Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer
What does the Bible have to say about prayer? Philippians 4:6, “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” How about Psalm 145:18? “The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.” Or, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” As you can tell, there are a lot of passages in the Bible that speak about the importance of prayer and calling upon the Lord for guidance. Because prayer is such a crucial component in the development and growth of your relationship with Christ, here are 10 tips on how to strengthen your prayer life.
- Schedule time for prayer: I cannot even stress how important this is, since life is so busy. It’s super easy to tell yourself in the morning that you will make time for prayer and then end up disregarding those plans as the day goes on. We all have busy lives, so it is crucial to plan time to spend with Jesus. Begin by carving out 10-15 minutes for the Lord and write this on your daily calendar so you don’t forget.
- Make prayer a daily routine: Actually, building on the first tip, make prayer part of your everyday life. Just like you make time for school, work, activities, and hobbies, view prayer as another essential part of your day. Prayer is so important and by placing Jesus at the center of your day, you will find peace and guidance as you engage in all your daily tasks and responsibilities.
- Quiet time: There are many noisy distractions around us, so finding some quiet time may be difficult in our busy world. Find a location that makes you feel comfortable and offers you a quiet place. For example, try going to your room and shutting the door. On campus, there are many prayerful and peaceful locations you can visit- The Abbey Church, Spangler prayer room, and the third floor Baran eucharistic chapel.
- Nature walks: Do you love nature and God’s creation? Looking for a way to exercise and pray at the same time? Walking on beautiful trails and talking to the Lord is a wonderful way to pray. The stillness of nature, color of the trees, sounds of the flowing creek, and more can heighten your prayer experience. Explore and deepen your faith while seeking out the creations the Lord blessed us with.
- Group prayer: While it is important to make time for individual prayer with the Lord, group prayer is a powerful way to join with others and praise the Lord. In fact, Jesus invites us to pray together and unite our prayers as one family in Christ. He even promises in Matthew 18:20- “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
- Bible inspiration- Looking to hear and reflect on the actual words of Jesus? I have the perfect fit for you- the Bible! The word of God is found in the pages of the Bible and can be used as a great method for prayer. Pick a chapter or passage to read and spend some time meditating on the truths and messages that are found. Personally, I love reading about the miracles Jesus performed in the New Testament, as they are powerful and beautiful accounts of our Lord and the faith.
- Helpful resources: There are so many resources available to learn more about the faith and grow closer to Jesus. On YouTube alone, there are hundreds upon hundreds of videos about Jesus, faith, prayer, etc. Check out these wonderful channels: Ascension Presents, Fr. Mike Schmitz, and Bishop Robert Barron. In addition to YouTube, there are many podcasts you can listen to and books to read.
- Reflective music: Sometimes, sitting in silence and praying may be difficult. Try playing some soft reflective or meditative music in the background, In addition, music can be very calming and soothing, allowing you to collect your thoughts and focus on prayer.
- Keep a journal: Throughout our lives, the Lord is constantly speaking and interacting with us. Have a thought that comes to mind during prayer? Write it down! Find a Bible passage that sticks out to you? Write it down! Feel inspired to reflect on your day or a particular situation? Write it down! Writing is a wonderful tool that can be used to develop and deepen your faith and relationship with Christ.
- The Jesus prayer: In need of a quick, yet powerful prayer? Try saying this prayer if you are on the go and don’t have time to stop and pray: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” Or, “Lord Jesus Christ, please be with me.” Both are simple and short, yet they invite Jesus to enter your life and be with you throughout the day.
Growing and developing your relationship with Christ is a life-long journey that will never be perfected here on Earth. Be patient and trust in the Lord, and use prayer as a powerful tool to connect you to Jesus. If you feel inspired, please give these 10 tips a try and experiment around with what works best for you. God bless!