Prayer is Jesus’ invitation to us to understand God more deeply. An integral spiritual discipline, the Bible prompts Christians to pray on all occasions without ceasing for ourselves and even for our enemies. The Lord’s Prayer offers guidance on how to pray, but those words alone aren’t always enough motivation for us to make prayer a daily practice.
Luckily, there are several different ways you can learn how to pray and you can choose whichever method resonates most with you. Find a new way to pray or add another practice to enrich your prayer life in the following recommendations!
How to Pray: 5 Creative Ways to Get Out of Your Prayer Rut
Are you stuck in a prayer rut? Sometimes the prayers we pray can start to sound the same. In prayer, we can express adoration, recognize God’s will, address our needs and those of others, ask for forgiveness, and seek strength in the face of temptation. Although all prayer might follow a similar format, the way you choose how to pray can look different. There are 5 methods of prayer you can begin exploring:
Praying the Scriptures: Praying the Scriptures is a powerful way to learn how to pray. To pray the Scriptures, you will start by selecting a verse from the Bible and then you will incorporate the verse into your prayer. Praying the Scriptures is another way to pray God’s Word back to Him- you’re speaking God’s language! Check out the Praying the Scriptures series by Jodie Berndt for guides on praying for yourself or your children, teens, and adult children.
Devotionals: Devotionals are usually written by pastors and other Bible scholars and come in collections that span a certain number of days—usually 30 to 365. A devotional begins with a piece of Scripture and is followed by commentary from the author. When you find a devotional author who writes in a manner you enjoy, devotionals can become a huge motivator for praying more consistently. One of our favorite new prayer devotionals is Jesus Listens by Sarah Young.
Pocket Prayers: Need some inspiration? Pocket prayers refer to small, short books with prayers on every page. Max Lucado writes pocket prayers about peace and rest and for different groups of people including teachers, friends, moms, dads, graduates, and military personnel. Pocket prayers are useful when you are being called to pray for someone or something but you aren’t sure where to start.
Prayer Journals: If you prefer to engage with the Scripture with your hands, then journaling through prayer is a great option for you! Prayer journals are different from other methods of praying because they include prompts. Prompts serve as cues that challenge you to pray for yourself and others in a specific way, typically according to Scripture. Prayer journals make a perfect addition to a faith-based morning routine.
- Multimedia Bible Studies: Lastly, there are multimedia Bible studies. Through multimedia Bible studies, Christians can explore their prayer life through video and accompanying study guides or workbooks. If you’re looking for a more guided approach to learning how to pray, multimedia Bible studies will provide the structure, inspiration, and resources you need to find fulfillment in your prayer life. Our friends at StudyGateway have the largest collection of video Bible studies on prayer – start your FREE 7-Day trial to get instant access to the entire collection of prayer video Bible studies!
Each method offers a unique advantage to your spiritual practice. For example, multimedia Bible studies will give you a process for praying and guided reflection while pocket prayers will equip you with pre-made prayers to pray in a variety of situations. On the other hand, praying the Scriptures will give you ideas for what to pray about based on God’s wisdom while journaling emphasizes your reactions to specific passages from the Bible.
Learn How to Pray with 10 Books on Prayer
Now that you know how to pray using 5 methods, let’s introduce you to a few books on prayer you can read and interact with to deepen your relationship with God.
Pray the Scriptures
Praying the Scriptures for Your Life
by Jodie Berndt
Taking you on a 31-day journey rooted in Christ's words in John 15, Praying the Scriptures for Your Life will help you find guidance and peace as you pray through life's trickiest issues, from relationships to finances to what to do with the pain of unanswered prayer. Discover how Scripture can be experienced, not just read!
