*This piece about worshipful prayer appeared in my February 2010 Life Notes newsletter. May it inspire you today to quiet your heart and enter into worship as you pray. (The new issue of Life Notes came out the first of the month, but it’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!)
In the midst of busy and stressful days, do you find yourself having difficulty moving into an attitude of worship as you begin a time of prayer? Don’t despair or give up on the possibility of having worshipful, personal prayer times in your day to day life. Try some of the following prayer-time enhancers and see what works for you:
Find a place away from the distractions and pressures of the day—even if it’s just in the next room. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)
Music works wonders. It soothes the soul and helps refocus your thoughts. Sing a praise chorus or an all-time favorite hymn to the Lord or just listen to the music of a Christian recording artist. “How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” (Psalm 147:1)
Light a candle and watch your stress levels melt away. Begin your prayers by just thanking God for the beauty of candlelight and for the calming effect it has on your spirit. “…he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul…” (Psalm 23:2-3)
Kneel before the Lord as you approach Him in prayer. Even if you can’t stay on your knees the entire time you pray, kneeling helps you bow your heart before God, too. “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” (Psalm 95:6)
Read a favorite psalm of praise, thanksgiving, or encouragement. Replace the worries of the day with the Word of God. “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul…” (Psalm 19:7)
Look outside or go outdoors if possible and find something in God’s creation that you enjoy and then praise Him for it. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place…O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:3, 9)
Count your blessings and see how quickly a heart of gratitude crowds out the concerns of the day. This also reminds you to thank God for some things that you sometimes take for granted. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4)
Be quiet before God and meditate on who He is. “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:1)
Praying to our heavenly Father is a wonderful gift and privilege. Treat it like the treasure it is. Take time to lay aside the pressures of the day, quiet your heart, and enter into worship as you pray. Both you and God will be blessed by it.
*Which prayer time enhancers help you move into a time of worship?
*Be sure to enter the Back At It Giveaway. Deadline to enter is 6 p.m. (Central) August 26.