20 ways to add more prayer to your lifeWritten by Lillian Daniel
Here are some practical suggestions for making prayer a more regular, rhythmic part of your daily routine.
Pray your hellos and goodbyes.
When your loved ones leave the house, pray for them. When they walk in the door, give God thanks.
Tape this list to your bathroom mirror.
Or keep copies in your car, by your computer at work, or underneath the dog food bowl. Wherever you know you’ll find it.
Walk and whatever you see, pray about. The leaves, the houses you walk by, the sounds.
When you hear an ambulance, a police car or a fire truck, pray for the people involved.
Pray for strangers in a public place.
Sit in a coffee shop and privately pray for the people you see. Imagine the stories of the people standing in line at the post office. Give a total stranger the gift of your prayer.
Spend a day being mindful of everything you feel grateful for, and saying a quick prayer of thanksgiving over and over, all day long.
Communicate with each other once a week with prayer requests. Meet to discuss what God is doing in your life.
Your breath can be a form of prayer. As you inhale say the name of God that speaks to you, hold it in and then let that divinity out into the world as you exhale.
Can't find one? Could you start one?
There are many forms of prayer that use the body. In the Christian tradition, explore the Celtic Body Prayer, where you raise your arms in shapes that call forth divine images.
Pray while you exercise.
Yoga is prayerful, if we allow it to be. Can other forms of exercise be prayerful as well? While engaging your physical body, engage your spirit as well. Besides, if you meditate on the stair master machine, it hurts less. Sample prayer: "Oh God, get me off this thing!"
Pray for something really crazy.
Admit to God what it is that you are really passionate about. Name the big problems of the universe. Ask for the thing that no one but God knows that you desire. Let your prayers run wild.
Next time you get stuck in traffic, instead of letting your anxiety take over, give that time to prayer instead.
Admit it, there is someone in your life bothering you right now, someone who is doing you wrong. Pray for them.
Sometimes saying a blessing at the table is an easy and unthreatening way to get a family praying. And if you don't, think about starting that tradition. If you already say grace before a meal, add some more words to that and pray for more than the meal in front of you.
Let your eating be prayerful.
Next time you find yourself eating alone, don't read or watch television but let each bite be a slow prayer of mindful eating.
Show up for weekly worship.
Let's face it; this is the place where our prayers get to join those of the rest of a spirit-centered community, and link up to that mighty cloud of witnesses.
And really pray during worship.
Sometimes, when the worship leader is praying, the rest of us space out, as if that person has it covered. Next time, listen intently to the worship leader's words, and repeat them in your heart, truly adding your prayers rather than passively listening.
Finally, let others pray for you.
Now that you're venturing out into new ways of prayer, don’t be afraid to receive prayers. Let other people in on your prayer concerns. And let your spirit to be open to prayer working on you.