Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tips for Praying Attentively

I don't even remember where I originally saw this list, but it has helped me, since I certainly struggle in this area. I especially like the line below that says, "God isn't shocked by our humanity."


1. Choose times, places, and postures that work best for you. (Standing by a window three times a day worked for Daniel.)
2. Harness the prayer energy that comes from deeply felt needs of the moment. (Finding himself in the fish’s belly worked wonders for Jonah’s prayer life.)
3. Pray from notes; keep a quiet-time notebook.
4. Keep referring to a written collection of “prayer principles” (for example, “God lives with the contrite and lowly spirit,” from Isa. 57:15) that you feel especially prone to forget.
5. Have photographs in front of you of those you’re praying for.
6. Pray briefly about the topic that distracted you.
7. When something from your to-do list comes to mind, jot it down, then return quickly to prayer.
8. Pray aloud or in a whisper, especially if you’re sleepy.
9. Be firm with yourself about mental wanderings, but don’t scold. God isn’t shocked at your humanity.
10. Ask God to strengthen your concentration powers for prayer. He cares about your relationship with Him more than you do.

By Warren and Ruth Myers in the book “Praying the Bible for your Children” (Note: this is a different book with a similar title to the one in my suggested reading list.)

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