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Make prayer a habit 2

'...Lord, teach us to pray...' Luke 11:1 NIV

Many Christians struggle with prayer. You set aside time, you start talking, but before you know it your mind has wandered and instead of praying you are wondering 'what's the collective noun for hamsters' (it's a 'horde' of hamsters, by the way). Sometimes after two minutes you have run out of things to say. Or you give God a list of things you want him to do and that's it!

The disciples needed help with prayer - 'Lord, teach us to pray...' (Luke 11:1 NIV). And so do we.

Here are three helpful tips: (1) Ask for help. Ask the Holy Spirit to come and help you focus your mind, guide your thoughts and draw you close to Jesus. Jesus called the Spirit 'the helper'. (2) Try using some structure. Look at The Lord's Prayer in Luke 11 - we covered it last month (check out August 19th-27th). Take each line and use it as spring board for your prayers. Another structure to use is A.C.T.S. A=adoration, C=confession, T=thanks, S=supplication (which means asking for things). Try and spend five minutes on each letter. (3) Write stuff down. Buy a notebook and start to write your prayers out instead of saying them. It can really help stop your mind from wandering. Also it's a really good thing to look back on and see how God has answered your prayers.

So what now? God doesn't give you points for prayer. You don't pass or fail. He just loves it when you are praying. See if any of these tips can help your prayer this week.

Soulfood: Col 1-2, Mark 11:1-11, Ps 78:9-16, Prov 23:22-25

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