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Discipline of Prayer

July 9, 2018 0 Comments

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I have to admit I am one of the least disciplined people you would ever meet. Over the past couple of years I have been working on creating a more disciplined prayer life. Not in a legalistic way but in a more frequent and consistent way.

Somehow I don’t think Paul meant pray without ceasing in a literal sense but in a way that would make prayer a major part of our daily life. In the Old Testament Jews prayed three times a day and many monks (both Catholic and Protestant) pray up to seven times a day.  I am still working on the consistent part in my own life so over the past few years I have looked for different tools or helps. I know helps may not sound very spiritual but we still have a body and soul that need a little encouragement from time to time to keep going in the right direction.

Don’t make it a law

A desire to live a life of disciplined prayer should flow out of our deep passion to connect with Jesus Christ. So don’t make any routine a law in your life. Yes it should be a bit challenging but not condemning if you miss a time or two. If it starts to cause stress in your life, make adjustments, mix it up or even take a break. Keep it fresh. If it is not producing the fruit of a greater passion for Christ, you might need to make a change. 

Technology

Yes I love technology. I work a desk job during the week so I have set three reminders in Outlook that will pop up and remind me to pray. I may snooze them depending on what is going on at the moment but at 9 AM, Noon and 3 PM I get a reminder for prayer. Also, see below for one of the online / phone app Bible and devotion resources I use. 

Resources

Puritan Prayer Book, Valley of Vision

Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers that have been edited by Arthur Bennet. It was first printed in 1975 with its twelfth printing in 2013. The prayers are organized in a variety of categories including, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit, “ “Redemption and Reconciliation,” and “Gifts of Grace.” Joe Thorn has  rubric you can print out for the leather bound edition that works your way through the Valley of Vision praying three times a day five days a week.  – Click here to see the rubric

The rubric works with the leather bound edition which you can order from Christian Book Distributors 

“Evening Praise: Giver of All, Another day is ended and I take my place beneath my great Redeemer’s cross, where healing streams continually descend, where balm is poured into every wound, where I wash anew in the all-cleansing blood, assured that thou seest in me no spots of sin” – The Valley of Vision

Pray Daily

Pray Daily is a small Anglican prayer book produced by Christ Church Plano. They describe the book  as “… a devotional aid to help you build a habit of more regular and purposeful prayer.” It is short containing only 7 days of prayers. Each day is broken up into a, “Morning,” “Noon,” “Evening,” and “Bedtime.” A major source used is the Texts for Common Prayer by the Anglican Church of North America. Each prayer follows the format of an opening sentence, a portion of Psalm 119, a scripture reading of your choice, canticle, The Lord’s Prayer, collect, personal prayer of your choice, ending with Grace. They encourage the reader to use the guide as many times a day as works best for them and their habit. As I mentioned they only have 7 days’ worth of prayers but the repetitive nature leads itself well to the memorization of Psalm 119 and the collects. It does have a section for occasional prayers for special holidays and circumstances. You can click here to get a copy

“Keep watch dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen”  – a Collect

YouVersion smartphone app or www.bible.com

YouVersion is produced by Life Church out of Oklahoma City. It allows the user to access multiple translations of the Bible and a larger number of Bible reading plan / devotions that can be used to as a spring board for prayer. It also allows for social interaction to encourage a great habit of Bible reading and prayer. They also have a kids version and best of all it is free. You can find the smartphone app on both the App Store (iPhone) and Google Play Store (Android) or online at www.bible.com 

These are only a few sources that I currently use. There are thousands more that are available in print and electronically.  You can use any of these as your only source or use a mixture of them to customize your own plan. I currently use a mixture. I may use one in the morning a different one at noon and yet another on the afternoon or evening. Remember the key is not to be legalistic but to create a plan that will help you succeed with a disciplined prayer life.

I addition to my times of nine, noon and three I try to get up early each weekday for a time of extended Bible study and prayer – you can read my Bible Study plan here. I also try to end each day with a brief time of Bible reading. 

I would love to hear how you craft your own discipline of prayer. What resources if any do you use? Wat has worked? What has not? Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment below.

Also, be sure and let me know if you need some help creating your own discipline of prayer. 

How can I pray for you this week? – click here to send me an email

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Filed in: All In, Faith, Prayer

About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 25 years. We currently live in Stockbridge Georgia with two of our children Matt and Victoria. Our oldest Chris has left the nest. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Taffy.