Why You Need To Prepare Your Heart For Prayer
Jumping into the spiritual realm from this temporary one can be as comfortable as jumping into ice cold water. Some people thrive on this refreshing shock, but most of us need a little bit more preparation. Without this preparation, our prayers can come off as cold and mere words.
All of us want to connect with God from our heart. So, let’s look at some ways we can ready us. Here are 15 things you can do to prepare your heart for prayer.
15 Things You Can Do To Prepare Your Heart For Prayer
This can sound simple, but we can easily end up not praying because we are waiting for the right time. Sometimes we just need the action of praying to position our hearts to connect with God. While saying our prayers, we end up speaking what’s on our heart.
I chose the word sing since worship should entail our entire lives. But singing worship songs puts truth to our lips. These songs don’t have to be deep theological statements. The angels around the throne of God simply sing, “holy, holy, holy.” Simple words remind your heart of God’s truth.
Give yourself a pep talk. Say things that are true to prepare your heart to come before a God who is truth. Remind yourself that you are a child of God, and He wants you to boldly come before His presence. Speak out how God is in control and working all things for your good. Saying them aloud allows your ears to hear and your heart to respond.
You may need to change your physical state to prepare your heart. C.S. Lewis is quoted saying that whatever the body does, affects the soul. Do you have trouble paying attention as you pray in that comfy chair? Take a knee and tell your body that it is time to pray.
Turn off your electrical devices. Find a quiet spot where you can turn out the noise of this world and the noise in your head. Elijah didn’t hear God in the wind or storm, but it was in the quiet whisper. Turning off the distractions allow you to more clearly connect with God.
As you are trying to quiet the noises in your head, you may have legitimate things pop up that you need to deal with. Use the notepad to write it down to help you remember when you are done praying. This simple, practical thing may be the item that greatly increases your intimacy in prayer.
Reading the Bible should be obvious, but it is not your inductive Bible study methods. Read the Bible to connect with the One who wrote it. Who is the God of the Bible? What is He like? Who does it say you are? What is your relationship with Him? Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I believe you will find it helpful in your times in prayer.
Isn’t this the same as the one above? Yes, it is also part of Scripture, but the Psalms expresses the heart of one struggling to connect with God. You will find true emotions in there. Emotions that you may be scared to show God. Read the Psalms to give you freedom to completely expose your heart to God.
Feeling guilty over mistakes you have made will put a wall up between you and God. He loves you, paid all the wages of sin, and made a way for you to come. But, you need to believe it and take Him up on His forgiveness. Confess and come before Him.
Your confession doesn’t have to be with a priest, but confessing your sin to another believer who knows and loves you is incredibly healing. Seeing the acceptance in another person’s eyes helps you believe that you will also find it with God. The removal of shame through finding love in the middle of your sin releases you to freely connect with God.
Hell is eternity apart from God. Hell on earth is isolation for other people. We are created to need other people. Other people, who speak God truth to us and believe that He is for us, encourage us to spend time in prayer. If these people believe in me, imagine what God must think.
Maybe you don’t know of a friend that can encourage you in prayer. Keep looking. But, in the meantime, read quotes on prayer from current leaders and/or saints who have gone ahead of you. We have several on this site, or you can buy the book with over 3,500 prayer quotes.
Bill Johnson says, “when you fast you tell God you are hungrier for the things of His world than you are for those things of this one.” Fasting awakens your heart by making hard decisions to go after more of God. It is a way to draw near to God, so we can be aware of His drawing near to us.
This may seem in contradiction to the previous suggestion, but pleasure releases joy, which makes room for hope, to which faith attaches. Eric Little said that when he ran he could feel the pleasures of God. You may not enjoy running, but being aware of God with you as you sit down to a video game or play a few holes of golf may prepare you for enjoying God more in prayer.
You still may not enjoy running or exercise, but taking care of your body helps your relationship with God. Paul says that your body is a temple of the living God. Appropriate exercise will awaken your spirit to more of Him.
What Would You Add To Prepare Your Heart For Prayer?
Which of these work for you? Would you add anything else? Share in the comments below what actions or activities help you prepare your heart for prayer. I know this list is not exhaustive, and your comments may propel someone else to a more awakened prayer life.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.