Making a “Place” in your Life for Prayer

By monthly contributor Ann Dunagan of Harvest Ministry

Imagine if someone gave you a brand-new living room set. The pieces of furniture are so much better than you could have imagined, or dreamed. The set is absolutely perfect for your family. The colors. The style. The look. Wow. It’s so much better than that old worn-out set that should have gone years ago.

But imagine bringing that new living room set home . . . and leaving it outside.

You know it needs to come in. You want to bring it in.
But you just aren’t willing to take the time to rearrange your living room.

You don’t want to “bother” with getting rid of the old set.
It’s such a job to get everything moved around.

Making a “place” for God’s gift of prayer . . .

As Christians, we have been given a tremendous gift. God has extended a special invitation for us to spend time with Him on a regular basis; but sometimes, we aren’t willing to take the time to “rearrange” our lives to fit this time with Him into our comfortable old routine.

A simple way to begin a new daily habit for time with the Lord is to find a “place” for it.

Just like we would need to rearrange our furniture to fit a new couch set into our home, we need to rearrange our life (and be willing to get rid of old habits and time-fillers) to make room for prayer.

A new lifestyle of daily prayer will require consistent desire and discipline, but it’s wonderful to know that God will help you to make necessary changes. He is so willing and desiring to give us His strength and His help. As you rely on Him (even for this daily God-empowered discipline and self-control), your time with the Lord can eventually become a highlight of your day and a strength of your life.

In a spiritually-healthy family, our prayer-life can include praying with others at church, praying together as a family, and/or praying (or “interceding”) for the needs of others and for the world.

Yet, nothing is more spiritually beneficial for families than a lifestyle of personal prayer.

Do your kids “see” you spending time with God?

As Christians, we tell our kids that it’s good to pray. Perhaps we pray before mealtime. Perhaps we pray for our kids at night (during those special times when we remember to tuck in our little ones before they fall asleep).

Yet how many of us, as moms, are a bit lacking in our own daily personal prayer lives? As we develop our own personal relationship with God through our own regular time with the Lord, the cooperate effect on the family and on others is powerful. We get more of God’s heart and perspective and we begin to follow His day-by-day leading.

One effective “strategy” to begin to establish a new habit of daily prayer is to literally make a physical “place” in your home as a little prayer spot. It can serve as your reminder to come and spend time, even just a moment, with the Lord.

If time with God is something you want in your life, be encouraged. If you don’t measure up to the expectations of others (or of yourself), don’t give up. It can be difficult with babies and kiddos, but it’s not impossible. Just make a few strategic steps and start moving forward. Even a few minutes a day to set your heart and mind on the Lord is powerful. With God’s help, YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

As parents, one of the greatest ways to instill in your kids the foundation of life-impacting faith is for your kids to actually “see” you reading your Bible, (on a regular everyday basis, not just at church), and for your kids to “see” you taking time to pray by yourself.

Establish a special “place” in your home for PRAYER

  • perhaps a comfy chair in a spare bedroom
  • perhaps in your home office
  • perhaps on the couch in your living room
  • perhaps on a trail outside your house or a quiet walk around your neighborhood

If you haven’t been taking the time to consistently pray on a regular basis, it’s helpful to “round up” a few quiet-time accessories or “spiritual” items and to have them set aside and waiting for you in your designated new quiet-time place.

Here are a few suggestions for helpful “QUIET TIME” items:

  • your own Bible (with a marker to remember where you are reading)
  • a daily Bible-reading chart
  • a journal or notebook, with a pen and a highlighter
  • a devotional or “meaty” spiritual book (to challenge your walk with Christ)
  • a world map, and missionary newsletters
  • a CD with quiet worship music
  • possibly even items for holy communion (with wafers, a cup, and grape juice) for a personal communion time (see I Corinthians 11) perhaps on a daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, to remember the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice

Remember to be flexible . . . and walk with God throughout each day!

Along with consistency in prayer, it’s important to be flexible. In the life of every family, there will be different seasons and changing schedules. What works today may not work tomorrow; yet even so, we need to faithfully guard our time with God. If what you’re doing right now, concerning your personal daily prayer life, is working, by all means keep it up; but if it’s not working, please ask for God’s help and His grace (along with His unlimited creative ideas) to make a change!

Living a life of prayer is simply walking and talking with God. It’s vital to acknowledge God’s presence right beside you and with you all throughout each day.

