At LifeStream at Glendale, we strive to enrich residents' spiritual health in addition to their physical and emotional health. Developing a more engaging prayer life is one way you can improve your spiritual health. If you're new to prayer or feel stuck in a prayer rut, making changes to your prayer habits can enhance the experience. Try these tips to create a more engaging prayer life.
If you find yourself being inconsistent with prayer, schedule time for prayer daily. This can help you become more consistent and disciplined in your prayer life. You can always expand beyond your scheduled prayer time, but start with this dedicated time to ignite your prayer life.
Engaging in prayer requires you to focus on what you're saying to God. Life can be distracting — a pile of laundry on the table, the TV running in the background, people walking by. Those distractions can make you lose focus on your prayer. Choose a quiet location with as few distractions as possible. You might create a dedicated prayer space within your assisted living apartment to eliminate distractions. LifeStream at Glendale features a chapel where you might feel comfortable praying. If you prefer a more natural spot, explore the beautifully landscaped grounds to find a quiet place where you want to pray. Try different locations to find a prayer spot that helps you engage.
Prayer positions can affect how you feel. For example, kneeling while you pray creates a humble feeling or the idea of submission to the Lord. Raising your hands to the sky can be a sign of surrender. Consider how you position your body when you pray as well as the message you're sending in your prayer so the two align. Try different positions to engage yourself in what you're saying.
If you're not sure how to pray or what to say to God, start with scripture. Incorporating Bible verses into your prayers can help you focus on God's word and give you ideas for prayer topics. This can be beneficial if you feel like you pray about the same few things all the time. It can also help you become more familiar with God's word and can relate to your Bible study.
Prayer often focuses on asking God for things — healing, help for a friend, peace from a difficult situation. Your prayers can be more meaningful if you also incorporate thanks and praise to God instead of only asking. It can be easy to get stuck in what you still need, but giving thanks helps you focus on the good that has already happened. If you're unsure how to incorporate praise, reading a Psalm before you pray or as part of your prayer can get you started. Incorporating praise helps you focus on God and center your prayers around him and his will.
You can use your smartphone to help improve your prayer life with prayer apps. Lots of prayer apps exist, including PrayerMate, Abide and Daily Prayer, with a variety of functions, including:
Try different prayer apps to see which one inspires you the most.
A prayer journal is a place where you write down your prayers and other helpful details. It can be a decorative journal, a book designed specifically for prayers or a simple notebook. You can use your prayer journal however it works best for you. Ideas include writing down your prayers, listing prayer requests and documenting praise. Having this journal can help you stay focused while you pray and give you ideas of how to pray. You can also watch your progression as you focus on improving your prayer life.
Praying with one or more people can amplify your prayers and help you be consistent in prayer. Hearing other people pray can give you a model if you're unsure of your prayer habits. It can also keep your prayers from becoming too self-focused.
Having scheduled prayer time gets you in a habit and ensures you're praying regularly. However, prayer shouldn't just be a daily task you do to check off the list. Prayer can be spontaneous and happen anywhere. This reinforces the idea that God is with you wherever you go. It helps you notice situations where you can give thanks or praise and ask for guidance. The prayers may also be more meaningful because they're in the moment and based on what you're experiencing. It can also help you remember the prayers you intend to say but might forget if you wait until later.
Falling into a prayer routine can make your prayers less meaningful. You're simply going through the motions and might not connect to what you're saying. You can engage all parts of yourself when you make small changes each time you pray. That might mean changing where you pray, your positioning while you pray or the things you pray about. If you notice your prayers become mundane or the same every day, focus on changing things up.