Prayer is a vital part of a Christian’s life. Full stop. No excuses. But how many of us daily spend time talking to God? How many of us truly value prayer? I certainly don’t have a perfect prayer life. I think we can all agree that our prayer lives could do with some improvement. Here are my suggestions as to how you can be more prayerful:

1. Attend prayer meetings and pray together with others

“Pray out loud? In a group? Are you serious?”

Some of you might be thinking this is the last thing you want to do or last place you want to go.

“Sure, a prayer meeting is only for old people anyway.”

In reality, praying together with people of various ages can totally transform our prayer lives. I really love to listen to other people pray and hear how they approach the throne of God with all their worries, desires, concerns and needs. This can teach you so much about prayer itself.

Why not go along to your church prayer meeting, SU/CU prayer meeting or even just pray together with a group of friends. Praying together can encourage, build up and unite a body of believers. It’s so important, so what’s stopping you? After all it says in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

2. Have an accountability partner

If you struggle to maintain a daily prayer life, this can be a useful tool to ensure your prayer life doesn’t slip. Why not ask a close friend or member of your church to frequently ask you how your prayer life is going and what you’re praying for. It’s important that this person is someone you can trust so that you can admit it to them when you go wrong, but also someone that will encourage you to persevere in prayer, even when sometimes it feels difficult.

3. Keep a prayer diary/get an app for your phone

It can be really helpful to write down the things you’re praying for. Make a list of people you’ve said you’ll pray for or decide on a topic you’ll pray for each day. Your prayers shouldn’t be like a shopping list for God but instead should be balanced in praise, confession, thanksgiving and intercession. Structure your prayers and you’ll find it easier to continue in prayer. Ask God to help you. He always hears every single prayer you pray and cares even about the smallest and seemingly insignificant details in your life. It’s so important to remember to thank God when He does answer our prayers. The Bible promises He will answer, but I wonder if you thank Him. Why not include a column of answers to prayer so that you can go back and thank Him?

4. Create a prayer routine

Choose a time and place and stick to it. Incorporating prayer into the routine of your day can really help you to remain faithful in prayer. As Christians we’re actually commanded to pray. We should want to follow Christ’s example of spending time talking to God. We sometimes forget how important it is and yet so often Jesus headed off by himself to talk with His Father. Let’s do this too, whether it’s first thing in the morning or before you go to sleep; just choose whenever works for you. Make prayer a habit of your day.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to make sure you are praying, both in fellowship with others and privately too. Oswald Chambers says, “prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” When you cultivate prayer in your life you will truly see the work of God in your life.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12