If a person has recently repented to follow Christ, they may experience some challenges in making a habit of praying. Some people don’t and can develop the habit quickly, but regardless of whether it is a challenge or not, they still need to make a habit of praying. Prayer is essential in a Christian’s life, as it is our means of communicating with God. If God communicates with us through His word in the Bible, we speak with God through our prayers to Him. Just like in any relationship, communication is vital. Therefore, we must make a habit of praying to God. If talking to our family and friends can become a norm, something that we do habitually, it should be the same when it comes to God.
Why is it important to have a habit of prayer?
It is essential to have a habit of prayer because prayer itself is essential. As mentioned, it is our way of communicating with God. How will we communicate with God if we don’t make a habit of prayer or don’t pray at all? Also, prayer has many benefits for us believers. Prayer is a means of grace that God has ordained, along with reading the Bible and forming fellowship with other believers. It means that we receive grace from God whenever we pray. If we want to grow as Christians, we have to maintain those spiritual disciplines: reading the Bible, fellowship with fellow believers, and praying. We can see how vital those spiritual disciplines and means of grace are, given how much the early church devoted themselves to such activities. If we don’t do those things and live a prayerless life, we can’t expect to grow as Christians. Also, this will help us a lot whenever we encounter suffering and difficulties in life. Christ Himself told us that we would face tribulations in this life. However, we must take heart because He has overcome the world. We will certainly encounter problems in life, and we will need God’s grace to get through them and persevere until the very end. How can we do that if we don’t pray?
Another reason to make a habit of praying is that it is only in prayer that we can come before God in humility and depend on Him. We will never be able to get through life with our strength alone. We are always dependent on the grace and mercy of God. If you are scared of preaching the Gospel, you can pray to God for boldness. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you can pray to God for provision. If you are having a hard time in your studies, you can pray to God for wisdom and understanding. God is the source of everything, for He created everything. That is why we always come to Him and depend on Him. That is why we pray, because we know that we have to rely on God, and that is why we pray to God, asking for His grace and mercy.
Lastly, through our dialogue with God, we grow in our relationship with Him. While growing in our relationship with Him also requires reading His Word and being in fellowship with other believers, praying to God is another essential aspect. Like any person, you won’t grow in your relationship or become close friends if you don’t talk. It is the same with God. If we want to grow more in our intimacy with God, we must always pray to Him. If we can easily talk regularly with our family and friends, we can surely do the same with God.
How can you develop the habit of praying to God every day?
There are three essential things that you should keep in mind as you develop the habit of praying to God every day. One is to set specific schedules throughout the day where, no matter what you are doing, you will stop and take the time to pray and converse with God. That is why you also have to be wise when doing this. If you are working as a driver and know that you are probably working in the middle of the day, then set your prayer schedule at a different time, like during your lunch break or other open time that you can set aside for God. There is no such thing as having “no time”. The reality is that we all have time, but we have to get our priorities straight. This may mean sacrificing some less critical things to make room in our day and give time to pray to God and spend solitude with Him. It could mean less time watching TV or pursuing other hobbies. In the end, we have to remember that God should be our priority over everything.
The second thing you must keep in mind as you make a habit of praying is to commit to the schedule or the time you have set aside. That is one of the most challenging parts, especially if you find yourself in the middle of something you don’t want to leave, like watching a great show. However, you should commit to the time you set aside to pray and get on with it, no matter what. That is how you form a habit. Like any other habit, it is not something that is cultivated right away to instantly become a habit. It takes successive commitments to do what you committed to do and make a habit of it. In that regard, this is where you should pray to God and ask Him for the grace to help you commit to the times that you have set aside to spend solitude with Him and pray.
The third important thing to remember as you develop a habit of praying is choosing a place that is conducive to praying and spending moments of solitude with God. Suppose you are in the living room, where there are many distractions. In that case, chances are good that you won’t end up committing to the schedule that you set aside to pray because your favorite show is on TV or your other family members are doing something that makes you unable to focus. That is why it is essential to set aside time to pray to God and decide ahead of time where you will pray.
All of these things can be seen in the life of Jesus. Jesus was also busy with all the ministry works He was doing. However, there are instances where we see Him withdrawing to a lonely place to pray to the Father and spend solitude with Him. That is the same example we should follow. Whether in the morning, evening, during our lunch break, or any other time we have, we should make time and withdraw to a conducive place where we can pray to God and converse with Him.
It is also important to note that while you will develop a habit of praying by setting specific times of the day to pray, you can still pray to God even if it’s not the specific time you set aside. For example, if you have suddenly finished all your work and you have some free time, and you want to take that time to pray to God, by all means, do it! You are not limited to praying at only the specific times you have set aside. You wouldn’t tell a friend that he or she cannot talk to you because it is not the time you two agreed to speak, even if you’re free. Lastly, when making time, we should remember that God owns everything in the universe—even time. When making time for God, God should not be treated like a patient who makes an appointment with us as doctors to see whenever we are free. We should go out of our way and make time for God because it is Him whom we love above everything else and because He is God. We are the ones who should adjust to Him, not the other way around.
Heavenly Father, You are the God of grace who helps me grow in my walk with You. I pray for You to give me the wisdom to set time aside for you every day and choose a conducive place where I won’t be distracted whenever I pray to You. Also, give me the grace to commit to the times I have set aside to pray to You and that I shall always fight for it, no matter what unforeseen circumstances may come my way. Help me cultivate the habit of praying to You, so that it becomes second nature in my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
1 John 5:2-4
As you develop the habit of praying to God, remember that while we are doing it because God commanded us to pray to Him, we are also doing it because it is something we delight in doing. If we are in Christ and our hearts have been turned from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, we will have godly desires, namely to always communicate with our Heavenly Father. It is something that we do not out of obligation, but out of love towards God.