I used to think that it was impossible to “pray without ceasing”, or that I didn’t have enough time to pray.
Now I laugh in the face of that naivete, and wonder how I ever survived before I learned these simple tips.
7 Clever Ways to Pray without Ceasing
1- Start your day with a prayer
This does not mean complicated or extensive prayer (necessarily). If you have time for that, then by all means, take your hour of quiet time with the Lord before your day begins.
But maybe you’re in a crazy season of your life, such as parenthood, or a demanding work and ministry schedule. Hours of silence might seem like a beautiful dream, but hardly a possible reality.
This means hitting the floor with a genuine, “God, get me through this day!”
Every morning, just remind yourself where your strength comes from, thank Him for another day to love the people around you, and ask Him to remain with you as you deal with whatever that day throws at you.
2 – Offer each breath as a prayer
I know it sounds weird, but, if you are living your life as a calling, and God gave you that breath to fulfill it, just offer it back to Him. Some people have a hard time offering God their failures (Hello, Humility problems), and tend to think of themselves as responsible for their successes (um, humility problems again?). But, you will never fail to breathe, nor will you ever stop.
Being conscious of offering each breath to God also helps us be more conscious of what we are doing with that breath. How are we using our time? Are our lives being spent for His glory or our own?
Remember to renew this prayer every so often throughout the day, and especially before bed (yes, you can offer even your sleep as a prayer) so that you don’t forget you are doing it!
3 – Don’t end your prayers
Yes, it’s good to say AMEN. “I believe”. “I mean it”. “I do”.
Yes, it is nice to feel that sense of closure and finality on everything that we do. Can we please just check off that prayer box now?
But, the very concept of praying without ceasing means to not quit. To never end. To never LEAVE that moment of prayer. Take God with you wherever you go. It is actually easier to do this even than to remember to bring our cell phone everywhere. …But, it does require a habit. Be conscious of God’s presence with you as you get in the car, go into work, leave work, make dinner, or do that whole mothering craziness.
Think about how you normally end your prayer (when you pray formally – especially if you do it in the morning). Is it, “In Jesus Holy Name, Amen”, is it shutting your bible and putting away your journal? Is it turning off the light in your prayer corner? Is it making the Sign of the Cross? None of those things are bad (please don’t get me wrong) but DON’T do it. Leave your bible open. Leave the light on. Just seeing those things throughout the day, or feeling that sense of incompletion makes you still feel like you are in the middle of your prayer. It’s a weird sensation at first, but one that is so incredibly rewarding.
4 – When you don’t know what to do – Pray
Maybe I’m just lost all the time because I have about 60 things happening at any given moment in my current season of life, but this one REALLY resonates with me. I thrive off productivity, but mom brain and random urgent disasters of parenthood have completely derailed any hope I have of ever getting any “deep work” time. I struggle with knowing what to prioritize and which project to tackle today. Some days I literally just want to hide in the closet and cry because it’s all just too overwhelming. But, about a year ago I decided I couldn’t keep living like that, but still didn’t know what to do with it. So, I took it to prayer. And, He told me, “When you don’t know what to do – Pray?”
How simple! How obvious!
If you feel lost. Slow down! Stop! Take a few deep breaths. Pull out your journal, or just go to your quiet place. And ask Him… “Lord, tell me what to do!” or “Lord, give me light!” “What should I do first?” What is the most important thing here? What should I say to so-and-so?” He cares about it all, I promise. And, He WILL answer you! Sometimes He might say “You already know the answer! – especially if it was something you didn’t want to hear.
Now, all you you have to do is DO it.
5 – When you Know what You Must Do – Pray for strength!
Sometimes, what you know NEED to do is much harder than you want it to be. Our tendency is to revert to comfortable and safe. But, Our Lord never called His apostles to a comfortable or safe life.
“Lord, give me Strength.”
Then Act…. and TRUST.
6 – Use Music to Help you Pray
Make Christian Music the soundtrack of your life.
Find your local Christian Radio Stations (also consider financially supporting them). Decide your favorite bands. Use the themed playlists from the Freebie Library to find songs that speak to any season or stage of your life. Embrace Pandora and Spotify in your life. They have wonderful christian music playlists that can help you find new songs, plus enjoy the ones you already know you love. Everything from Christian workout/dance music to Gregorian chant. (I have to admit that I love me some Gregorian chant on the days the kids just get too crazy to handle and I really need to decompress.)
7 – Cover your walls in prayer
Make where you live and work a place of prayer. Put up bible verses, prayers, or just little reminders of things you are working on, on the surfaces you look at all day every day. My kitchen cupboards and bedroom walls are covered in motivations and reminders.
It doesn’t have to be ugly or tacky either . In fact, when people come over to my house it is probably the thing that gets the most comments and starts the most good conversations.
I have built many of these beautiful prayers and reminders into my freebie library if you want to print some out for your own walls – at the very least you should definitely check them out!
Did I miss anything? What is your favorite practical way to “Pray without ceasing”?
Also, if you have more quotes or suggestions for verses or prayers that you would like to see included in the free library printable packs, shoot me an email and I’d be happy to include it!
#ParticularlyCALLED #IamCALLED #togetherinthetrenches