7 Tips for a Struggle Free Prayer Time (GTHS)

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Guarding the Heart Series
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[This post is a part of the Guarding the Heart power series. If you missed it, you can view it here.]

I’ve always believed that more than having just a prayer life, we need to live a life of prayer.


Some time ago, I faced a great block in my prayer time. It was the worst two days in my life. I was so frustrated that I could not pray. It was like I was helpless. And I have to admit that it happens sometimes. Does that happen to you?

Here are few things that could serve as positive reminders.

What’s for Breakfast? – What you feed your mind through out the day will matter. Prayer is an intimate moment with God. And usually in the silent moments, your thoughts are the loudest. The mind gets to work trying to refresh its memories of the day.

That is why Jesus said, “…shut the door before you pray.”  Matthew 6:6. That was not just a door of the room but the door to your heart, shut it from every attraction and distraction of the enemy. It has to be a daily process of guarding! Guard your heart and subdue the desires of your flesh at the feet of Jesus.

Calm your Mind – I have found myself doing this following exercise repeatedly during my time of prayer. I speak to myself saying that these thoughts are not important now and that I’m here now to talk to God. In fact, take a minute to browse through your thoughts and point out what’s causing all that rush of thoughts. Then simply welcome and allow the Holy Spirit to take over your mind.

Each time your mind distracts you, rebuke those thoughts and plead the blood of Jesus over your mind. You will notice that if you keep practising that, your attention span will continue to increase. Remember, prayer is a discipline.

Stay Away from Distractions – The fact that you have to check your Facebook or finish that level on you video game may be a constant distraction. Do whatever it takes to create a distraction-free atmosphere. Do you need to get offline? Baptize your phone in a bucket of water if that is what it takes. To be drawn in God is to be withdrawn from the world.

Be Clean at Heart – 1 John 4:20 says, “..he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”  Before we go in prayer, we need to have a clean heart. Husbands need to honor their wives so that their prayers may not be hindered. (as in 1 Peter 3: 7)  and obviously vice versa.

Don’t take a day, a week or a month to patch-up with someone. Great freedom comes from pursuing immediate forgiveness. Promise yourself to cultivate that habit of immediate reconciliation.

God is drawn to humility. Is there someone you need to ask forgiveness from? Do it now. Yes, Now!

Be Washed - Hebrews 10: 22 says, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Sins always mars our conscience when we come to God. Keep your heart without guile before God so that when you go into His presence, there is nothing that the enemy has against you before God. Ask the Lord to wash you with the precious blood of Jesus.

Repent truly before the presence of Jesus knowing that there is no sin that is hidden before Him. When you are washed by the blood of Jesus, there is no power of satan that can hinder you from seeking God.

Worship is your KeyPsalms 100: 4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Many times we go to God with a grumbling, nagging, complaining heart.

But it is important that our hearts soften in His love to receive from God by praising him for what He has already done. That worship that rises up from a thankful heart defeats the lies of the enemy that he throws at us.

His Grace is Enough – Last but not the least, seek God for His grace to pray. Is it not a fact that, “His grace is enough for us.”? Have you today asked our Helper, the Holy Spirit to teach you how to pray without distraction? If you will ask, the Lord will anoint you with an anointing to pray. Ask Him persistently for His mercy and grace to help you draw close to Him.

Dont give up!

 

 

Finally dear friends, prayer should not be a race of time to inflate your ego.It must be a time of humbling yourself before His throne.

I pray that the Lord will set you free from all the cords of the enemy that hinders you from prayer.

Now with that knowledge that the enemy has failed yet one more time, take off in prayer!

God bless you!

 

What helps you pray best? Is there a pattern you follow? Do share with us in the comments section below.

[Next week don't miss: “5 Tips On Effective Daily Bible Reading”. Subscribe here to be notified. This post is a part of the Guarding the Heart power series.]

