It sounds very mechanical and unspiritual. Plan to pray. Does it mean we plan and schedule in prayer like we schedule regular doctor appointments or dental check-ups? It doesn’t sound very meaningful. Shouldn’t we long to pray? Shouldn’t our being ache to enter into the presence of God?
Yes, the desire for regular communication with the Lord should fill our hearts. But the reality is, we often don’t do what we don’t plan for. So plan to pray.
Where and When
Plan the where and when of daily time with the Lord. Where are you least distracted? When can you devote all your attention to Him? Then, protect that time. The accumulation of little choices that prioritize prayer will create a habit of meeting with the Lord. It will bless you like little else can.
There is little satisfaction in arriving on time to your secluded spot to pray, and then struggling to know how to proceed. Know what you are going to do in your time with the Lord. Start by asking the Lord to meet with you.
Perhaps you should follow a bible reading plan. I’ve attached two links at the end of this post that are a fantastic place to start.
Organize your thoughts so that your prayer time is more than asking God to meet your pressing needs. I journal the acronym H. E. A. R.. Highlight a meaningful verse from your daily text. Explain the text in your own words to ensure you have understood it. Apply the text to your life. Respond to the promoting of the Holy Spirit. Do you need to repent or change your actions, thoughts, or habits as a result of what you have learned?
Each day of the week I pray for a different group of people, knowing that by the end of the week, I have prayed over everyone. Monday is family. Tuesday is church leaders. etc. I keep this list by my computer so I can send out brief messages to tell them how I am praying for them. It spurs me on, knowing that sharing my heart for them encourages them.
Perhaps you need to give a friend permission to ask you hard questions about your prayer life. Perhaps you need a prayer partner. Ask God to show you what might help you grow in prayer, then make a plan to implement the change.
Bible reading plan that covers 100 essential bible passages every believer should know.
Bible reading plan that covers the ministry and person of Christ.
Growing Up, How to be a disciple who makes disciples (great book, and it is where the first reading plan and H.E.A.R acronym are found)