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6 Tips for a Successful Prayer Challenge

Prepare yourself for a successful prayer challenge with these 6 tips.

 

The Christian blogging community is full of prayer challenges.

They can be a great jumpstart toward establishing a habit of prayer. Or a helpful tool to guide you in praying for a specific topic.

When you decide to participate in one, you certainly don’t plan to look back and realized you never finished! Unless you make a plan to follow through, though, that might be exactly what happens.

When you see a prayer challenge you want to participate in – around the web or from church -, you can prepare yourself to  finish well by following a few simple tips.

 

If you haven’t already found one, the first task is to:

Pick a prayer challenge . . .

 

31 Days of Prayer for the New Year | Faith Along the Way

30 Day Prayer Dare for Parents | Kaylene Yoder

Praying the Promises of the Cross | Arabah Joy

31 Days of Praying for Your Homeschool | Pat and Candy

Be Inspired by Mark (Amazon link) | Catherine Gabrielson

40 Prayers to Pray Over Your Husband | Kaylene Yoder

Personal Heart Care Prayers: Fruit of the Spirit | Joy In My Kitchen

Personal heart care prayers: Fruit of the Spirit

 

Now that you’ve chosen a challenge, here are the tips that will help you complete it successfully.

6 Tips for a Completing a Successful Prayer Challenge

 

Before you start . . .

 

Print your materials ahead of time – don’t “start behind” on the first day, scrambling to find your resources! With a few prayer challenges this isn’t necessary because they send you a daily or weekly email. Most though, offer a printable list or calendar that you’ll want to keep handy. Print this before the first day of the challenge!

 

Gather your resources in one place – collect your printed papers, Bible, notebook and pen. Stack them together in a convenient place. Preferably one where the kids won’t move them. Or borrow your pen.

 

Decide when you will pray – “fitting it in when you remember” won’t work – pick a specific time. Could be during your usual prayer time. Or connected to a daily event like walking the dog or locking up the house for the night. If you happen to pick a time that’s not connected to something you’re already doing, set a reminder on your phone or a sticky note that you’ll be sure to see.

 

Make a “fall-behind” plan – you know it’s going to happen. You’re going to miss a day, ’cause life just works that way. And the temptation will be to quit and start over when it’ll be easier. Don’t do it! Don’t quit. Decide now whether you’ll:

  • pick up where you left off – and not worry about finishing on a certain date
  • skip the day you missed – and pick up with the current date

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again.

Proverbs 24:16a

 

During the challenge . . .

 

Interact with the Scripture verses – many prayer challenges are rooted in Scripture verses. The goal isn’t just to read the verses but to use them as the basis for communion with God. This will look different for different people. Consider the following options:

  • handwrite the verse(s) in a notebook or journal
  • ask God for wisdom to understand and discernment to apply His words
  • mark up the verse you wrote out (colored pencils work well, but you can also just use a pen to circle, underline, etc.) to recognize ideas and connections. Confused? This explanation of verse mapping is one example.
  • personalize a prayer based on the truths of the Scripture; journal these if you find it helpful
  • continue to pray as God brings the verse to your mind through out the day
  • if your prayer challenge doesn’t already have Scripture attached, ask God to bring relevant verses to mind

 

Keep your attitude in check – prayer isn’t about getting something from God. Sure, we pray because we want to see something happen. But our plans are not always God’s plans. (Psalm 37:23, Proverbs 19:21, Isaiah 55:8-9) Prayer is communion with God. It’s about maintaining relationship. Learning to trust, to rest in God’s truth and promises. Be willing to surrender your desires for His better plan. Be prepared for God to reveal sin and ready to repent. Remember to praise God for the work He is doing in you. And be grateful when you see evidence of His work in those you love.

 

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:6-8

 

After the challenge . . .

 

Pick another one – maintain the habit of taking your concerns, questions, and joys to God. Even if you’re not ready to participate in another organized challenge, keep praying.

 

Have you completed a prayer challenge? What tips would you offer?

 

This post contains affiliate links, including but not limited to Amazon affiliate links. When you choose to purchase through a link, your price will not change, but Joy In My Kitchen will earn a small percentage. Thank you.

Shared at: Coffee & Conversation, Grace & Truth,

Comments

  1. Wonderful suggestions here Abi – and I love all of the options for prayer challenges.

    I’m “bad” for getting down on myself when I fall behind or miss a day – so challenges are a struggle for me to commit to but I love your idea to strategize what you’ll do if you fall behind.

    Thanks for sharing. I love this!
    xoxo

    • I know. It’s so easy to think, “I’m behind; I’ll just give up and start over when it’s a better time.” But there won’t ever be a better time, so I find having a plan in place takes me off the hook of perfection, so to speak.

  2. We can get so hard on ourselves when we ‘fall behind’ – but I have learned that God uses even those ‘behind’ prayers to work His plan. Thanks for sharing these tips on Grace and Truth! Such a a great post idea.

    • Yes, I have noticed that even when I get behind on a Bible reading or prayer plan that God uses the gap to give me the verses or topic to trust Him with on exactly the right day. His ways are higher than ours and no purpose of His can be thwarted!

  3. Abi, Such clear and practical advice. I love the idea of creating a “fall-behind” plan! Happy New Year to you. Visiting today from #graceandtruth

    • Thanks, Deborah. I think having a plan in place for when things don’t go as planned (!) helps avoid the temptation to throw in the towel. Happy New Year to you too. Enjoy!

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