Life Hacks (Jesus Version) – Prayer, Part 1

I honestly don’t know when are where the term “life hack” came into being, but I do know that it is widely used today in our society.  If you are unfamiliar with what a life hack is, it’s basically “a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.”  

I can honestly say that there are days I look back upon and feel completely frustrated by my lack of spiritual discipline in the areas of prayer, Bible reading, contemplation, etc.  I think all of us would agree that we want to manage our time better and be more consistent in our daily walk with Jesus.  So, I want to take a few blog posts and share some life hacks that have helped me over the years grow in my spiritual disciplines.  

First of all, we all need to realize that our efficiency and success at spiritual disciplines has no bearing on how much God loves us or approves of us.  His love and acceptance of us is firmly and completely rooted in the gospel of Jesus.  So as we talk about growing in our daily disciplines, we have to keep going back to the foundation of our relationship with Him.  Our foundation is His grace, mercy, and love, not prayer and Bible reading.  

The first life hack (Jesus version) I thought I’d share with you has to do with prayer.  I don’t know if there’s anyone on the planet that can honestly say that they pray enough.  Yet prayer is so vital to our Christian experience.  To talk with our Savior every day is one of the greatest privileges we have as believers.  

One of the most simple ways to grow your daily prayer life is to write down a list of prayer requests on a piece of paper or in a journal.  I know, it almost sounds too basic, but I would contend that a good majority of you may not have a physical prayer list that you pray over daily.  You may have a list in your head, but that isn’t as helpful as a written list.  

There are a couple reasons why a written prayer list is so important.  First, you get to see what prayers get answered.  There’s nothing like crossing something off on your list and writing the date next to it as a symbol of God working.  Second, you become more consistent in praying for the needs and desires that you have.  If you simply rely on the list in your mind, you may forget some of the items you really care about.  Finally, you can grow your list as God grows your love for Him and His people.  As you begin to grow in your prayer life, you will find that God will burden your heart with more to pray for.  A longer list is a sign of a deeper desire of wanting more of what God wants on this earth.  

I remember when I began doing this for each person in my family.  I’ve always prayed for them, but in the past, many times I would say very generic prayers like “Lord, be with ________ today.”  I know that’s not a bad prayer, but when I pray for my children (or anyone for that matter) I want to pray in such a way so that I can see how God is working.  I asked God to give me specific prayers for each person in my family, and He answered.  As God gave me clarity on this, I became more intentional and more active in my prayer life.  

A simple first step may be to write down 5 requests that your heart is burdened for right now.  If you are praying for specific people in your life, write down 3 things for each person.  It’s not much, but it’s a significant act to growing a healthier prayer life. 

-Ben Rudolph

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