For the month of May, we have explored multiple prayer practices, all designed to enhance our conversations with God. Today, on the last day of the Pray-May Challenge, we look back and plan forward.
Why? So we can make a flexible prayer plan for our ongoing prayer lives.
First, we look back.
You likely missed a few of the prayer challenges over the last 31 days. Completely understandable–it was a lot to take in! Feel free to scroll back through the days as a reminder. (I’m considering putting them all into a downloadable pdf or ebook for my blog readers so they are more easily accessible, but for today, you’ll have to look back through May’s posts.)
- What prayer practices were most meaningful to you? Identify 2-3 practices that helped you grow.
- Why were they helpful to you? Do you notice any commonalities?
- What was most challenging to you; though intriguing, they will require more effort and time to fully appreciate?
Next, we plan forward.
The goal in planning forward is not to make a rigorous prayer schedule, but to design an open, flexible plan for regular conversations with God. Rather than being restrictive and demanding, think of it more like planning fun dates with someone you love, or designing outings with a good friend.
Of the 2-3 prayer practices that were most meaningful to you, how would you like to integrate them into your life moving forward?
- For example, having been intrigued by the concept of prayer walking in my community, I’d like to go out for a prayer walk on one Saturday a month, and I’d like to see if I can get one or two others to join me.
- Or, I really grew through the 5 minutes per hour of prayer, during my waking hours, and I’d like to see about practicing that at least a few days per month.
- I loved Lectio Divina—the art of prayerful Scripture reading and meditation–and I’d like to practice that on a regular basis during my morning Bible reading time. Similarly, talking to Jesus from within a Gospel story really drew me in, and I want to keep trying that out.
- It could be that Praying God’s will through Paul’s Prayers has really helped you pray more effectively for those you love, and you want to integrate that more fully into your regular prayers.
You get the idea. After identifying the 2-3 practices that have been most meaningful to you, make an open, flexible plan to use them as a regular part of your conversations with God.
Here’s my challenge for you as you do:
- Keep it fun, and keep it gracious. Don’t be hard on yourself, but rather lean into these practices as exciting, liberating ways of freeing up time and space for you and God.
- Share what you are trying with someone who will appreciate it, and may even want to join you in some of the prayer practices (either together, or on their own). Your journey toward greater conversations with God will inspire others longing for more in their lives, too.
- Don’t be afraid to switch things up. If there anything we learned this month, it’s that there are a whole variety of creative ways we can talk to our Father (and we barely scratched the surface!). If you find your conversations with God are getting dull or boring, for your sake and his, change things up!!
Before I close this post in prayer, would you do me one favour?
Please tell us what prayer practices you’ve chosen to continue going forward, in the comments below. That would be so encouraging to all of us.
My prayer for you as we close this month of challenges: Father, thank you for the gift of friendship with you. What an astonishing thought, that you have befriended us, and that you long to simply be with us in loving communion. Inspire us, by your Holy Spirit, to enjoy your presence, to rest in your will, and to walk boldly after you, each day of our lives. For your grace and your love, we stand forever grateful and amazed. We love you!!