My First Time: Trying a Prayer Rhythm
How a prayer rhythm of the Lord’s Prayer can help you approach God and newly align your heart with His each day.
I tried adding a prayer rhythm to my daily life.
Rhythms suggests praying three times a day: morning, midday, and night. These prayers can be short, as in, 30 seconds. Or they can be long, for an hour or more. Rhythms prayer templates guide you through prayers to help you connect with God. When I used them, I felt less alone and more focused. They helped keep me from spending my prayer time just wondering what to pray!
I began by doing only the morning daily prayer to ease into the new practice. This helped me start the new practice without being overwhelmed. If I approached God through prayer for the slightest moment, I considered that a “success.” If you are not used to praying regularly, starting with small self-expectations such as this may help launch you. Even this initial approach newly aligns your heart with the Father.
I chose to pray during my morning coffee with the Lord’s Prayer guide and my journal and pen. (I like to write prayers/reflections because that’s how they flow more smoothly for me.)
The Lord’s Prayer guide breaks down each line of the prayer, and describes how to pray through it. So the prayer isn’t just rote repetition, but the guide slows you down and allows you to connect to God at every new thought.
The Lord’s Prayer is new each morning. It can meet your needs depending on what is happening in your current circumstances, internal heart life, and community.
On some days, I found that I just needed to focus on one part of the prayer depending on my heart and circumstances. On different mornings, I dwelled on parts of the prayer such as God’s holiness; or asking for His provision, or help with overcoming a particular sin. Some days, the prayer led to intercession for those around me.
The first morning disarmed my doubt in my ability to approach God. Even though I started out tentatively, the first prayer line is, “Our Father.” It encourages you to spend time thinking about God as your loving Father. You can be present, and know that you will be received with love rather than condemnation.
It affirms 1 John 3:1,
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
That alone could be enough for a morning prayer rhythm! Starting with this truth in the morning fosters a closer relationship with God to carry throughout the day.
Thy Will Be Done
At the end of the first week, I overslept through my prayer time. I’m newly pregnant for the first time (hurray!), but I struggled a lot with the changes that come along with this new phase of life. I had the doldrums and didn’t feel like praying.
While preparing for bed that night, trying to wind down my brain and emotions, a piece of the Lord’s Prayer naturally came drifting into my mind: “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
The prayer guide’s descriptor to this section says,
“Spend a few minutes asking for God’s will to be done in your life. This part of the prayer is about releasing control… In releasing, you are saying that you trust God's plan for that person, idea, or situation even more than your own. Ask for filling from the Lord in place of releasing: peace in place of anxiety, trust in place of fear, compassion in place of anger.”
I connected to Jesus, and He shifted my heart from worrying control over the changes this phase of life would bring, to restful trust and surrender that His kingdom would be brought forth through this pregnancy. I could release fearful control and grab onto trusting surrender to Him.
Creating A Rhythm
Even though I missed my prayer rhythm that particular morning, the previous days already subconsciously formed a tendency for me to bring my problems before the Lord in prayer. So instead of continuing to suffer that night from what seemed like a lost day, the rhythm of prayer sprung up to meet my soul’s needs.
Even just one week of short morning prayer times resulted in a habit, or rhythm, of turning toward God. And as I did, He aligned my heart with His.
I pray this example of my experience encourages you to start exploring through a prayer rhythm, and find what might help you connect your heart to God’s each day. What prayer rhythm might God be drawing you to try?
Questions for you:
-Have you tried a prayer rhythm? If so, which one?
-What might help you start or continue?
-How did it go? / What did you learn?