Practical tips to help you revitalise your prayer life
You can refresh your prayer life through practising the presence of God, says author Amy Boucher Pye …
Does your prayer life feel a bit stale?
One way to revitalize it is to practise being mindful of God’s presence with us. After all, Jesus promised his disciples that he’d never leave them – in the last words of Matthew’s gospel, he said: ‘Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20).
If you want to become aware of God in your daily life, you have to be intentional about it. Why not try this simple exercise?
You wake, and as you stretch, you place your hand on your heart and affirm, ‘Jesus lives within me.’ As you pour a cuppa, thank God for the gift of this new day.
When it’s time to get cleaned up, as you feel the water in the bath or shower, ponder the gift of living water, Jesus who washes us clean and forgives our sins. Thank him again for his presence with you and ask him to remind you, each time you wash your hands, that he is with you.
While getting dressed, think of Jesus removing any stained or dirty clothes you feel ashamed of. No longer are you defined by your sins and wrongdoing, for he clothes you. His presence within you changes you from the inside out.
Perhaps in the next part of your day, you leave home to travel to what awaits you. You might be tempted to think of the journey as empty time, a necessary part of getting from one place to another. Today, remember that Jesus goes with you. If you encounter delays and annoyances, ask him to give you peace and patience.
You come to one of your main activities, whether working on a project for your job or school, attending a social engagement, caring for a child, volunteering at a local organization, or something else. Welcome Jesus into whatever you are doing. Remember that he’ll never leave you, that he will bring you comfort, encouragement, conviction, peace and joy.
As you spend time with others, really notice them. Consider that they, too, are made in the image of God, and if they follow Jesus, he lives within them.
If you are in conflict with someone, ask God to reveal to you who that person really is. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to a good resolution of your issues.
As you come to the end of your day with Jesus, think back over it, from morning to night. Bring to mind the moments when you remembered that Jesus was with you, and those when you didn’t. You might want to write down how you sensed God’s presence and what that means to you.
God partners with us in prayer, meeting us where we’re at and helping us communicate with him. Know that he’ll magnify your desire to grow closer to him, even as a mustard seed grows into a big tree. You’re not alone.
- Amy Boucher Pye is a writer, speaker, and spiritual director. She’s the author of several books, including 7 Ways to Pray and Celebrating Christmas. She loves leading retreats around the UK and in Spain. Find her at amyboucherpye.com. This article is adapted from 7 Ways to Pray and is published with permission of Form, an imprint of SPCK.