Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5.
"Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night."When should you pray? Here are some ideas:
- First thing when you wake up in the morning, thank God for a new day. Our tendency is to immediately do a "worry inventory" the moment we wake up - what was I worrying about last night? What stress am I anticipating today? Instead of focusing on your worries, begin the day with a blessing. "I speak to this day and I call you blessed. I declare that I serve a mighty God who today will do exceedingly and abundantly more than I can ask or consider."
- As you drink your morning tea or coffee, read your Bible and write down verses that resonate and prompt you to pray. During Advent I am reading Isaiah, which prophesies the coming of the Messiah, and Luke, the story of Jesus' life beginning before his birth. This verse from Isaiah spoke to my heart: "Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things" (Isaiah 12:5) so I wrote it down and incorporated it into my prayer time.
- As George Herbert says, "Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night." I find that if I make time to pray in the morning, it's like laying down markers for the day. When you pray in the morning before you go to work or leave your house, you connect your heart and mind with God's direction for you.
- The Apostle Paul says we are to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17.) So how about praying in the car? You're alone and it's the perfect time to talk to God. You can pray when you're in line for your drink order, as you're walking from here to there, and especially, when you feel yourself getting stressed. Pray for the people around you and offer them a blessing.
- Whether with a friend or by myself, I say a small prayer before eating. Even if it's in a public place with people all around. Not to be sanctimonious or a super Christian, but to be consistent. There are many accounts of Jesus offering a blessing over food, so I figure I should too.
- Finally, at the end of your day before going to sleep, thank God for the blessings of the day, reflect on your mistakes and offer up repentance, and prayer for the people in your life. I love John Eldredge's Bedtime Prayer, but any prayer that works for you and draws you nearer to God before you go to sleep.
Prayer's not a burden, it's learning how to talk to God and hear from Him, so you can be blessed by his mercy, grace, and love. The more you pray from your heart, with honesty and openness, the more you will want to pray.