4 Ways to Keep A Fresh Prayer Life

Don't have the same conversation with God every day

Let’s say you’re going to have 30 minutes this afternoon to chat with your best friend.

You look forward to it it. You think about things you want to tell her. You are happy when it finally happens.

The next day, you’re given another 30 minutes with her—with one caveat: Repeat the same conversation.

Okay. You can do that. You probably missed a few things the first time anyway.

The next day, same instructions.
Again.
And again.
And again.

And now you dread your conversation time. You long to escape it. Instead of pleasure, it brings pain.

Is this how we approach our conversations with God? 

“I have 30 minutes (or less) to talk with God today. Will I repeat the same requests as yesterday? Exact same thanks? Same confessions?”

When this is how we pray, no wonder we don’t look forward to it.

It’s boring.

Granted, some things need repeating every day. Those things don’t get old.

But let’s not allow our prayers to become so repetitious that we recite them with no thought.

4 Ways to Pray a Fresh Prayer

1. Rotate the focus
For example, some people pray for a different group each day. Monday: Immediate family. Tuesday: Church family. Wednesday: Neighborhood. Etc.

2. Pray through scripture
Use scripture prayer books for help. My favorites are the Face to Face books by Kenneth Boa, “Volume 1: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship,” and “Volume 2: Praying the Scriptures for Spiritual Growth.” Bible passages are phrased in the first person so you’re praying as you read.

3. Update your list
Are many of the requests on your list outdated? Follow up and see whats changed. Maybe your friend’s surgery two months ago ended well. It’s okay to cross off requests as “answered.”

4. Pray through time
Past:
 Be specific in thanking God for grace in  your past 24 hours. Confess areas you messed up yesterday, and thank him for his perpetual forgiving spirit.

Present: What are you thankful for in this day? What do you need help with right now? Praise God in this moment just for who he is.

Future: Ask for his blessings on tonight’s events and tomorrow’s situations. Requesting his guidance for your future can improve your attitude about what’s ahead.

Just as our circumstances change a little (or a lot) every day, so should our conversations with God.

Our intimate time with God won’t be boring if we’ll intentionally keep our conversations fresh!

* * *

What tips do you have for praying? Please share in the comments.

revised from the archives

23 thoughts on “4 Ways to Keep A Fresh Prayer Life

  1. blankBarbara H.

    Excellent post! Just this morning I was praying for something that is a daily request but telling the Lord I don’t want to fall into it rotely, just repeating it out of routine. I want to pray it, not just say it.

  2. blankJean Wise

    Good example to illustrate this. I love talking and listening to my friend, the Lord. You know I remember the moment I first described God as a friend. key recognition for me. Great easy to implement points, Lisa

  3. blankJoanne Viola

    Excellent post! I think the most important point you made is that we need to intentionally keep our conversations fresh and ongoing! All the points are well taken. Glad to have stopped here this morning! Blessings!

  4. blankValerie Sisco

    Hi Lisa,
    I love this thought process that led you to write prayer! It’s to true! I feel like I bring the same requests and difficulties to God and he surely must be tired of hearing from me but fresh approaches are welcome and I love the last one of praying through time because I’ve been trying this. It’s amazing how I see him working more often when I recount the last 24 hours — more than I had imagined!

  5. blankfloyd

    Excellent advice, Lisa. Especially the thanking Him being grateful part. Too often I think we forget to acknowledge all the grace and requests fulfilled.

  6. blankMeghan

    I absolutely love this! I am sharing today on my Facebook. Woot woot!!!

    Visiting from #CoffeeForYourHeart (not a neighbor but your title caught my attention!)

  7. blankBill (cycleguy)

    One of the things so important to me Lisa is just make time. I have so many things pressing me when I get to the office. A sermon to work on. A blog to check. Letters to write. But I have to put those off to make sure prayer is a priority.

    On another note: I found your comment in Trail Boss. It was in my spam folder for my blog. Guess I ought to check that more often. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  8. blankDavid

    Dear Lisa

    This is not really my problem at the moment.

    In the past I have had a couple of friends I would especially like to be with. We would have conversations and we would do things of course, but as often as not we would just hang out together. I wanted to be with them as much as I could. In their company I felt stimulated and relaxed, happy, and like “someone else, someone good”. Praying is like that for me.

    I do like the idea of changing things around and keeping prayer fresh. My habit is to say thank you, sorry, and please about three things that have come up during the day. Incorporating scripture, or having “themed” prayers sound like good ideas – if they make our time together fresh and awake, rather than formal and mannered.

    I suddenly have a different problem with praying. It takes me hours to get to sleep at night, so I pray in bed after lights out as a way to really relax myself. Well, it has worked rather well and I’m now falling asleep fairly directly – so my prayer time has disappeared! Maybe I should look for another daily pressure point where I can apply this lotion.

    David

  9. blankMichele Morin

    So great to find you here at Terri’s place this morning – especially on this great topic. One thing that I am working on right now is recognition of God’s greatness when I pray. It’s feeling a little wooden to me right now because I’ve had a tendency to treat prayer like an agenda: present my items of business and then get on with the meeting. I’m trying to commit to memory some “fuel” for praise (Jen Wilkin’s 10 incommunicable attributes and Beth Wills Miller’s Names of Jesus for instance) and I’m thankful for posts like yours that remind me that I’m on the right track.

  10. blankValerie

    Great post! I recently had a spiritual revival where God pretty much transformed my prayer life. But sometimes I still struggle with my prayer life especially if it gets boring so I’m always looking for new and different ways to keep it fresh.

  11. blankValerie

    Hi Lisa!
    What a great comparison. Changing things up is a great idea! And I like the idea of praying for a certain group each day. Thank you for sharing this at 100 Happy Days!

  12. blankLori

    I love this! While I don’t think my prayers are boring, I do find I’m praying for the same thing every day. Several months ago, I started out praying for a different sibling’s family each day and got away from it. I need to get back to that because it was different and I was able to spend more time praying for each of them. Thanks for sharing this encouragement with Thankful Thursdays.

  13. blankbluecottonmemory

    I wish I’d known this lesson so much earlier in my life. It took being in the bottom of a challenge to realize that I need real conversation – not just the same “litany.” Then I kept praying, “Help me.” I started praying, “Be with me” – and that’s when real conversation started! Wonderful list to wake up dialog!

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  15. blankGinger Harrington

    I love this illustration for prayer–not having the same conversation over and over with a friend. Once of the things that helps me is to pray when I walk. I also pray on paper in my journal. Have a great weekend. Visiting you from Faith Filled Friday.

  16. blankLinda Stoll

    I love this … I sure don’t want to bore my Heavenly Father. I know He doesn’t yawn when He sees us approach, but I can’t help but believe that He must be satisfied when we mix things up just a bit.

    Thanks, Lisa!

  17. blankCrystal Twaddell

    Lisa, I love the entire idea of taking the mundane and routine out of our prayer life. God is anything but that! It takes great intention and passion, but I truly believe this is when we begin to understand the heart of God. I’d love for you to share your message on Fresh Market Friday..such a great example of living with passion and intention:) Blessings, Crystal~

  18. blankJune

    Great tips, Lisa! I’ll check out those Face to Face books. There are so many different ways to approach out time with God. Our meetings with Him should be as unique as we are! Have a blessed week!

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