Prayer seems like a simple concept, and the Bible gives us a lot of encouragement to pray. By definition, it sounds like it should be easy- it’s just a conversation, right? So why do we struggle with prayer? There are many reasons, but sometimes we just need a little help in getting organized and staying focused. One way to get started is to use a prayer calendar. What is a prayer calendar and how do they help? Let’s investigate…
We’ve probably all struggled with prayer at different times of our lives. I grew up learning rote prayers, and eventually, they became just recitations of words. As my faith grew, so did my prayer life (still with ups and downs.)
Why Do We Find Difficulties in the Practice of Prayer?
My personal prayer life has suffered when the weariness of life has worn me down. I also get distracted easily (meal planning, my to-do list, and ruminating on life’s tough spots frequently interrupt my prayers.) Some days or seasons can also make prayer difficult.
Not taking the time to pray also used to trip me up. Many things can keep us from prayer: guilt, feeling our prayers aren’t worthy, thinking we need to follow a “script” or prayer technique, and just not knowing what to say.
A friend recently told me about a phone call she received that was concerning to her. Her friend talked and talked without letting up; my friend couldn’t get a word in. I realized that sometimes we pray like this. We speak to God; reciting praise, worship, thanksgiving, confession, our needs, and then sign off and go about our day.
But prayer is meant to be a dialogue, not a monologue; He wants us to hear what He has to say! We need to take the time to listen for God to speak to us as well.
Sometimes we feel we just aren’t very good at praying. We can’t find the words to explain ourselves, or maybe we are angry or in a bad mood and “don’t feel” like praying.
Thankfully, none of these things stop our heavenly Father from pursuing us and wanting us to have an enriching prayer life. We are in a personal relationship with Him and as long as our prayers come straight from the heart, they can be as awkward, bungled, or disjointed as we make them.♥
How Does God Want Us to Pray?
We have the following promise from God that the only thing He requires is that we come to Him with open hearts.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13.
We pray because we have a desire to be in a deeper and closer relationship with God. As inconceivable as it seems, He desires the same in a relationship with us!
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” Revelation 3:20.
Jesus wants us to answer His knock. He’s never going to break the door down, or barge in; it’s up to us to respond. He promises if we open the door, He will come in to spend this quality time with us.
To “eat” with us meant to have a deep and meaningful relationship and time of fellowship. In Greek, this word described the main meal of the day. It was a leisurely time to eat and sit and talk. We see this same meal and fellowship mentioned in the description of the Last Supper. This personal and special time is what Jesus wants to share with us.♥
•How does this truth change your thoughts about prayer?
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The Monthly Prayer Calendar
We can all use a little help improving our prayer life at one time or another. Even the disciples, who, as faithful Jewish men prayed many times throughout the day, asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray!”
None of the problems mentioned above are insurmountable! A monthly prayer calendar is one way to give your prayer life a boost.
•If printed out and placed where you can see it, it can be a visual reminder to speak to Jesus throughout your day. No matter if you use mine, or make your own, you are devoting time to speaking to God every day.
•Each day has a topic to pray about. It can be a springboard to other topics or a stand-alone prayer.
•When the prayer is one word, i.e., strength, trust, etc, spend some time thinking about what the word means, ask Him to show you His version of that word for your life; ask Him how you can experience it. One word prayers can be a beautiful time of resting in His presence and listening to His voice.
•Each month of prayer has an accompanying Bible verse. (I encourage you to pray it and to memorize it– Can you give 1 minute per day to try? It could even become a family project 😊)
•There is room to add your family’s special days and events so you can include them in your prayer time. You can also add in special prayer requests you receive.
•Circle any prayers that are especially meaningful to your life and commit to praying for them regularly.
•Write answered prayers in the notes section to remind you of His faithfulness and love.
•Our prayers can be full of praise, worship, thanks, needs, and confessions. You will see a variety of personal daily prayer prompts in the calendar, as well as some for your community and the world. The list of things to pray for is endless!
•Many of the prayer prompts come straight from Scripture. For example: “pray for a humble spirit” is from Ephesians 4:2. Praying the word of God over your life encourages you to claim His promises, make necessary changes in your life, and bring spiritual growth.
•You can also use the topics in each day as part of your daily prayer journaling. If you feel stuck in your prayer life, they can help you connect with God, be a time of self-reflection, and express your gratitude for all He has done.
Free Printable Prayer Calendar
Click on the image below to access this free 2022 Prayer Calendar in my Resource Page. Just download and print!
•Praying throughout our day is a wonderful way to fill our minds with Him. If we’re not praying, we can drift into worries, temptations, hurt feelings, and self-condemnation. Satan loves that. The last thing he wants is for us to have a deep and trusting relationship with God.
•Prayer is also the most powerful weapon and resource we possess. We shouldn’t see prayer as a last resort, or useful only when we’re in a jam. Prayer connects us with God where He can teach us and guide us.
•Pray strengthens us for any battle we face in our day!
•We may never understand all the results God brings forth from our fervent prayers. He works in ways that are completely unknown to us. We should never stop praying!
We shouldn’t see prayer as a last resort, or useful only when we’re in a jam, but sometimes we put prayer low on the totem pole of our daily activities.
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
Our words can be clumsy, we may be hesitant to approach Him with minor matters, or we might be brand new to prayer. None of these things matter to God; only that we come with a sincere heart. When we come to Him and pour out our hearts- whether it be with praise, worship, or deep grief and sadness- we draw closer to Him and His presence.
He then blesses, strengthens, comforts, and guides us by His direction and wisdom.
What we do need are persistence and commitment. Let this prayer calendar help you get into the habit of praying daily and throughout the day. It may even spark interest in your household to make your own prayer calendar, add your own requests, and make prayer a powerful habit!
Prayer Calendar Templates
Would you like to try making your own prayer calendar? Here’s a resource to get you started!
Photo Credits: Deposit Photos