Tip 1: Schedule a daily time of prayer
Everything in life that we desire to be consistent in requires scheduling.
If we want to be consistent in working out; we schedule a time for exercise. If we desire to be consistent in paying our bills on time; we schedule a date. If we wish to be consistent in homework; we schedule a time of studying. And if we want to be consistent in prayer then we should schedule a daily time to be with God.
Men and women of God throughout the Old and New Testaments had daily times of secret prayer with the Lord. A couple of perfect examples of this is King David and the prophet Daniel.
“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.” (Psalms 55:17)
“And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” (Daniel 6:10)
Both King David and the prophet Daniel, who was a leading governor in all of Babylon, scheduled their time of prayer in the morning, at noon, and in the evening time.
These two were not the only ones who did this, the apostle Peter also prayed three times per day. In Acts 2:15 he prayed with the 120 on the day of Pentecost at “the third hour of the day” (9 am). In Acts 3:1 he went to the temple with the apostle of John at “the hour of prayer, the ninth hour” (3 pm). And in Acts 10:9 he went “up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour” (noon).
The fact that these men of God prayed three times a day is not what matters, this is simply what they decided to do with their time. The important thing to notice, however, is the consistency in which they did it. No matter how busy these men were, they continually met with God to spend time with Him in secret. [Related article: How Long/Often Should Christians Pray? (Biblical Answer)]
Jesus, of course, is another perfect example of having a daily, scheduled time with the Lord.
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
Jesus didn’t just do this on this one occasion, rather this was a daily practice of the Son of God. The prophet Isaiah confirmed this when he prophesied about the Messiah.
“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.” (Isaiah 50:4)
This verse tells us that the Father would wake up Jesus “morning by morning” so that He could spend time with the Father and learn from Him. (Related article: Prayer Life of Jesus & How to Pray Like Him)
Learning from these examples we can conclude that if we want to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life the first step is to develop a scheduled habit of spending time with God in secret prayer.
Tip 2: Make mundane tasks a reminder to pray
This tip is probably one of the most eye-opening encounters I have ever had with God.
When my daughter was born it was very difficult for me to break away and spend time with God in secret prayer for the first couple of weeks because I was still trying to learn how to be a dad and catch up on sleep (if you have kids you can relate).
During this time, God showed me that I have many opportunities to spend time with Him throughout my day that I have been neglecting. He told me to take all of the mundane tasks that I do every day, such as; dishes, taking out the trash, showering, driving to work, feeding the baby, getting the mail, sweeping, making the bed, folding laundry, etc., and turn them into times of communion with Him.
God revealed to me that in addition to having time alone with Him (Matt. 6:6) we also need to have communion with Him throughout the day.
This is why the scripture says things like “dwell in the secret place” (Psalms 91:1), “Abide in Me” (John 15:4), “Walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16), “pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18), and “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” (Philippians 4:6).
Prayer is not only meant to be a time of secluded and focused time with God but it is also meant to be a continual thing we are constantly coming back to throughout the day. God is with us all the time so it’d be strange if we only talked to Him for only a small portion of our day, don’t you think?
If we want to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life then it is essential to consistently talk to God throughout our day, no matter what situation arises. (Related article: Pray without Ceasing: What it is & How to do it)
Tip 3: Read the Word of God daily
At first glance, some of you may be thinking this tip is kind of strange because what does reading the Word have to do with prayer? Others of you have been fully Christianized and you would be shocked if a tip such as “read the Bible daily” didn’t make it on this list.
The truth is, however, reading the Bible on a daily basis is incredibly essential to experiencing a consistent prayer life.
And the reason is simple; by taking the time to dive into the Word every day we are allowing it to consume our way of thinking, which then makes it easier to have a desire to spend time in prayer. Not to mention, reading the Bible assists you in guiding your thoughts toward Him as you pray.
Have you ever had such a busy day that by the end of the day, when you finally get to relax, your brain just can’t stop racing? Or have you ever had an extremely busy day and then tried to spend time in prayer? If you have, then you know that it is very difficult to direct your thoughts to Him. (Related article: 10 Ways to Keep Your Mind stayed on God).
Reading the Bible on a daily basis almost completely ends that struggle. Because the more you and I read the Word the more you and I will have our “mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).
This is one of the reasons the Bible consistently exhorts us to meditate in the Word day and night (Joshua 1:8, Psalms 1:2) so that our thoughts will be much easier to control. Because the truth is you can only think about what you are consuming with your five physical senses.
This leads me to my next point.
Tip 4: Avoid consuming the trash of this world
The Bible makes it clear that anyone who loves the world is an enemy of God (James 4:4). The Bible also makes it clear that whatever we decide to immerse ourselves into we end up becoming (1 Corinthians 15:33, Matthew 12:34-35).
Both of those verses I linked to are really good examples of this, but an even better passage is in Romans chapter 6 where Paul is explaining how to live a life that is free from sin.
“For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness…But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” (Romans 6:19-22)
Here is the main point I wish to show you, Paul says that if we want to live holy then we are to “present our members as slaves of righteousness” just as we used to present our members as slaves of uncleanness.
What does it mean to “present your members”? Our “members” in this passage is our five physical senses. Before we came to know Jesus we would watch things we shouldn’t, listen to things we shouldn’t, act on things we shouldn’t.
And it’s all because of two reasons: (1) we were born into sin, and (2) we presented our five physical senses to the things of sin.
