50 Creative Ways to Breathe Fresh Life into Your Prayers

Do you ever feel that you are in a rut? Doing the same things in the same ways without giving them much thought? I’d say most of us have found ourselves at this place from time to time – even when it comes to prayer.

We utter words without thinking about them. Sometimes the same words, over and over again.

Perhaps repetitious and thoughtless aren’t words to describe your prayer life. Maybe you struggle to even get into the posture of prayer. As busyness, distraction, and preconceived notions get in the way.

No matter the current health of your prayer life, I hope you will find this list of ideas helpful.

50 IDEAS FOR PRAYER

  1. Commit your day to God before your feet hit the floor in the morning.
  2. Schedule a daily appointment with God. Pray about your appointments and your to-do list.
  3. Pray with your soul friend.
  4. Take a “prayer walk.”  Pray for your neighbors, schools, churches, and businesses as you pass by.
  5. Pray Scripture.
  6. Pray in Color.
  7. Thank God every time you appreciate His creation (sunsets, rainbows, waterfalls, etc.).
  8. Breathe ‘breath’ prayers.
  9. Engage your body when you pray: dance, pace, stretch, or choose different postures.
  10. Join in corporate prayer.
  11. Set the timer on your phone as a reminder to stop and pray.
  12. Pray as you walk, run, ride your bike, or walk the dog.
  13. Say His name – “Jesus.”  Out loud.
  14. When you are unable to turn your brain off, thank God for the people and things ping-ponging around in your head, even in the middle of the night.
  15. Crochet, brush your hair, or bake a loaf of bread as you pray.
  16. Pray the alphabet A-Z for your family, your schedule, your elected officials, whatever.
  17. Write down your prayers.
  18. Have a heart-to-heart with God.  Share your deepest concerns, fears, and thanks with Him.
  19. Adopt a missionary to pray for.
  20. Pray in various positions: standing, sitting, kneeling, dancing, laying face-down, walking.
  21. Find local cathedrals open to the public and spend time in personal prayer there.
  22. Use the Book of Common Prayer, Valley of Vision, or other book of prayers to guide you as you pray.
  23. Practice “prayer breaks” throughout the day by pausing for a few moments of prayer every hour.  Set an alarm on your phone to help you remember.
  24. Spend time on a night watch, staying up a portion (or all) of the night to focus on prayer, repentance, thanksgiving, and listening to God.
  25. Pray for your city as you drive around running errands.
  26. Spend some time prayer-journaling the causes that are heavy on your heart.  Then research organizations that aid in that way and prayerfully consider how you can get involved with others who are doing kingdom work.
  27. Seek out a prayer partner and set a specific time and day each week to pray, whether together or apart.
  28. Pray a psalm. Personalize it by replacing any pronouns with your name or a personal pronoun.
  29. Keep pen and paper close to you while you pray and write down any stray thoughts or to-do items that come to mind so you can return your focus to God; before you finish your time of prayer, pray over each item you wrote down.
  30. Use a prayer box.
  31. Find a prayer warrior and spend time together in prayer.  Focus your prayer time not on a list but on who God is and how He is working.
  32. Practice incorporating God’s characteristics into your prayers.  For example, when praying about job loss, thank God that He is Jehovah Jirah, the One who provides. Thank Him for His loving care, daily provision, and sovereignty. Praise Him for His grace and His faithfulness.
  33. Use the minutes (or hours, for us insomniacs) before you fall asleep to pray for the people that God brings to mind.
  34. Divide your prayer requests into seven days of the week so you can pray for each request at least once a week.
  35. Identify a hope or fear in your life and pray about it every day for 40 days. As you pray, repent of any sins God reveals to you on that topic, record anything you sense God is telling you, and respond in obedience. At the end of the 40 days, reflect on what God has done and continue in prayer.
  36. Pray the fruit of the Spirit – one per week.  Ask God to cultivate that characteristic in you through specific events in your life that week.
  37. Use a sketch of the temple as a prayer prompt. Enter the gates with thanksgiving, thank Jesus for being the showbread, ask God to wash you of your sins at the water basin, reflect on the sacrifice of the Lamb at the altar, and finally enter the Holy of Holies to stand in adoration of God.
  38. Keep a running list of prayer requests, and each time you tell someone, “I’ll pray for you,” put them on the list.  Then pray!
  39. Offer to host a Bible study or prayer group in your home.
  40. Journal your prayers in the form of a letter to God.
  41. Incorporate symbols you can touch and interact with into your prayer time.  Symbols might include things such as a piece of jewelry, a prayer maze, or stations of the cross.  Use the symbols to direct your heart toward God.
  42. Identify prayer triggers – things that prompt you to pray.
  43. Think about your day. Much of our normal activity provides plenty of opportunity for prayer: waiting in line at the grocery, sitting in the carpool line, doing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry, scrubbing the bathrooms, dusting, weeding. Consider how you might pray as you work.
  44. Utter the name of Jesus.
  45. Sketch your prayers.
  46. Write out the Scriptures by hand. Throughout the day, read them as prayers.
  47. Keep a prayer journal.
  48. Psalms are sacred songs or poems used in worship. Write out your prayer in the form of a poem, Psalm, or letter.
  49. Use a model such as A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) to guide your prayer.
  50. Pray in a way that incorporates your God-wiring – naturalist, traditionalist, contemplative, etc.

Which idea will you try this week as you practice the foundational Spiritual Discipline of prayer?

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