Stick to It
Practical tips to unceasing prayer.
by Rhonda Maller
Bible verses about continual prayer typically gave me visions of robed men who pray night and day. I certainly didn't fit in that category. As a wife and mother, juggling home school, part-time work and active roles in my church and community, I found it hard to pray once a day. So I hid those verses in the "for other people" file.
But I soon realized that my "busy" schedule interferes with nurturing relationships. So acting upon my love for my family and God becomes a deliberate choice.
The Bible encourages me to pray continually and be faithful in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Romans 12:12). When overload threatens devotional time or communion, I need a plan to make prayer integral to what I am already doing instead of seeing it as something to overwhelm me.
For those who wish to join me in the journey to pray continually, here are some ways to get started.
Post-it prayers. Write prayer requests on Post-it notes. Stick them to your mirror, fridge, computer, briefcase, back door, dashboard and diaper bag.
Gather 'round. Pray about meetings and for those who will attend. Seek His presence, wisdom and direction at the meeting.
Drive defensively. If you encounter aggravating drivers, pray for them. Your prayers not only bless them, but they also maintain your communion with the Savior and lower your blood pressure.
Hit the road. If you pass an abandoned car, traffic accident, emergency vehicle or someone detained by the police, intercede for those involved. If you get stuck behind a school bus, pray for the local school board, staff and students.
Get it on file. Purchase an accordion-style cardholder. When someone needs prayer, write the request and an appropriate Scripture on a blank card and insert it into your holder. If you get stuck in a waiting room or at an airport, open your file and talk to God.
Checkout. Cashiers are under pressure. Lines are long. Tempers are short. Pray for the store staff and the customers ahead of you. When your turn arrives, you will be calm and ready to bless the cashier with a pleasant smile and warm greeting.
Go up. Do you stare at the floor or the door when riding in an elevator? Glance at everyone's shoes, asking God to direct each step, lead each person into truth and open and shut doors for each occupant according to His will.
Sort laundry. As you fold clothes, thank God for each family member, sharing what you appreciate about each one.
Wait three rings. Let a ringing phone be your prayer signal. Before answering, ask God to guard your tongue, guide your thoughts and glorify His name through you. Do the same with e-mail.
Keep it quiet. Turn off the car radio. Pause between calls. Discover hidden, quiet moments to take a deep breath and let the Holy Spirit speak to you.
I've taken 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Romans 12:12 out of hiding. I am learning that continual prayer is not about reaching a higher spiritual plane. It is an attitude of the heart and a lifestyle of loving God.