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  • http://twitter.com/musiqchild007 Jherrel Peters

    I’ve been struggling with a prayer block for about 4 days and you’re right, it’s the most daunting and draining thing ever…sometimes I feel like a LITERAL walking dead. The sad part is that I KNOW what I have to do but it’s like I don’t have the strength to do it. I remember the night before this happened to me, I wrote out an agenda of things I would have liked to accomplish by the end of the month…and they were important to me and relevant to where God is taking me. And by the NEXT morning, I felt a ‘change’, all of a sudden prayer seemed like the most difficult task and my mind just can’t seem to settle down. It’s nothing for me to read my word or watch a sermon, but when it comes to prayer…everything just seem to go haywire. I’m literally hate where I am right now but at least I’m honest to acknowledge it. Hopefully I can beat this step by step rather than just doing it in one shot…and I’ll use this post as a guideline.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

      I would try and start confessing my frustrations to God. (Start by telling him that you dont feel like praying.) Before I even know I then find myself praying. Jherrel, simply go be with him. You dont need to say a word. He’ll still wrap his hands around you and love you! 

      • http://twitter.com/musiqchild007 Jherrel Peters

        Thank you, what you wrote took a load off my chest and made things a LOT easier…

        • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

          U have a great destiny! I see that clearly. So much more the enemy will try to fight you. BE of good courage. BLessings.

          • Vcherian12

            Bro….I seriously love to spend hours to pray but somehow i really dont know why im not able to sit down and pray…. I know its sin not to pray but i have my regular worship and praising time not prayer time….. these tips do help me….I hope i set aside my morning hours to prayer while all this time I was only praising him.

  • http://twitter.com/musiqchild007 Jherrel Peters

    I’ve been struggling with a prayer block for about 4 days and you’re right, it’s the most daunting and draining thing ever…sometimes I feel like a LITERAL walking dead. The sad part is that I KNOW what I have to do but it’s like I don’t have the strength to do it. I remember the night before this happened to me, I wrote out an agenda of things I would have liked to accomplish by the end of the month…and they were important to me and relevant to where God is taking me. And by the NEXT morning, I felt a ‘change’, all of a sudden prayer seemed like the most difficult task and my mind just can’t seem to settle down. It’s nothing for me to read my word or watch a sermon, but when it comes to prayer…everything just seem to go haywire. I literally hate where I am right now but at least I’m honest to acknowledge it. Hopefully I can beat this step by step rather than just doing it in one shot…and I’ll use this post as a guideline.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      I would try and start confessing my frustrations to God. (Start by telling him that you dont feel like praying.) Before I even know I then find myself praying. Jherrel, simply go be with him. You dont need to say a word. He’ll still wrap his hands around you and love you! 

      • http://twitter.com/musiqchild007 Jherrel Peters

        Thank you, what you wrote took a load off my chest and made things a LOT easier…

        • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

          U have a great destiny! I see that clearly. So much more the enemy will try to fight you. BE of good courage. BLessings.

          • Vcherian12

            Bro….I seriously love to spend hours to pray but somehow i really dont know why im not able to sit down and pray…. I know its sin not to pray but i have my regular worship and praising time not prayer time….. these tips do help me….I hope i set aside my morning hours to prayer while all this time I was only praising him.

          • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

            All the best. When u honor God, God will honor you! Bless your heart!

  • Johnkennykumar

    bro .. some tips for working ppl like me..especially after a long day..sometimes there’s no time and no energy..feel jealous abt full time ministers:)

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

      I was talking to a friend about this recently. Simple as that give your best time to God. So if I were to do start of early in the morning with God, & from the shower on, switch off your phone all the way to your job, make it your personal time with God all the way. And once you have that time off it should be easier to walk with God through out the day. Prayer is discipline so put your heart into it no matter how you feel like. Hope this helps. 

      • Johnkennykumar

        yes bro it sure did help me:)

    • Marilenafackerell

      Brother, I have been in both full time ministry and work, I agree that it is more challenging to have time with God when you work. But as someone once said: we always make time for the things we want in life. For example, instead of being on the internet, the time can be spent in prayer. Yes, sometimes it means we need to deny certain things, even good things, in order to be with God. The way we spend our free time shows who we value the most! I have heard that brother D G S Dhinakaran was a bank manager – very responsible job – and came from work really late, but he always got up at 4 am to pray and prayed from 9 pm with the whole family sometimes till midnight. So I guess where there is a will there is a way.

      • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

        Agree 100%! God honors those who honor Him!

  • Johnkennykumar

    bro .. some tips for working ppl like me..especially after a long day..sometimes there’s no time and no energy..feel jealous abt full time ministers:)

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      I was talking to a friend about this recently. Simple as that give your best time to God. So if I were to do start of early in the morning with God, & from the shower on, switch off your phone all the way to your job, make it your personal time with God all the way. And once you have that time off it should be easier to walk with God through out the day. Prayer is discipline so put your heart into it no matter how you feel like. Hope this helps. 

      • Johnkennykumar

        yes bro it sure did help me:)

    • Marilenafackerell

      Brother, I have been in both full time ministry and work, I agree that it is more challenging to have time with God when you work. But as someone once said: we always make time for the things we want in life. For example, instead of being on the internet, the time can be spent in prayer. Yes, sometimes it means we need to deny certain things, even good things, in order to be with God. The way we spend our free time shows who we value the most! I have heard that brother D G S Dhinakaran was a bank manager – very responsible job – and came from work really late, but he always got up at 4 am to pray and prayed from 9 pm with the whole family sometimes till midnight. So I guess where there is a will there is a way.

      • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

        Agree 100%! God honors those who honor Him!

  • Bernadine Wicket

    Wonderful post.  As commented by you, I too believe the prime time in the wee hours of the morning is the best time – no one will be up at that time to text you, very few will be online at that time, no phone calls, only perhaps birds chirping.
    The best way to break from distractions, as I have experienced over the years is to set the alarm for before the crack of dawn and initially it may be a struggle but later on it develops into a habit.  

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

      I agree. God honours discipline. Just recently been doing morning times than my usual nights.

  • Bernadine Wicket

    Wonderful post.  As commented by you, I too believe the prime time in the wee hours of the morning is the best time – no one will be up at that time to text you, very few will be online at that time, no phone calls, only perhaps birds chirping.
    The best way to break from distractions, as I have experienced over the years is to set the alarm for before the crack of dawn and initially it may be a struggle but later on it develops into a habit.  

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      I agree. God honours discipline. Just recently been doing morning times than my usual nights.

  • http://qrimusings.com QRI

    I struggled with setting time aside for prayer for soooo long. Some time ago – just as I stood at the threshold of burnout - I finally acknowledged that I was in desperate need of reprioritization.

    And when I asked the Holy Spirit to help me, He immediately opened my eyes to see that something was missing: my alone time with Him. So, I set my alarm clock to wake up half an hour earlier the next day, wanting to begin my days with the Lord. No shopping list, no agenda; purely to connect with My Father.

    And that taste of His presence has me waking up earlier and earlier ever since to spend more time with Him. At the end of my alone time in that Secret Place, I write a summary of what took place during that time.

    But it doesn’t stop there. I worship and converse with Him every chance I get.  Sometimes, I get to my prayer requests, other times I save those for later in the day; and yet other times, I don’t get to it at all. The prayer list is not what keeps me running to His presence every morning. I’ve dedicated time to reflect on and praise Him for who He is to me.  

    Don’t be surprised if people take notice after you’ve spent time before the Throne. Everyone around me has noticed that something in my life has changed. And it has changed for the best.

    Go on; set that alarm clock! :)

  • http://qrimusings.com QRI

    I struggled with setting time aside for prayer for soooo long. Some time ago – just as I stood at the threshold of burnout - I finally acknowledged that I was in desperate need of reprioritization.

    And when I asked the Holy Spirit to help me, He immediately opened my eyes to see that something was missing: my alone time with Him. So, I set my alarm clock to wake up half an hour earlier the next day, wanting to begin my days with the Lord. No shopping list, no agenda; purely to connect with My Father.

    And that taste of His presence has me waking up earlier and earlier ever since to spend more time with Him. At the end of my alone time in that Secret Place, I write a summary of what took place during that time.

    But it doesn’t stop there. I worship and converse with Him every chance I get.  Sometimes, I get to my prayer requests, other times I save those for later in the day; and yet other times, I don’t get to it at all. The prayer list is not what keeps me running to His presence every morning. I’ve dedicated time to reflect on and praise Him for who He is to me.  