As individuals, and as families, we can welcome the presence of God’s Spirit into every dimension of our lives. God cares about everything (whether little or big, silly or significant, everyday or eternal), and we can welcome His presence into every decision and every activity. In our families and in our daily communication with God, there should not be a barrier between what is “holy” and what is “common”; instead, God desires for every dimension of our lives (at home, at school, at church, at work, and even at play) to be lived in constant fellowship with Him.

We need to get that “special couch set” (our daily time with the Lord) into our main living room. Some of our old furniture might have to go. Some of our old decorations and clutter might not “match” with the quality of this new look. But the new pieces are so perfect; and we want that new couch set TO FIT!

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased,
that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray . . .
Luke 11:1

Helpful Prayer Guides:

31 Days of Praying for your Children
31 Days of Praying for your Husband
31 Days of Praying for your Pastor
Operation World 

About ADunagan

Ann Dunagan is a longtime homeschooling mother of 7 (ages 11 to 25, with 4 graduates), an international speaker with Harvest Ministry, co-founder of orphan ministries in East Africa and India (caring for over 700 children), and author of several books including The Mission-Minded Family. With a passion for the Lord and the lost, Ann motivates families for world missions.

11 Responses to Making a “Place” in your Life for Prayer

  1. val April 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. It was another timely reminder today that I need to get back to my quiet time with God.

  2. Caitlin G June 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Ann, your words are always so helpful & timely for me. The Lord has been letting me know I need more prayer time in my life and with 3 small children it can seem like there’s no time but really, I’m just out of practice. Thank you so much for this challenge & encouragement! As soon as I’m done typing this I’m off to spend time praying & asking God for grace to form a new habit!

  3. Mallory Hill June 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Thank you for this encouragement. I’ve been working on finding the right moment for my alone time with God, needing that quiet momet to pray. This was a wonderful reminder to make this a priority.

  4. Callie June 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    That last paragraph about breaking down the barrier between “holy” and “common” so spoke to me today. Thank you.

    • Ann Dunagan June 14, 2012 at 4:17 am #

      So glad this ministered to you, Callie.

      The Lord cares about every detail of our lives. It’s all supposed to be spiritually led and exuding with the presence of God. This weekend, our family is preparing for our daughter’s wedding. Prayer and walking in God’s presence penetrates everything — from the decorating to the vows, to the food preparation, to the meeting of all the relations. What is holy and what is secular? We want His life (and peace and joy and Spirit) to fill everything!!!

  5. [email protected] June 13, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    Thanks for the reminder! I have long been trying to set up a devotion time in the morning, and the amount of books to keep track of was a hindrance. I’ve subscribed to “The Upper Room” on my iPad, and it includes links to the scripture passages for each devotion. I’ve also downloaded the prayer calendars for my husband and child, so those are right there as well. I’m still not perfect–I aim to do a devotional every day but end up doing it a few times a week. But it’s all about small steps!

    • Ann Dunagan June 14, 2012 at 4:18 am #

      Awesome, Bethany!!!

      God loves our steps toward Him!!!

      Thanks for sharing.

  6. Jennifer June 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Thank you for addressing this important topic. I have one concern, however. 1 Corinthians 11, and the chapters that provide its immediate context, are addressed to the corporate activity of the church when it gathers together for worship and, in the immediate context, for commemorating the Lord’s supper. The balance of scripture seems to place communion in that context – as a means of grace shared with the Body of believers. It is different in that way from the ways in which scripture encourages our ineividual activities, such as prayer, attention to the scriptures, etc. Again, I did appreciate your comments, so please don’t take this harshly, but in the interest of being discerning in how we apply scripture.

    • Lindsay June 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      I think she is encouraging the idea of adding a personal communion time but not at the exclusive of corporate communion by any means.

      • Ann Dunagan June 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

        Yes, that was my heart Lindsay!

      • Mary June 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

        With due respect, and whilst thoroughly agreeing with the necessity to make time for the Lord in our everyday lives, I think Jennifer’s point is valid in that, Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as personal communion time. In Scripture, communion is always a corporate activity.
        Yes, the Lord looks on the heart, but if He has made a point of communicating with us quite specifically how He is to be remembered and worshipped by His people then surely we should take care to follow His word and so please Him and bring glory to His name in this.