Here’s a few good habits dads like to pass on to their sons:
- Look people in the eye when talking to them
- Check your oil and tire pressure regularly
- Earn your shower each day
- Pay your bills on time
- Keep your word
- Never spit into the wind
Good habits are those activities in life that are worthy of us repeating. Some habits are so important we need to repeat them every day. The best habits not only help us today but make our tomorrows better as well. Every day good habits prepare us and position us for a better future. Good spiritual habits do the same thing.
We pray continually when we invite God into our lives on an everyday basis.
Prayer is a spiritual link to our Heavenly Father. Every man or woman in the Scriptures who knew God intimately was a pray-er. Including Jesus. Every time we pray, we are inviting God into our unique situations. If we choose not to pray, we forfeit help that God could have provided. As Mark Batterson said, “The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered simply because they go unasked.”.
For the Christian, praying is so vital we are instructed to never stop doing it. Prayer is how we communicate with God and its one way we demonstrate our faith in Him. We may not feel like praying regularly but we should do it anyway because it’s necessary and it’s effective. The goal should be to become a “habitual pray-er” which is much better than being a “random pray-er”.
The Apostle Paul gave godly advice on everyday prayers and everyday pray-ers.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1–2 (NIV)
“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray” 1 Timothy 2:8a (NIV)
Notice how Paul said prayer should be something we do “first of all”. Then, he said “men everywhere” should pray. Prayer is not a spiritual option we reserve for a select few Christians. We must all develop this habit. You can’t rely on someone else’s good habits to help you. You will not reap the benefits of someone else’s teeth brushing habits. Neither should you expect someone to do your praying for you.
Paul also encouraged us to pray for those in leadership because it would impact the level of peace and quiet our lives. Everyday prayers affect everyday life. The old saying is true, “prayer changes things”.
Here are four everyday prayers the Apostle Paul mentioned:
This is the act of requesting help for yourself. Another word for this is “supplication” (asking or pleading for something earnestly). When you petition God, you are drawing near to God and humbly asking for help, aid, or favor for yourself. I don’t know about you, but I need to pray for myself sometimes (and sometimes a lot) – because I need it! I truly need God’s help in my everyday life, so I petition Him directly and don’t leave it up to anyone else to do my petitioning for me.
This is conversation and fellowship with God. It includes a whole range of different kinds of prayers (Ephesians 6:18). There are many ways to converse with God and much you can talk about. Prayer is often two-way communication so be prepared for God to talk back to you as you start praying more. Sometimes you just need to converse with God and talk to him about life, ask Him questions, and seek His wisdom and direction. In prayer, you can leave things with God and pick up the topic again later…much like a conversation in a healthy father/child relationship.
This is the act of intervening or mediating between two parties. Intercession is when you are praying on behalf of someone else. When you become aware of someone’s else’s needs or hurts, you can approach God and make a request for them, standing in their place. Much like a lawyer pleads the case of their client before the judge, you can intercede for someone who may not be able or willing to approach God for themself. Intercession can be a very loving act where a person may never even know they are being prayed for.
This is when you take time to simply thank God for what He has done (past tense), what He is currently doing (present tense), and what He will do (future tense). Sometimes, it’s appropriate to “pause” your requests to God and start thanking Him instead. Thank Him for working on your situation and tell Him you appreciate Him. You can pray continually by simply thanking and praising God all day as you navigate life. Thanksgiving is an often-neglected type of prayer but it’s can perfectly fit those moments when you don’t know what else to do or say.
Like tools in a toolbox, not every prayer is needed in every situation. You need the right tool for the job; you also need the right prayer for the job. Keep these four prayers at the top of your spiritual toolbox where you can easily reach them – and pray them.
We pray every day because we need God every day. All good habits require extra discipline at first, but they pay off in the long run. Start with one prayer. There is a prayer that will fit the moment you find yourself in right now – find the time to pray it. Invite God into that moment. Then, pray again tomorrow.