Cultivating Prayer as a Way of Life
Prayers for All Occasions and Every Need
By Mary Fairchild
Prayer is meant to be a way of life for Christians, a way of talking to God and listening for His voice with the ears of the heart. As a result, there are prayers for every occasion, from a simple salvation prayer to deeper devotionals that help facilitate and strengthen one's spiritual journey.
Learning to Pray
Many Christians struggle with developing a prayer life. Often, they make prayer more complicated than it ought to be. The Bible can help unravel the mystery of prayer. By understanding and applying Scripture properly, Christians can learn to pray effectively and unceasingly.
Jesus demonstrated what cultivating prayer looks like. He often retreated to quiet places to be alone with God the Father, as evidenced by this passage from Mark 1:35: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
“The Lord’s Prayer,” in Matthew 6:5–15, is a good example of how to approach God in prayer. Jesus taught this prayer to his disciples when one of them asked, "Lord, teach us to pray." The Lord’s prayer is not a formula, and you don't have to pray the lines verbatim, but it's a good model for practicing prayer as a way of life.
Health and Wellbeing
Jesus said many prayers for healing, curing the sick as he walked this earth. Today, saying prayers when a loved one is sick or in pain is one of the ways believers can seek the Lord's healing balm.
Likewise, when faced with temptation, danger, heartache, anxiety, and fear, Christians can ask God for help. Before starting each day, they can pray to invite God to be a guide through stressful and challenging times. Weaving prayer into the fabric of everyday life opens up opportunities to be more aware of God’s presence throughout the day. Closing the day with a benediction for divine blessing and peace, along with a prayer of thanksgiving, is another way to praise God and exhibit gratitude for his gifts.
Love and Marriage
Couples who wish to dedicate themselves to God and to each other forever often choose to do so publicly with a special prayer as part of their wedding ceremony. Then, by continuing to develop their prayer lives both individually and as a couple, they build true intimacy in marriage and create an unbreakable bond. In fact, prayer can be a powerful weapon with which to combat divorce.
Children and Family
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Teaching children to pray at a young age is an excellent way to help them develop an enduring relationship with God. While it may sound like a cliché, it’s true that families who pray together are more likely to stay together.
Parents can pray with their children in the morning, at bedtime, before meals, during family devotions, or at any time. Prayer will teach children to reflect on God's Word and remember his promises. They will also learn to turn to God in times of need and discover that the Lord is always near.
Saying grace at mealtimes is an easy way to incorporate prayer into one's family life. The impact of praying before a meal has far-reaching consequences. When this act becomes second nature, it demonstrates gratitude for and dependence upon God, and it touches everyone who shares in the meal.
Holidays and Special Occasions
Holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other special occasions often call for specific times to gather for prayer. These moments allow Christians to let the light and love of Jesus Christ shine for all the world to see.
There are many ways to do this, from leading the table with natural, straightforward blessings on Thanksgiving Day to incorporating authentic prayers to encourage celebrations of freedom on the fourth of July. A prayer to bring in the New Year is an excellent way to take stock of one's spiritual condition and make vows for the upcoming months. Memorial Day is another great time to seek solace in prayer as well as to offer up prayers for military families, our troops, and our nation.
No matter the occasion, spontaneous, heartfelt prayer is the natural outgrowth of a healthy relationship with God and a genuine life of faith.
Fairchild, Mary. "Cultivating Prayer as a Way of Life." Learn Religions, Aug. 28, 2020, learnreligions.com/prayers-for-all-occasions-701358.