Creative Ways to Cultivate Your Prayer Life This Month | By Dorothy Camak

Have you ever felt “stuck” in your prayer life? You want to grow, but you are unsure how to sow the seeds and nourish those needs? Our prayer life is not immune from the ‘routine rut.’ Revitalize your conversations with God by sowing new seeds this season that will cultivate a beautiful and creative way to bloom.

Recalculate by Relocating.

One contributor to feeling stuck is that you need to change your physical space. Let’s not designate our only prayer place as the same space where we sleep. Evening prayers as we decompress and unwind from the day are great, but it’s challenging to cultivate a prayer life when it is competing with an exhausted body and mind. (More often than not, your warm bed and heavy eyes will win.) Challenge yourself to relocate for the specific purpose of prayer. Get outside. Go on a hike or prayer walk.

Too cold for you this winter? Get creative inside. Take a cue from history and other cultures by making your own little “prayer closet.” You don’t have to actually use your closet (although it may be a good incentive to clean it out), but designate a special space in your home just for you with the special purpose of prayer.

Paint your Prayer!

Ok, I’m no Picasso, but just stick with me friends. Those doodles and dots you sketch on your work memo pad are craving more! Trade your boring black ballpoint pen for a pop of color. Being creative is not reserved for a chosen few. Our Creator, in His divine design, made us to be makers. Experiment with reserving an art session for yourself. And you don’t need a fancy canvas and paint set to create. Start where you are with your doodles. Draw your dreams and desires and see if you notice a shift in your focus and mindset. There is something calming and peaceful about the “activity of art.” Not convinced? Or fear you, too, are no Picasso? Coloring books are not just for kids anymore. Grab an inspirational adult coloring book like THIS ONE and begin.

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Form a Ritual.

Creating a ritual around your prayer time is a simple yet effective way to revamp your routines. Reserve a few normal activities and make them special. Instead of drinking your coffee from your normal to-go tumbler, set aside your favorite mug and serve yourself your favorite brew. (Bonus tip: add a spoonful of sugar.) Light your favorite candle. (the fancy one that was a gift and you almost never burn) Dim the lights and cozy up in your favorite fuzzy slippers. As you pray, be aware of your senses. Smell and savor your coffee and candle. Feel the warmth of your environment. It’s incredible how a quickly a habit becomes Holy.

Make Music! Sing a Song!

Worship is a form of communication with God and our prayers can be wonderful worshipful experiences. Begin your day with singing through one of the Psalms. For example, Psalm 100 is a joy filled chapter of God’s Eternal promises:

“Raise your voices;
make a beautiful noise to the Eternal, all the earth.
Serve the Eternal gladly;
enter into His presence singing songs of joy!

Know this: the Eternal One Himself is the True God.
He is the One who made us;
we have not made ourselves;
we are His people, like sheep grazing in His fields.

Go through His gates, giving thanks;
walk through His courts, giving praise.
Offer Him your gratitude and praise His holy name.

Because the Eternal is good,
His loyal love and mercy will never end,
and His truth will last throughout all generations.” (Psalm 100, The Voice translation.)

Turn your morning commute into a praise and worship jam session with Jesus. ( I highly recommend Mandisa.)

Your prayer life gets a punch and you have an extra pep in your step when you start your workday.

Prayer Partner.

Invite a friend to join you in prayer. Christ calls us to community as He urges us to connect not only with Him, but also with others. Paul writes, “If some have cause to celebrate, join in the celebration. And if others are weeping, join in that as well.” (Romans 12:15) The partnering up is not just for the highs and lows. The power of pray can be celebrated in the everyday and the little moments of our lives. Designate some time on your ‘friend dates’ to pray for one another.   Lunch, coffee, and wine night are all simply friend times to introduce prayer.

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(Bonus project) Invite your friends to gather around your table for a meal. Break bread with them. Engage with them and discover their needs:

“We don’t come to the table to fight or to defend. We don’t come to prove or to conquer, to draw lines in the sand or to stir up trouble. We come to the table because our hunger brings us there. We come with a need, with fragility, with an admission of our humanity. The table is the great equalizer, the level playing field many of us have been looking everywhere for. The table is the place where the doing stops, the trying stops, the masks are removed, and we allow ourselves to be nourished, like children. We allow someone else to meet our need. In a world that prides people on not having needs, on going longer and faster, on going without, on powering through, the table is a place of safety and rest and humanity, where we are allowed to be as fragile as we feel.” (Shauna Niequist)

For further creative ways to explore the fruitfulness of inviting friends around your table and in your home, check out Shauna’s book, Bread and Wine.

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Write a Thank you note.

Thank you notes are considered by some in the South to be the 11th commandment. And while most translations omit this theory, it’s no less true that thanksgiving towards God is essential to a powerful prayer life.

God’s own template for prayer begins with giving Him glory, honor, and praise. Get at some gratitude and write God a simply note saying, “Thank you.” Be specific when thanking Him for the blessings. Yes, count them! Writing Him a note of gratefulness reminds us of His grace upon us. This simple practice brings forth a renewed awareness of His abounding grace and steadfast love. Put this practice into your prayer life and that ‘attitude of gratitude’ will be yours. I love how Anne Lamott puts it, “The movement of grace toward gratitude brings us from the package of self-obsessed madness to a spiritual awakening. Gratitude is peace.”

{Bonus project} Seal your thank you note to God in an envelope addressed to yourself. Buy a stamp and give it to a trusted friend. Ask them to send you the letter at the end of a season (perhaps a month or year) You will be blessed again by the reflection and reminder of His grace upon you.

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Experiment with these creative prayer prompts and sow the seeds that feel special to you. You will grow, and your relationship with God will too. Cheers to a future reaping season overflowing with His fruits!

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Dorothy Camak makes her #inreallife home in Greenville, South Carolina—a little southern city that has stolen her heart. Online, Dorothy makes her home at www.dorothycamak.com. She is fascinated by the connecting power of conversation. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram as these conversations become a new Podcast series launching soon!

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

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