I think we can all agree on the power and importance of a daily prayer life. It can be as simple as offering short little prayers throughout the day, such as “Jesus, I Trust in You” or memorizing verses of Scripture. As our life season changes, so too does the rhythm of our daily prayer.
Reflecting on my own journey with Jesus, I can see how my prayer life has changed with different years and seasons of life. A life of prayer is not stagnant; rather, it is active and constantly changing. I pray much differently than I did in my twenties or even five years ago.
Knowing how important a daily rhythm of prayer is, you might be wondering how to do that practically in your own life right now.
What are easy ways to develop your own unique rhythm with Jesus?
Just Don’t NOT Pray
Before we go any further, I have two disclaimers.
First, I am by no means a prayer guru or expert. In many ways, I am learning and growing all the time through my own mistakes and relationship with God.
Second, there is no wrong way to pray. The worst way to pray? Not praying at all. Don’t beat yourself up over what you aren’t doing or even what you think you should be doing. Simply begin (more on that below).
We (mostly looking at myself!) can put ourselves under such pressure to “get prayer right.” Prayer is not about productivity or striving. It is about showing up, letting Jesus love and speak to you, and speaking and listening to Him.The worst way to pray? Not praying at all. Don’t beat yourself up over what you aren’t doing or even what you think you should be doing. Simply begin. #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Practical Steps to Find Your Rhythm of Prayer
Years ago, a trusted priest gave me some very freeing and helpful advice in this department. As I grew in my faith, I realized I did not know how to pray from the heart and I didn’t really have a regular, daily prayer life.
The priest offered me these questions to reflect on and talk about with Jesus:
- Where do I most experience the presence or nearness of God? Art, music, writing, silence, Adoration, service, meditative prayer, etc.? What are the experiences that draw me closer to Jesus?
- Jesus, what does it mean to have a personal relationship with You?
- Jesus, how do You want my prayer life to look? What should it practically consist of?
I think this is the best place to begin! We need to ask Jesus Himself for a divine perspective on our relationship with Him; otherwise, we’ll make it up as we go along, just adding things because “we think we should.”
Spend time with these questions. Ask Jesus and see what He has to say to you about them.
Begin Trying Things
After asking Jesus, simply begin by trying things. From what comes up in your conversation with Him, try things. Maybe it is beginning each morning with the daily readings over your cup of coffee. Maybe you do a Rosary walk when you get home from work. Perhaps it looks like keeping a prayer journal or worshipping with music on your drive to work in the car.
Start trying things. I find a helpful method is: Silence + Scripture + Listening. This helps me make sure daily prayer is a balance of both the active and the contemplative, without making prayer about being busy or “doing lots of holy stuff” for Jesus.
Helpful Points to Keep in Mind
Adopt a variety of ways to pray.
Prayer does not just consist of one specific type. I think lots of different styles and flavors in a daily prayer life are helpful and important.
For me this looks like Scripture, silence, and sitting in the presence of God over my morning coffee. While driving to work, it is talking to Jesus about what is on my heart after praying the Morning Offering and Prayer of Abandonment. Throughout the work day, it looks like short, little prayers: Come, Holy Spirit.
On the drive home, it might be a decade of the Rosary.
At the end of the day, it can look like praying a nightly Examen, doing a novena with my boyfriend, or some type of spiritual reading.
Be faithful, don’t give up.
Prayer is not always light and easy, sometimes is it dry and boring. But keep showing up! God cares about faithfulness to Him, not about how much productive we are or how much we accomplish.
Make room for silence (each day!).
In our loud, fast-paced culture, silence is easily overlooked as unimportant. Especially in the life of a disciple of Jesus, silence and stillness in daily prayer is critical.
If we are always doing the talking in our relationship with God, how will we learn to hear and respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit? That’s where silence comes in.
Silence is all about sitting and soaking in the presence of the Living God. When we make time for silence, we make time for God to speak and respond back to us.
If you are new to a daily rhythm of prayer, don’t become overwhelmed. Just take baby steps with Jesus and see where He leads you.
What are helpful things that encourage and develop your unique prayer life with God? What have you learned about yourself and God through a deeper commitment to daily prayer?
A Practical Guide to Creating a Rhythm of Prayer #BISblog // Click To Tweet