Do you ever bow your head to pray and find yourself thinking about everything you need to do? Or maybe you’re constantly struggling with trying to make time to pray in the middle of your busy life?
Friend, if that’s you, you aren’t the only one to struggle with prayer! I’ve been there too—and so has Anne Graham Lotz.
Over the years, though, Anne’s discovered that writing out her prayers draws her into deeper and more intimate conversations with God. And, in this episode of the 4:13 Podcast, she’s here to teach you how you can experience that too.
Anne—called “the best preacher in the family” by her father, Billy Graham—is an international speaker and the best-selling and award-winning author of lots of books, including her newest book, The Light of His Presence. She really needs no introduction.
You’ll learn four elements every prayer should include. Plus, you’ll get an honest look into Anne’s life, which I have to say, I thought was such a huge honor, and you will too. You’re going to be encouraged to lean more fully into God’s promises through this power-packed conversation!
3 Common Ways You Might Struggle With Prayer
- Struggle with consistency. Anne shares how having a consistent set-aside time of prayer has been a struggle for her over the years. While she does pray all day and every day as she’s going through her day, it’s been more challenging for her to regularly dedicate daily time for serious prayer, especially when traveling a lot.
If you struggle to set aside time to pray consistently, you can put a specific routine into practice, as Anne has done. To help her establish consistency, Anne says she sets her alarm and then wakes herself up by exercising and drinking a triple shot of espresso. After this, she dedicates time to pray.
- Struggle with concentration. For Anne, concentration has been a challenge at times too. When she goes to pray, Anne says she sometimes gets distracted. She’ll find herself thinking about what she’s going to wear tomorrow, what she needs to get at the grocery store, or the phone calls she needs to make.
Maybe you can relate. I know I sure can! To help with concentration, Anne started writing down her prayers. It helps her keep her focus—and it can do the same for you too.
- Struggle with content. There are times it’s difficult to know what to pray. Anne notes that writing down her prayers has also helped her with content. Putting her words onto paper lets her see what she may have forgotten to include or what she wants to delete. She’s also found it helpful to pattern her prayers after those in Scripture.
You might struggle with content too. If that’s the case, take the time to read Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9, Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 3, and Jesus’ prayer in John 17. You can use these as a pattern for your prayers. Additionally, you can pray Scripture back to God.
4 Elements to Help You Overcome Your Struggle With Prayer
While these four elements of prayer aren’t meant to be a formula, God has used them in Anne’s life to help her communicate with Him, as well as to relieve the burden that’s in her heart. Friend, they make for a very rich prayer and may be helpful to you too.
- Worship. If you aren’t sure where to start, begin with worshipping God for Who He is. Anne says that ninety-nine percent of the time, she begins her prayers with worship. When she focuses on who God is, she explains that it puts everything she wants to pray about in perspective. God is great. He is good. He is powerful. He is caring. He is loving. He is kind. He is righteous.
- Confession. After you worship, next comes confession. Anne says that as she focuses on who God is in worship, she’s better able to see herself and where she needs to repent. Confession keeps her relationship with God fresh and clean. It also ensures that there aren’t any hindrances to the Holy Spirit filling her.
- Thanksgiving. Next, you can move to Thanksgiving. Scripture tells us that when we confess sin, God’s faithful and just to not only forgive us but to cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Anne says she first thanks Him for the cleansing. Then, she thanks Him for the blessings, which helps her cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
- Interceding. Finally, after worship, confession, and thanksgiving, it’s time for intercession. Anne says this is when she spends time praying for others, for herself, or for whatever she feels God puts on her heart.
We all struggle with prayer. We all have regrets. But, like Anne, we all have a Redeemer who works all things together for our good and His glory.
So, until next week, remember that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!
Bible Studies & Accessories by Jennifer Rothschild
More from Anne Graham Lotz
- Visit Anne’s website
- The Light of His Presence: Prayers to Draw You Near to the Heart of God
- The Joy of My Heart: Meditating Daily on God’s Word
- Storming the Gates of Heaven: Prayer that Claims the Promises of God
- The Daniel Prayer: Prayer that Moves Heaven and Changes Nations
- Follow Anne on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
More from Michael O’Brien
- Visit Michael’s website
- Crown Him CD featuring the song, “The Lord’s Prayer”
- Spill the Beans LIVE With Laura Story, Karen Abercrombie, & Michael O’Brien at Fresh Grounded Faith West Michigan [Episode 80]
- Spill the Beans LIVE With Sheila Walsh, Shaun Groves, & Michael O’Brien at Fresh Grounded Faith Fargo, ND [Episode 100]
- Spill the Beans LIVE With Karen Kingsbury & Michael O’Brien at Fresh Grounded Faith, Fort Collins, CO [Episode 113]
- Follow Michael on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram