Praying is one way that we communicate with God. Through prayer, we can hear His voice and intercede for others. As a Christian, it can sometimes be hard to pray, so I found 10 helpful prayer exercises for you to try in your time with Jesus.
What are Christian prayer exercises? Christian prayer exercises are intentional activities that you can do to deepen your prayer life and grow in your relationship with Jesus. They are focused not just on praying, but also on listening to what God says since prayer is a conversation with Him.
Here are the 10 Christian prayer exercises I found to help you grow your prayer life:
- Meditate on God’s Word
- Journal your prayers
- Pray through art
- Get quiet, be still
- Use a prayer rug or prayer room
- Praise God through thanksgiving
- Worship and pray through nature
- Pray through exercising
- Reciting prayers
- Pray with others
To start, let’s look at mediating on God’s Word.
1. Meditate on God’s Word
Meditating and praying through the Bible, or God’s Word, is the most important thing a Christian could do, whether it’s for a prayer exercise or not. As Christians, we know that God’s word will never return void, so when we pray through it we aren’t just praying some willy-nilly prayer, we are praying the promises of God over our lives. We can trust God will accomplish what He’s already said.
(S)o is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.Isaiah 55:11 NIV
To begin this exercise, start by picking one book of the Bible that you’ve always wanted to read or haven’t read in a while and go through one verse at a time. If you aren’t sure where to start, the book of John is a great place to learn about who Jesus is and pray through the things He said.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray through what you’re reading and ask Him: what does this say about God, myself, my situation, the people I interact with, and then listen for His answer.
2. Journal Your Prayers
A second great prayer exercise is journaling your prayers. It goes hand in hand with meditating on God’s Word too since writing out our prayers and Bible verses help us to slow down and process what we’re reading and thinking.
Journal what God is speaking back to you. Prayer is a conversation.
Something that I like to do is write digital notes of what God is saying to me. I don’t always have my journal or a notepad with me, and even when I do, my hand cramps up after writing for a long time, so it’s easier to type out my prayers and God’s answers on my laptop or phone. But if you’d like to stick with the journal, by all means, do what’s best for you.
Here is a prompt question to get you started: What has God been speaking or putting on your heart lately?
3. Pray Through Art
You don’t have to be Monet, Picasso, or Frida Kahlo to create art. God will accept your art whether it’s a beautiful oil painting, sculpture, or a couple of stick figures.
This exercise can be just between you and God, and you can choose to paint, draw, doodle, or sculpt your way into the throne room of grace. You could also do online graphic design as prayers to Jesus.
Art can be an expression of what you’re feeling and a way to worship God for who He is and what He’s done for you, so don’t be afraid to whip out those pastels, easels, and watercolors.
4. Get Quiet, Be Still
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.Mark 1:35 ESV
Jesus Himself recognized the importance of getting alone with His Father and being still in His presence. Jesus did this often in the gospels, where he left the large crowds, growing ministry, and His disciples to get away from the noise, be still, and pray.
How much more do we, as weak humans need to get away into the presence of our Heavenly Father? Even in the craziest, busiest, hardest of times, let’s make it a priority to seek the will of God and pray to Him for all that we need, casting all our anxieties on Him, because He cares for us.
5. Use a Prayer Rug or Prayer Room
Speaking of quiet places to get alone with Jesus, using a prayer rug or prayer room could be just what you need to honor God through intentionality in prayer.
A prayer rug in a dedicated rug you use to spend time in prayer on, similar to the idea of a prayer room or even a prayer closet. (You can learn more about prayer rugs here).
Like a home office would motivate you to work while in the room, these designated places of prayer help you focus on what really matters: staying in the presence of the Father.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.Matthew 6:6 ESV
6. Praise God Through Thanksgiving
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.Colossians 4:2 ESV
As you begin to pray, exercise your gratitude muscle by thanking God for what He’s done, and maybe making a gratitude list that reminds you of everything you’re grateful for.
Even when we don’t feel grateful when we decide to be intentional with praying to God with gratitude, our whole perspective changes.
7. Worship and Pray Through Nature
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.Psalms 19:1 ESV
Nature is a display of God’s character, the sky shows His vastness, the ocean His deepness, and sunsets reveal His creativity and majestic power. When we praise Him through nature, we are worshipping Him and breaking down walls in the spiritual realm.
Going on a nature walk or simply sitting and looking at His creation inspires us to pray through what we’re feeling and open up to the One who made us and loves us.
8. Pray Through Exercising
This may sound redundant, but another prayer exercise is to… exercise. It could be anything from praying through a light walk or stretch to running and pushing through the hard things in our life with God.
When I’ve been angry before, running helps me relieve that stress as I surrender it to God with each footstep. Stretching before I go to bed helps me meditate on God’s peace and goodness.
9. Reciting Prayers
Sometimes we don’t even know what to pray, and that’s ok. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit Himself intercedes for us with wordless groans, and even the disciples asked Jesus what they should be praying about. Jesus answered them and said to pray this:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.Matthew 6:9-13 NIV
We don’t have to pray this exact prayer all the time since our prayers are about our relationship with Jesus, not some ritual. But when we don’t have any words to pray, we can borrow this prayer from Jesus Himself.
You can find multiple prayers to borrow from King David in the Psalms as well, and if you hear someone pray something that resonates with you, or you read a prayer in a devotional or book, don’t be afraid to use that prayer in your own life if you feel like it relates to you.
You can find 61 prayers to recite here.
10. Pray with Others
If you’re struggling in your walk with Jesus and need some encouragement, ask a trusted Christian friend or mentor to pray with you.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.James 5:16 ESV
These prayers truly disarm the devil and they have great power in transforming your life.
No matter what season of life you’re in, know that praying can change everything, and bring you closer to Jesus.
It’s not a one size fits all, so not every prayer exercise will suit your fancy, but I encourage you to start with one and experience God’s presence in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Remember, God is not waiting for you to figure it out or get your prayer life together. He wants you to bring whatever you have to Him. He will meet you where you are at.
Ultimately, praying is about spending time with Jesus and listening to what the Holy Spirit has for you. It’s a conversation, and God is to speaking to you as well.
So get excited about these Christian prayer exercises, because God is with you and listening to you every step of the way.