Give your faith life a boost with these prayer techniques and tips.
Prayer is the cord that binds us to God. Here are three ways you can freshen and strengthen your own prayers.
1. Change your prayer posture.
Did you know that prayer only became a sitting-down activity when pews were invented in the 16th Century? Before that, people mainly prayed while standing (often with arms extended, in imitation of Jesus on the cross), kneeling or lying prostrate on the floor.
Sometimes a humbler position helps the heart. Take kneeling, for instance. Solomon knelt while making his long prayer of dedication of the Temple, “with his hands spread out toward heaven” (1 Kings 8:54). Paul kneels to pray just before he is deported to Rome (Acts 20:36). Perhaps most importantly, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus “withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed” (Luke 22:41-42).
Kneeling is about submission, and it’s particularly helpful when we admit that we really don’t have all the answers or know what’s best in every situation.
2. Offer your day to God.
Make prayer a part of your everyday life–every day! Many people set aside a particular time of day–and even a particular place in their house–to be with God. Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, you can reserve a spot in your day for God.
But the Bible exhorts us to “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). How are we to do that? If you dedicate your whole day to God from the start, everything you do becomes a prayer. Begin your day with this prayer (or one of your own):
Almighty God, Today I offer myself completely to you: all my thoughts, all my words, all I do. Make my every movement a living prayer; help me unite myself to your son Jesus Christ in heart, mind and soul. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.
Dedicating ourselves to the day the Lord has made will surely help us “rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
3. Pray a balanced prayer.
Many people find themselves praying what is most comfortable for them to the exclusion of other types of prayers. Stretch yourself to include all forms of Biblically based prayer in your life.
Praise: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy–to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 1:24-25).
Thanksgiving: “I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders” (Psalm 9:1).
Supplication or Petition: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10).
Confession: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD'–and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).
Meditation: There’s no specific verse for this one–choose any Bible passage and let it seep into your heart! Be quiet, wait and listen. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).