    Don’t be surprised if people take notice after you’ve spent time before the Throne. Everyone around me has noticed that something in my life has changed. And it has changed for the best.

    Go on; set that alarm clock! :)

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      Wow for the brilliant share.

    • Mejosh

      Thank you for sharing this

  • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

    Wow for the brilliant share.

  • http://twitter.com/anbusuvi Anbu Suvisesham

    When we pray the LORD’s prayer Jesus taught for 10 times in your own mother tongue…wow each and every time when you specifically saying  the words “Your kingdom come,
    Your will be done” I realized the this is the most TRUE Prayer in the entire face of the universe..

  • http://twitter.com/anbusuvi Anbu Suvisesham

    When I am struggling to pray,specifically from my heart i Pray the LORD’s prayer Jesus taught for 10 times with realizing each words in my own mother tongue…wow each and every time when you specifically saying  the words “Your kingdom come,
    Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. ” I realized the this is the most TRUE Prayer in the entire face of the universe..Thanks JESUS for teaching us how to pray

    Thanks for the wonderful POST…

  • Marilenafackerell

    I have found that how we start in prayer is quite important. I had to go once for a dentist appointment very early before I could pray. While in the car I started to ask God to help the dentists work out what’s wrong with the teeth. That was my first sentence to God that day. God immediately rebuked and told me I have become too familiar with Him! He asked if I would go to a friend and immediately ask her for something without even saying Hello! So, I had to say sorry and treat God like a person – because He is! It’s a matter of respect! I started by saying Good Morning Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. Then I went on to enter through thanks and ended up crying all the way in God’s amazing presence to my dentist appointment.I think sometimes we are just rude and impolite with God simply by being too familiar with Him! He is our friend, but also the Lord of Lords!

    I have also found that if I start with worship, when I feel in the deeper presence of God,  if I choose to wait in His presence for His voice to speak to me, that is the best time for me to hear from Him. Also at the end of the prayer time if I take 5-10 minutes to just wait on God quietly and invite Him to speak to me, I hear things that I really needed to hear instead of just pouring all my words on God and spending no time hearing His reply to what I am talking to Him about! We need to give God time to talk back to us. I think that is one reason people do not hear sometimes from God. They give God their requests and quickly run out to start their day and God has no chance to speak to them when they are still in His presence. Sometimes in the hussle of every day living because we are more busy, it’s harder to hear, that is why waiting during your times of still communion with God I find it’s best – though God can speak when He wants to, we cannot dictate to Him how to do it.

    Also,in Malachi, God is quite upset with His people for HOW they come in His presence, and with what KIND of offerings they come. He asks them if they would bring the same bad offerings before their country president! In other words, when we come to God, we can’t just come winging, complaining, with self-pity and with any kind of offering in our prayer time. It must be worthy of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Read Malachi chapter 1.

    Also,I have found that if I come to God with a ‘shopping list’ attitude – meaning fully focused on what I want from Him  and not as focused on Himself – the prayer times can be dry. Our primary motive for coming to God in prayer should be to come and seek Him, for Himself, to love Him. Yes, we do ask for our needs, but this should be our secondary reason for coming to pray, if we want to make God’s heart happy.

  • Marilenafackerell

    I have found that how we start in prayer is quite important. I had to go once for a dentist appointment very early before I could pray. While in the car I started to ask God to help the dentists work out what’s wrong with the teeth. That was my first sentence to God that day. God immediately rebuked and told me I have become too familiar with Him! He asked if I would go to a friend and immediately ask her for something without even saying Hello! So, I had to say sorry and treat God like a person – because He is! It’s a matter of respect! I started by saying Good Morning Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. Then I went on to enter through thanks and ended up crying all the way in God’s amazing presence to my dentist appointment.I think sometimes we are just rude and impolite with God simply by being too familiar with Him! He is our friend, but also the Lord of Lords!

