People in general should aspire to living a more spiritual life.  This allows them to be more focused and achieve a sense of stability, A sense of being in balance with their ethics and morals. But with so many things occupying our day it can be rather difficult to focus on nurturing the inner person and applying the sacred teachings of the Holy Gospels. Despite busy schedules and managing essential daily obligations, it’s our responsibility to take a small portion of our time each day to commune privately with God through prayer. This practice might seem simple at first glance, but there are key points that people must consider when trying to converse with God on a spiritual level.


Location is important

For the most dedicated of God’s followers, their preferred location to offer their prayers is within a church, a holy sanctum where worshipers are able to practice their faith freely. While it is true we can pray virtually anywhere, an area is that is secure, safe, and quiet enough for a person to concentrate and collect their thoughts in peace, can greatly enhance our worship. This doesn’t mean that if you aren’t praying in a church that your prayers won’t be heard; what matters is that you recognize the value of praying and how a simple and tranquil space is essential to really commune with God (Matthew 6:6).


Create a schedule

While people can literally pray to God whenever they wish to there is real benefit in setting aside specific times for prayer.  Sticking to a consistent schedule trains the mind to make a daily habit out of it. For instance, some people might be most comfortable spending time in prayer at night before going to bed.  Others may opt for a bit of praying right after they wake up as a way to start their day right. Find a time that works for you and stick to that schedule so you’ll be primed to get into the spirit of things on a regular basis.


Be specific

God has the power to listen to every single one of our prayers, and it’s our job to make sure that we relay our intentions in a clear and specific manner. You need to be very precise when it comes to praying, especially if the things you ask from God are intangible in nature. For example: if you’re praying to get good health since you’re suffering from an illness, then you should ask Him for help in healing the specific part of your body that is causing you pain. Being general with your prayers is good, but it can be made much better if you focus on the specifics. A prayer journal can often help in this regard.  While God knows your needs before you even ask (Matthew 6:8), being specific makes it easier to recognize His answers and His working in our lives.  This, in turn, enriches our praise and gratitude.


Simplify your prayers

It’s important to remember that while God is benevolent and accommodating to His followers, He doesn’t make everything easy for us.  Life is not perfect and it would defeat the purpose of God in giving us free will if we did not have to make hard decisions. Before you pray, take stock of everything you need to say and pare them down to the essentials. You might try writing out your prayers, stripping away everything that seems unrealistic, overly ambitious, or too self-serving.  God likes it when people pray with a humble simplicity that reflects they are trying to see things as He does.  He is more impressed with our sincerity then our vocabulary.


Follow a format

The discipline of following a specific format in our personal prayers helps us stay focused on our relationship with God, instead of the basket list of our woes, perceived “needs”, and desires. The Lord left us a guideline in His prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13.  We are cautioned against rote repetition (Matthew 6:7), but following a format helps us keep things in perspective.  First focus on Who God is (Ruler of the Universe), and what He is like (Holy).  This helps us recognize that He loves us (Our Father) and that He has the power to fulfill our requests.  Next, confession is good for the soul. It aligns our will with that of God (Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done).  God wants to hear what is important to us, so He invites our appeals to His goodness (Give us this day), but if we end our prayers, by returning our thoughts to thankfulness for His blessings, we will gather courage to face the world with a positive mindset (For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and glory).  I have found the cycle of Adoration, Confession, Supplication, and Thanksgiving to be a real benefit in bringing a deeper sense of God’s presence, and love, into my life.

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