Pray First: Shake It Up

August 15, 2022
5 min read
Written By
Pray First

We can become creatures of habit. We develop a morning routine or a nighttime ritual, and prayer becomes a part of it. This is a good way to develop discipline, as prayer should be something we engage in whether we feel like it or not, but it's just as important to shake things up.

Prayer is a form of communication with God our Father. As in any relationship, the same thing over and over again can become stale. Spontaneous dates are healthy for a marriage. New adventures together strengthen even the tightest friendships. Our relationship with God is no different.

Over these 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, we want to encourage you to shake things up. Try something new when it comes to your relationship with God. Lean into it and enjoy every moment in His presence. Watch as He responds and takes you deeper than ever before in your knowledge and love for Him.

21 Ways to Pray

1. Take a prayer walk
On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. Joshua 6:15-16

Try walking around the place you are praying for. That could be your home, your neighborhood, or another location completely. Take a walk with God and believe for victory.

2. Set a reminder alarm to pray
In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:3

Pause and pray at a specific time – maybe even several throughout the day. Create reminders to ensure prayer is a part of your daily routine.

3. Start a prayer journal
And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:2

Write down the prayers you are praying today. As God answers them, record it. Continue to look back as a reminder of God's faithfulness.

4. Change your prayer posture
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! Psalm 95:6

Try praying on your knees. Try laying prostrate before the Lord. Try standing before him with your arms lifted high. Shake up your prayer postures and see how it affects your prayer life.

5. Schedule 20 minutes to sit in silence
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5

Practice the discipline of silence. Remove all distractions. Set an alarm so that you can put away your phone and any other device that may grab your attention. Practice listening for God's voice.

6. Pray scripture
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

This is just one of the many scripture verses that can be prayed or even declared over your life. Do some research. Look up prayers from scripture and meditate on the passages you find. Write them down on notecards and pray them over your life or the lives of others.

7. Pray with worship
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Psalm 96:1-2

You don't have to be considered a "singer" to sing a new song unto the Lord. Get out of your comfort zone with God. Your song is beautiful to His ears. Sing a new song to Him and allow your heart to worship Him freely.

8. Pray at a new time
It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12

Jesus spent entire nights in prayer. Practice praying a new time. Shake up your prayer routine and give God a new part of your day.

9. Pray in a new place
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” Matthew 26:36

Choose a new place to pray. This could be a different room in your home, or it could require a drive. Bring your Bible and journal with you to spend quality time with your Father.

10. Take a prayer drive
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

What does it look like to journey with God? Take a drive and talk to Him. Listen for His voice. See where He takes you. Practice trusting Him and journeying with Him.

11. Pray in nature
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.  Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96:11-12

Look for God in nature. Thank Him for all He has made. Allow your soul to be refreshed by the knowledge of how great our God is.

12. Schedule a prayer date with a friend
“Jesus said, ‘For where two or three gather together in my name, I am there with them’” Matthew 18:20

Choose to pray in community. Share your requests with one another and then choose to go to God in prayer together. There is power in our united prayers.

13. Practice continual prayer
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Praying continually is God's will for us. See how long you can keep an ongoing conversation with God. From the moment you wake up, as your drive to work or school, to the afternoons, meal times, and bed time – practice talking to God and listening for Him in every moment. He is always present and available to us.

14. Take a prayer retreat
"Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Luke 5:16

Consider scheduling a get-away just to spend time alone with God. This could be a day trip or an entire week. Bring your Bible and journal and be prepared to write down your experience with Him.

15. Start with adoration
Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:1-4

Spend time just praising God in prayer. Tell Him why you love Him. Shower Him with adoration and honor. He deserves all our praise.

16. Record daily gratitudes
But then I recall all you have done, O LORD; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. Psalm 77:11

Take time to write down what you're grateful for. Keep a record of gratitude. Go back to these reminders when you feel hopeless or lost. He is faithful and He is good!

17. Create a habit
Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. Daniel 6:10

If you don't already have a regular time set aside in your daily routine to pray, determine to create a habit. Choose the best time in your schedule to pause every single day and spend quality time with your maker.

18. Pray with a child
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-15

There is so much we can learn from watching the faith of a child. Take time to either pray with a child or simply observe a child's actions and ask God to give you child-like faith again.

19. Pray a confessional
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin” Psalm 32:5

Shame causes us to keep our sin hidden in the dark. The truth is, Jesus already died for your sins on the cross, and therefore, the only power they have over you is that which you allow by keeping them hidden. When we confess our sins to him, he is faithful to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Take some time in prayer with God to confess where you've been wrong and receive his grace and love.

20. Practice intercessory prayer
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light." Colossians 1:9-12

Prayers of intercession are simply prayers we pray on behalf of someone else. Who in your life is in need of strength or healing? Who can you pray for today? Set aside time to specifically intercede (pray on behalf of someone else).

21. Read a prayer devotional
Don't walk your prayer journey alone. Over the next 21 days, return to for daily prayer devotionals, created to prompt your prayers and encourage your faith.

The VOUS Blog is a space for discovery with resources and reflections, curated by the VOUS community and team, to encourage you on the journey.

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