One of my biggest challenges to developing a prayerful life is simply remembering to pray.
To be honest, I forget to talk to God. Crazy, isn’t it? He’s right here, with me all the time, closer than my own breath, and yet, I can glide right by without saying a word. Some would call that rude! I’m glad our Father isn’t petty.
But I do want to pray more, to talk more, to listen more. I want to see prayer–that is, meaningful conversation with God–more integrated into my everyday, everywhere life. Maybe you do, too.
So how can we do that? One way we can develop a more prayer-full life is by establishing reminders for ourselves, triggers that help us pray when we would otherwise have simply forgotten. Many of our brothers and sisters from the past knew this and established prayer rhythms to help each other. In fact, it’s been said that the clock was originally invented by a monk as an aid to regular prayer. Today, that monk would use an app.
Knowing how often I get distracted, I need prayer reminders, especially when I’m trying to establish a more regular prayer life. To help, here’s 5 ways reminders you could use. Maybe one of these will be helpful to you.
5 Easy Ways You Can Remind Yourself to Pray
- Post a simple note. It could be a short verse of Scripture, such as “Pray without ceasing” or the name of a person that you want to remember in prayer. These can be posted anywhere, from your office to your car to your barn, washroom or garden. They can be more long-term (like a wooden sign), or a Post-it that changes every few days.
- Establish a set routine. Many people pray at meals, or before going to bed. We can also remind ourselves to pray by setting up routines for prayer, such as always praying with your kids for 30 seconds before dropping them off at school, or saying the Lord’s Prayer every time you walk to the mail box. These set routines take extra focus to get started, but once established they can become helpful reminders to talk to the Father who is always with you.
- Set an alert on your phone. Make the monks proud–use your smart phone to call yourself to prayer. This is pretty simple to set up using your repeating calendar alerts. There are also prayer apps that can be downloaded through iTunes or Google Play (though I haven’t tried them.) Alternatively, you could use a simple alarm clock at a set time of day, too.
- Find a prayer partner. Many of your friends want to grow in prayer, too. You could get together to pray, but knowing how crazy our schedules can be, why not start with some kind of regular check-in with each other? Send a text or give a quick call, just letting them know that you are praying for them. Make it about encouraging each other, not keeping track–this is about helping, not guilting each other!
- Create easy triggers. There are things that happen everyday, and these events can be used as reminders to pray. A friend of mine who was struggling with judgmental thoughts toward certain people started cultivating that as a trigger to pray–whenever they say a certain type of person, they would pray for them (it was absolutely transformative). Another example: every time you put your car into drive, say “Thank you Lord for giving me direction in life. Lead me now.” Simple, short, effective. Other triggers could be eating, seeing or hearing a certain bird, passing a landmark, brushing your teeth, making coffee and waiting to pick up a child. Use your imagination–triggers are all around you.
So what’s been helpful for you? How do you integrate prayerful conversation into your day?
Which one of these suggestions will you try this week?