FIRST-PERSON: Prayer for everyday life
PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- It's more than a rhyming verse at meal times or a memorized recitation. Prayer is a powerful, personal conversation with your Father, God in heaven. Here are a few simple tips to remember to pray:
-- First, middle and last, pray. Before your toes touch the floor each morning, pray. Pray throughout the day. As your last action before you fall asleep, pray. As the psalmist wrote, "Morning, noon, and night, I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice" (Psalm 55:17).
-- Stop, drop & pray. When an acquaintance shares a need or concern, stop right there. Drop what you're doing. Take her hand and offer a prayer to God on her behalf.
-- Pray on your way. During everyday moments of life, talk to God. Pray for police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel as their vehicles pass by. Before you check your email messages, pray. Look for minutes when you are exercising, shopping, driving, waiting or walking.
-- Teach your children to pray. Pray with them regularly. Pray when your child or family has a specific need or praise. Get caught praying. Allow your children to see you and hear you pray to God.
-- Pray before you speak. Whether it's to chat with a friend on the phone or teach a Bible class or talk with your hair stylist, breathe a prayer before you say a word.
-- Pray by name. Use your church directory or small group list to pray for church members from A to Z. Check off names with a colored pen. When you've prayed for the entire list, get a different color pen and begin again.
-- Pray for your neighbors. An awesome free app helps you pray for neighbors by name. At Pray4EveryHome.com, enter your address and email. You receive five neighbors' names daily. Pray, click "done," and get five more tomorrow.
-- Tell them. If you pray faithfully for your church staff, spouse, children, teachers, political leaders, etc., tell them. Send a note to remind them of your prayers.
-- Shower power. Make a list of people, laminate it, and post it by your shower, dressing table or computer. Pray daily through the list of your co-workers at church, pastoral leaders, family, boss, employees, neighbors, unsaved acquaintances, etc.
-- Pray during church. Have you ever checked your watch or counted ceiling tiles during worship? That won't happen if you are busy praying. Pray silently for every element of the worship service.
-- Pray on the phone. When someone calls or texts you about a need or problem, pray. Voice a verbal prayer before you hang up or respond with a typed sentence prayer to God.
-- Pray when you minister to others. Delivering a casserole to a bereaved family? Making an outreach contact, homebound visit or hospital call? Say a silent prayer before you ring their doorbell, and pray aloud for them before leaving.
Pray about absolutely everything. At the Scripture instructs us, "Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for what He has done" (Philippians 4:6).
Pray. God is listening right now.