Practical Planning and Preparation

1.Schedule a TIME and PLACE to pray- make an "appointment" with God. Write in on your calendar, your "to do" list,etc.

(schedule an alternate time as a back-up in case something interferes because inevitably it will!)

2.Keep these things handy when you pray:

a) a Bible - to use as a "springboard" for praise and petition

b) Pen & Paper - to write down distracting thoughts you don't want to forget- to write down thoughts you feel the Lord is giving you

c) An Alarm - so you won't have to worry about the time

d) Prayer Guides , Prayer Reminder Lists and Prewritten Prayers - to help you get started and keep focused, helps you be   PERSISTENT & SPECIFIC

3.Stand,or Walk around if you feel sleepy

4. Take the phone off the hook or let the answering machine take any calls

5.Use your MEMORY and your IMAGINATION to "picture" what you are praying about:

a) Picture the Past- What God has done in Scripture, for others ,for you

b) Picture the Present- Who or What you are praying for

c)Picture the Future- That NEED being met by God

(Note: We ALL use VISUALIZATION every day. We use it when we read a book, when someone gives us directions or tells us about something that happened to them, when we write letters, talk on the phone,etc. It is not just the artists and architects who "picture" things in their mind.) (Moses and David did; Hebrews 11:27,Acts 2:25)

6.Pray OUT LOUD - this also helps aid concentration

-  Scripture puts a high priority on the things we SAY;
Matt.12:33-37,Proverbs 10:20 & 21,12:14 & 18, 16:24,18:21.

- NORMAL prayers are AUDIBLE prayers; over and over Jesus said to "ASK". When He taught His disciples to pray He said, "When you pray, SAY ..."(Luke 11:9,John 16:24,James 4:2,Rom.10:9 & 10)

-  It may be a whisper, normal tone of voice, or with loud cries Hebrews 5:7

-  The Holy Spirit also helps us pray out loud in other tongues or languages (I Corinthians 14:2,4,14) or in groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:22-27)

7.Use the power of MUSIC - play an instrument yourself or play a worship tape in the background. It helps you worship, drowns out other distracting sounds also. (Remember that David's Psalms are SONGS, and many of them are prayers. If singĀ­ing praises and prayers was good enough for David, it's good for you too!)

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