7 Tips to Improve Your Discipline in Prayer
Lent is a fantastic time to reevaluate your prayer life and look for ways to improve the way you live your faith. While this is a good thing, it can often bring to light some unpleasant realities. You might notice habits or patterns that you really do not like, and that can be discouraging. Our God, however, is full of mercy, and he is always ready to let us begin again. If you are struggling to improve your discipline in prayer, try even just one of these tips and watch how your prayer life changes.
1. Decide to prioritize prayer
Sometimes, we fail to discipline ourselves in prayer simply because we put it off. It does not seem like an immediately urgent issue, and so we decide that, even though we might be working on our prayer, it is not our main concern. When you consciously decide you are going to prioritize prayer, you will give yourself the space in your life to make a real difference.
2. Find a prayer partner
Lots of people have gym buddies or running partners. If you are trying to improve your spiritual discipline, it can be immensely helpful to have someone hold you accountable. Choose a prayer partner, and set up a schedule for checking in, praying together, and doing things like going to adoration. Both you and your prayer partner will benefit by holding each other accountable.
3. Ask God to help you
If you truly want to improve your prayer, ask for grace from God to grow. Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your prayer life. God always desires to draw us closer to himself in prayer—and he will answer you when you ask him for help.
4. Try different forms of prayer
Prayer should not feel like a chore. After all, it is a conversation with God. More than anything else, it is a gift. If you are having trouble disciplining yourself in prayer, try different forms of prayer. You don’t necessarily need to choose the practices that seem the most intense or challenging. Choose what draws you most deeply to God.
5. Embrace silence
In such a hectic world, it can often feel wrong and uncomfortable to sit in silence. But in prayer, silence is something to be embraced. Just as God spoke to Elijah in a quiet voice (1 Kings 19:11-13), God speaks to us in the silence of prayer. Even if you feel like you aren’t doing anything, sit in the silence and let yourself grow in the virtue of patience. That silence will bear fruit.
6. Set an alarm
If you have every intention to pray and find yourself forgetting, set a daily alarm to remind you. This simple trick can train you to make prayer a consistent part of your life, and it will start to feel like a natural part of your day.
7. Sign up for adoration
Many dioceses have perpetual adoration chapels, and they are always looking for people to be in adoration with the Lord. Try signing up for a time slot so that you will have a regular commitment to prayer for which you are accountable. Even if this feels difficult at first, keep at it and allow your prayer to blossom.