    I have also found that if I start with worship, when I feel in the deeper presence of God,  if I choose to wait in His presence for His voice to speak to me, that is the best time for me to hear from Him. Also at the end of the prayer time if I take 5-10 minutes to just wait on God quietly and invite Him to speak to me, I hear things that I really needed to hear instead of just pouring all my words on God and spending no time hearing His reply to what I am talking to Him about! We need to give God time to talk back to us. I think that is one reason people do not hear sometimes from God. They give God their requests and quickly run out to start their day and God has no chance to speak to them when they are still in His presence. Sometimes in the hussle of every day living because we are more busy, it’s harder to hear, that is why waiting during your times of still communion with God I find it’s best – though God can speak when He wants to, we cannot dictate to Him how to do it.

    Also,in Malachi, God is quite upset with His people for HOW they come in His presence, and with what KIND of offerings they come. He asks them if they would bring the same bad offerings before their country president! In other words, when we come to God, we can’t just come winging, complaining, with self-pity and with any kind of offering in our prayer time. It must be worthy of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Read Malachi chapter 1.

    Also,I have found that if I come to God with a ‘shopping list’ attitude – meaning fully focused on what I want from Him  and not as focused on Himself – the prayer times can be dry. Our primary motive for coming to God in prayer should be to come and seek Him, for Himself, to love Him. Yes, we do ask for our needs, but this should be our secondary reason for coming to pray, if we want to make God’s heart happy.

  • Cleophasdavid

    hehhe “Baptise your phone in a bucket of water if that is what it takes”….I think this is extremely funny….could not stop laughing…..jokes apart…great post bro shyju…we need more of this to tap into a deeper level of prayer – Cleo

  • Cleophasdavid

    hehhe “Baptise your phone in a bucket of water if that is what it takes”….I think this is extremely funny….could not stop laughing…..jokes apart…great post bro shyju…we need more of this to tap into a deeper level of prayer – Cleo

  • Tulasi

    Early morning is my best time.. Blessed :)

  • Tulasi

    Early morning is my best time.. Blessed :)

  • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

    All the best. When u honor God, God will honor you! Bless your heart!

  • Santhi Amala

    praise the lord brother..this is Amala .i have read this blog few days back.i didn’t give the comment after i red but i am leaving the comment now after i practiced in my prayer life.its really very very blessing in my life…..really i have blessed with this blog…i used to read u r blogs whenever i feel so sad… i will read with tears in my eyes…really they put comfort in my soul and spirit.before this blog  felt very struggle in my life..all the steps u wrote in this are very useful and i successfully completed all these steps…i thank u for posting this blog….i love my jesus…my father who is all mighty…..may god bless u and u r team….and give u more revaliatons to talk with the hearts like my heart…..amen…praise the lord……. after i read this log my prayer attention time got improved…..really blessed,…..thank u somuch …..thank u my lord for giving me this leader to lead me with his knowledge…..

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/blog Shyju Mathew

      Hi Santhi. Happy to know this. Persistence is the key. God bless u too.

    • Anil K Yella

      Dear Amala, Good to see your comment, Nic to read. 

  • Santhi Amala

    praise the lord brother..this is Amala .i have read this blog few days back.i didn’t give the comment after i red but i am leaving the comment now after i practiced in my prayer life.its really very very blessing in my life…..really i have blessed with this blog…i used to read u r blogs whenever i feel so sad… i will read with tears in my eyes…really they put comfort in my soul and spirit.before this blog  felt very struggle in my life..all the steps u wrote in this are very useful and i successfully completed all these steps…i thank u for posting this blog….i love my jesus…my father who is all mighty…..may god bless u and u r team….and give u more revaliatons to talk with the hearts like my heart…..amen…praise the lord……. after i read this log my prayer attention time got improved…..really blessed,…..thank u somuch …..thank u my lord for giving me this leader to lead me with his knowledge…..

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      Hi Santhi. Happy to know this. Persistence is the key. God bless u too.

    • Anil K Yella

      Dear Amala, Good to see your comment, Nic to read. 

  • Mejosh

    Thank you for sharing this

  • Mejosh

    Brother Shyju… Enjoyed this post again, I read this long back, somehow God led me to this again and enjoyed every bit of it.. May God continue to use this for His Glory…

  • Mejosh

    Brother Shyju… Enjoyed this post again, I read this long back, somehow God led me to this again and enjoyed every bit of it.. May God continue to use this for His Glory…

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