Start by acknowledging your shortcomings and your determination to address them
Admit to God your prayerlessness and ask for his help from this point on.
Make a plan
Decide on a regular manageable time for prayer that fits with your lifestyle. Decide on a venue where you won't be distracted. Don't be too ambitious; God is not impressed by the length of our prayers. To aim for 10 minutes may well be enough!
Work out a pattern
Decide on a way of praying that works for you:
- Read a short passage of Scripture then pray from that: one thing to give thanks for, one thing to say sorry for, one request to make - apply these points to yourself, your family, others you want to pray for.
- Use the Lord's Prayer. Pray each phrase slowly and let it lead you into prayer from these areas.
- Read a short passage of Scripture then use the acronym ACTS to help balance your prayer:
- A for Adoration - praising God for who He is;
- C for Confession - saying sorry to God for wrong in our lives;
- T for Thanksgiving - recognising the good God gives;
- S for Supplication - asking God for the things on our minds.
- Buy a book of prayers or a Prayer Book. Make a list of things you want to pray for, then use the list and the book(s) to help you get started.
Keep at it
Habits need to be learnt. Don't give up as soon as it gets hard. Don't get despondent if you miss a day. Just keep going to build up the habit.
Tell a Christian friend
So they can encourage you, pray for you, keep you accountable.
Don't get complacent
Once you've established the pattern branch out. Extend your prayer. Look for opportunities throughout the day to talk to God. He's waiting to hear!
Based on ideas from "Prayer and the Voice of God" by Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne.
"Prayer and the Voice of God" by Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne. (Mathias Media)
"Prayer" by Richard Foster. (Hodder and Stoughton)
"Too busy not to pray" by Bill Hybels. (IVP)
"Prayer Life: How your personality affects the way you pray" by Pablo Martínez. (Paternoster Press)