Have you ever been told that your first response to a difficult situation should be to pray? That we should pray more than we complain, or that God should be the first person we speak to about an issue? (There is a certain quote that I remember hearing, but I cannot remember it to save my life – if you’ve heard sayings about this, please let me know!).
But anyway, you’ve heard that you should make prayer your go-to response, but how easy is this to actually do? How often is prayer actually the first thing you think of when you are facing a new situation, whether good or bad?
Personally, I think this is something that is much easier said than done, particularly if you haven’t grown up praying, or are just starting to pray for the first time. And even if you found it easy at one point in your life, it’s definitely an easy habit to fall out of. So, today I want to share some tips and practical things that you can do to make prayer your go-to response in any situation.
Memorise scripture about prayer
Memorising scripture is such an incredibly powerful tool. To have scripture with you all the time, to draw up and remind yourself of. The better we know the words of the Bible, the more we will focus upon those words, and the more they will be in our minds when we need to draw upon them.
The verses and passages that I think would be good to memorise to help us remember to turn to God in prayer include those which tell us to pray, but also those which remind us of the power of prayer and the difference it makes. Here’s some suggestions that I really like:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”1 John 5:14
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”2 Chronicles 7:14
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”James 5:13
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”Matthew 7:9-11
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:4-7
Surround yourself with people who remind you of the power of prayer
The people that you spend time with, turn to for advice, listen to, follow on social media, are the people that you are allowing to have an influence on your life. If you are surrounded by people who talk about prayer, about how they turn to prayer and about the power of prayer that they have seen, will influence the way that you think about prayer and your perspective upon the things that you are facing in life.
I think that we can find these voices in lots of different places. Is there a wise and prayerful Christian at your church who you could ask to mentor you? Do the books you read, podcasts you listen to, people you follow on social media, talk about prayer? Do you have friends and community who pray for you, and who you can talk about prayer with?
Here are some recommendations for some great content (books, podcasts, social media accounts) that are great at pointing us towards prayer:
- God On Mute – Pete Greig
- Sarah at @modernfarmhousefamily (Instagram)
- Phylicia Masonheimer (Instagram)
- Milena Ciciotti (YouTube) & the As For Me And My House Podcast
- Celeste Rayanne (Instagram & YouTube)
- I also have a YouTube channel where I share more content about prayer which you can find here!
I also think it’s really great to think about how you can be this person for the people around you. How much do you talk about prayer? Do you point other people to pray? Do you offer to pray for your friends and community around you?
Use a prayer journal
I love using a prayer journal for so many different reasons, and have talked quite a lot about prayer journals before (you can read a blog post here or watch this video here!). But I think prayer journals could be particularly helpful for helping you to make prayer your go-to response for two main reasons.
Firstly, because they are a great way for us to keep a record of what we have prayed, and easily see how God has answered those prayers. Even when we may have forgotten the things we prayed for weeks, months or even years ago, we can easily look back at a prayer journal and see how God has been working in our lives since then. When we can clearly see God answering our prayers, we will be more likely to entrust the things we are facing to God in prayer.
Secondly, because getting into the habit of writing down the things that we are facing, our thoughts and feelings, and then praying over them or turning them into prayers, will lead to us praying over situations that we wouldn’t previously have thought to pray about.
Have a daily prayer routine
This prayer routine could be to use a prayer journal at certain times in the day if you’d like to combine these two tips!
Having a regular routine for prayer can be really helpful, both simply to get us into the habit of praying regularly rather than just when we happen to think of it, but also to give us an opportunity every day to look back at the whole day and reflect and pray over anything that has happened or prayer requests that have arisen.
Creating a habit of regular prayer, and increasing the regularity with which we pray will help us to remember to pray about a situation much more quickly than we previously might have done!
What other habits or tips help you to make prayer your go-to response?