may have to rethink your location and timing choices. Ask God to help you keep future appointments.
  6. Focus on the reason you are developing or changing this activity. Please do not tell yourself that you have to pray “God says I should.” He wants your heart more than your obedience.
  7. Strong willpower is not a character trait, and it is not a sign of weakness if you can’t “will” yourself to stop or start something. Focus on developing a habit so that eventually, you become comfortable praying or reading scripture whenever you desire.

Caught in the hustle and bustle…Don’t forget to pray

We always seem to get caught up in the hustle and bustle associated with our desire to spread good cheer during the Christmas season.
It is good to remember that our Father in heaven is waiting to hear what is on our hearts. The following tips and scripture (NASB translation) can be useful during this time to remind us why and how we can pray.



Pray Believing: Trust God to answer your prayers: “And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all” (Matthew 21:22).

Pray Constantly: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Pray for all things: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Pray Persistently– keep on praying: “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not become discouraged, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect any person. Now there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect any person, yet because this widow is bothering me, I will give her justice; otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge said; now, will God not bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night, and will He delay long for them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8).

Pray with Humility: “And when you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they will be seen by people. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But as for you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use thoughtless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. So, do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:5-8).

Pray in God’s Will: “If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).

Pray with Action: Do your part to act on your prayers: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19).

Pray with Purity: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.” (Proverbs, 15:8).