How to Establish Rhythms of Prayer

by Krystal Dickson

If I were to ask you to describe your prayer life, what would you say? Prayer seems to be an area where not many of us have it quite “figured out.” We all go through seasons where we feel connected to the Lord, and other times, we are distracted and inconsistent. Today, you might be trying to figure out how to find unhindered time to be with the Lord in prayer. While extended time in prayer is incredibly important, it is not the only way to incorporate prayer into your day.

When we read Paul’s exhortation to pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we might think, That seems unrealistic—what would that even look like to pray that much? The purpose behind this verse is not to quantify the ‌time you pray. Praying constantly means we pursue a rhythm where we take every opportunity to joyfully depend on the Lord.When we establish deep rhythms of prayer, we develop a posture of quiet submission to the Spirit as He moves in and through us. 

Utilize normal moments

Our days can be filled with transitions—dropping kids off at school, waiting in line at the store, or being stuck in traffic. If maintaining a consistent prayer is a struggle, look for ways to use those moments that already exist within your day. We can redeem everyday moments to commune with the God of the universe. 

I have a sweet friend whose young child is struggling with her health, and lunchtime can be a particularly hard time for their family, so I put an alert on my phone to pray for them every day at noon. Because this has been a regular part of my rhythm over the last few months, I no longer need that alert to be reminded of it. Plus, it has been a humble joy to get to intercede on their behalf in a weary season of life. 

Adjusting how I viewed my day has helped me to pray more as a normal rhythm, but it has also allowed me to view things from an eternal perspective. We have many moments throughout our day that we can intentionally capture for the purpose of prayer. Whether we have a minute or an hour, time spent in prayer is never wasted.

Create habits using signposts 

You may not ‌relate to this if you are directionally gifted, but I tend to rely on landmarks and other visual cues to guide me to where I need to go. The same concept of visual reminders can actually guide us in our own prayer lives by using them as signposts that prompt us to seek the Lord in prayer.

I have learned this habit from a dear friend that texts me when she visits my favorite coffee shop. She will send a picture of her iced coffee along with these simple words: “Praying for you today!” Since that particular coffee shop reminds her of me, she intentionally uses it as an opportunity to pray. And knowing my friend and her commitment to prayer, she probably has signposts for many people in her life. Utilizing visual cues is an easy way to incorporate prayer into your daily rhythm. Pray for your pastor as you drive by the church. Pray for your kids when you see their school or walk by the playroom. We can pursue the Lord in prayer even as we operate within the roles and responsibilities that He has entrusted to us. 

Strengthening our rhythms of prayer will help us ‌pray continually rather than see it as just a one-time event in our day. Intentionally praying throughout the day can help us not get caught up in the busyness of life without spending time with the Lord. Often, it is not our schedules that are the biggest hindrance to seeking the Lord, but the selfish desires in our hearts. When we pursue the Lord in our ordinary moments, He is faithful to meet us with His steadfast love and unending mercies.

For additional resources, check out our studies, journals, and verse cards all dedicated to prayer.

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