The Prayer Code
by O.S. Hawkins
Do you want a richer, more robust prayer life? Your prayers are powerful! Learn how to pray with confidence, faith, and an awareness of the Holy Spirit as you draw from world-changing prayers from Scripture in this inspiring guide to a transformed spiritual life. The Prayer Code is the latest addition to O. S. Hawkins's bestselling series that includes The Joshua Code and The Jesus Code.
by Sarah Young
When your days feel overwhelming and your life has you anxious and stressed, you can find peace and hope in Jesus. In this 365-day devotional prayer book, Jesus Listens by Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, you’ll find confidence to come to God in all circumstances with short, heartfelt prayers based on Scripture. By praying Scripture through this daily devotional prayer book, you'll experience how intentional prayer connects you to God, changes your heart, and can even move mountains.
by Michael J. Klassen
Do the unending obstacles you face make you feel like you’re in a constant spiritual battle? Arm yourself with 100 prayers that will uplift and encourage you during the difficult moments of life. Each prayer is woven together with Scripture, reminding you that the answers to your struggles can be found in God’s Word and by listening to Him. Whether a gift or for yourself, this volume of 100 prayers features cross references to other prayers, first-person prayers addressed directly to God, and a helpful and encouraging Appendix: "The 10 Essential Qualities of an Effective Battle Prayer.”
Carry Pocket Prayers with You
Pocket Prayers: 40 Simple Prayers that Bring Peace and Rest
by Max Lucado
Do you ever get distracted when you pray? Do your thoughts zig, then zag, then zig again—your head swarming with all the things you need to do that day? If so, there is hope. In this brief book, pastor and New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado will help you direct your prayers to the Source of all hope and strength in Pocket Prayers, which contains 40 guided prayers and complementary scriptures for any situation.
Write in Prayer Journals
The Weekly Prayer Project
Challenge yourself to journal, pray, reflect, and connect with God with The Weekly Prayer Project. Fifty-two scriptures, one for each week of the year, explore different types of prayers found in the Bible, from prayers of gratitude and thankfulness to prayers of lament and intercession. Each week’s journaling prompts will guide you to reflect on God’s work in your life and to pray with intention. Walk through this book, and see your faith deepen and your joy soar.
5-Minute Gratitude Journal
Can 5 minutes of thankfulness change the rest of your day? What about the rest of your life? The all new 5-Minute Gratitude Journal is a daily journal that provides an opportunity to cultivate a grateful and beholden outlook on the everyday miracle called life.
Watch Multimedia Bible Studies
The 28-Day Prayer Journey
by Chrystal Evans Hurst
We know from Scripture that prayer is essential to an intimate and thriving relationship with God, but often we simply don’t know how or what to pray. Many of us feel inhibited with group prayer or praying out loud. Chrystal Evans Hurst knows both the freedom and literal blessing of establishing and growing your prayer life, and how difficult it can be when prayer itself feels a bit foreign.
In this video-based Bible study (study guide sold separately), Chrystal initiates us with the basic tenets of prayer practice and establishes a realistic and doable pattern of prayer to be applied to our daily life for 28 days. She then dives deep into four postures of prayers that increase our communication and relationship with God. After you have prayed in one posture for an entire week, Chrystal will break down that posture and walk through the biblical references supporting it to draw the connections between your growing relationship with God and the practice of prayer.
Draw the Circle
by Mark Batterson
Have your prayers become stagnant? Do you long to see God move in fresh ways? Are you ready to move to new places in your walk with God? If so, it’s time to take the 40-day prayer challenge and press into God like never before. In this five-session video Bible study, bestselling author Mark Batterson shows how taking up this challenge will not only change the way you pray today but also dramatically impact the rest of your life. While this challenge won’t be easy, and you will experience setbacks along the way, as you pray through you can be assured that God will come through in new and exciting ways.
The Daniel Prayer
by Anne Graham Lotz
In this six-session video Bible study (study guide sold separately), bestselling author Anne Graham Lotz looks at the life of Daniel and unpacks the prayer he prayed in Daniel 9. Unlike the everyday now-I-lay-me-down-to-sleep kind of prayer, this is a prayer birthed under pressure. A prayer in which the pray-ers return to the cross and repent of sin. A prayer that changes hearts and nations–even in our world today.