But now that we have become born again (a.k.a born into Christ) we are no longer a slave of sin so now we can present our senses to the things of righteousness and not to uncleanness.
Now, what does this have to do with developing and maintaining a consistent prayer life? Everything!
You see, the more we focus on the things of God (i.e the more we read the Word, the more we spend time with other believers, the more we spend time in prayer and fasting, etc.) we will naturally produce fruit that leads to holiness.
In other words, we will have a desire for prayer. It will come automatically. Simply because we decided not to feed on the things of this world like we used to, and instead decided to feed on the things of God. Everything good, holy, and spiritual, we will have an appetite for, which will produce a prayer life that will never be shaken.
Tip 5: Have moments of prayer with family and other followers of Jesus
Another simple tip is to have moments of prayer with family and friends. If you have a spouse or children take time to pray with them over meals, when the day starts, when the day ends, etc.
Or if you have believers that you meet with on a consistent basis, take time to pray with them before and after the meeting. Or spend time worshiping together.
Now, I can imagine many of you reading this are probably already applying this to your life, but it’s important to remember that these times are prayer and they are essential to having a prayer life that is consistent.
Can you imagine having a prayer life that is “consistent” but then not taking time to pray with the people you love the most?
As mentioned previously, prayer is not only meant to be secret alone time with God, it is also our time of communion with Him throughout the day in front of the people with whom we have an influence.
Tip 6: Learn to enjoy prayer
If we want our life to be a life of prayer, and if we desire to pray consistently, then it is obviously important to enjoy our times of prayer.
A simple way to enjoy prayer is by learning that the main reason for prayer is to develop a relationship with God by communing and fellowshipping with Him. Not all times of prayer are supposed to contain a prayer list with things we wish to have changed.
Rather, the Bible reveals to us that the primary purpose of prayer is for us to be with God and enjoy His presence. In other words, prayer is meant to be a time of fellowship with God, not just a to-do list where we ask for things.
Here are some verses that suggest this:
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3)
“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9)
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Not only do we see this as a consistent doctrine throughout the New Testament, we also see this as an example in the life of men of God throughout the Bible.
“Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said..” (Acts 13:1-2)
Ministering to the Lord is worshiping the Lord, thanking Him, and communing with Him. When we do this we minister to Him and His presence manifests, as the verses above reveal.
Another place where we see this happening in a very practical way is in Acts 16.
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:25)
In other words, Paul and Silas were ministering to the Lord. They were worshipping Him through praise. This is the most joyful thing when it comes to spending time with God in prayer. (Related article: The Prayer Life of the Apostle Paul & How to Pray Like Him)
If we limit our time of prayer with nothing but a prayer list of things we wish God to accomplish then our time of prayer will quickly become a dutiful responsibly rather than a time of enjoyment spent in the presence of our Father.
Tip 7: Know the reason why you want a consistent prayer life
Finally, my last tip is to remind yourself why you want a consistent prayer life. I can imagine that you want to be consistent in prayer so you can have a healthy relationship with God and live a life of righteousness.
But whatever the reason is it is causing you to pursue a life of prayer and this is an amazing desire and God is backing you!
Whenever you don’t feel like praying, remind yourself of your why. Think to yourself that if you don’t pray it is a momentary pleasure but it adds no fruit to your life.
Another thing to keep in mind is if you miss a scheduled time of prayer, don’t beat yourself up. Ask God to help you and meet with Him the next time you get a chance.
Consistency doesn’t just mean always doing what you should when you should, but it also means doing what you should even if you stumbled originally. Developing the habit is what takes the longest. Give yourself time.
Benefits of a consistent prayer life
The benefits of developing and maintaining a consistent prayer life are found in psalms 91. The psalmist uses different terminology than “consistent prayer life” but the meaning is still the same. (Related article: Dwelling in the Secret Place: What it is and How to do it).
- You will be delivered. You will receive deliverance from those against you who try to trap you, and from deadly sicknesses. (Psalm 91:3)
- He will cover you from your enemies and from evil. (Psalm 91:4)
- You will have no fear in your life. You won’t be afraid of sickness, darkness, destruction, or man-made weapons. (Psalm 91:5-6)
- No evil shall befall you. Others may fall, but you’ll be protected. (Psalm 91:7,10,11, & 15)
- No sickness will come near you or your household. Sickness is never from God and those who dwell in Him will be free from sickness and disease. (Psalm 91:10)
- Angels will guard and protect you. (Psalm 91:11-12)
- You will have authority and power over satan and his demons. The Bible uses creatures such as lions, serpents, and scorpions to represent the enemy. If you dwell in the secret place you will “trample him underfoot.” (Psalm 91:13)
- God will answer your prayers. (Psalm 91:15)
- God will be with you in trouble. God will be with you as he was with other men and women of God who loved Him. He will deliver and rescue you from trouble. (Psalm 91:15)
- You will be blessed with long life. Many people think that God has a timestamp for everyone, but this verse reveals that how we live our lives judges when we will die. So, if we dwell in God, He promises to “satisfy us with long life.” (Psalm 91:16)
- He will show us His salvation. I believe this is twofold. (1) God will show us salvation and deliverance from times of trouble and evil on this earth, and (2) He will show us His eternal salvation by being with Him forever! (Psalm 91:16)
I also have an article that teaches how to be more consistent with God in a much more general way than just prayer. Its titled 9 Ways to be More Consistent with God (Helpful Tips). You can read it by clicking the link.