5 tips for a more effective prayer life in 2021

Struggling to pray? Here are five ways to get the new year off to a prayerful and practical start.

Let’s face it, 2020 was a tricky year for most of us, and we’re likely to feel the effects into 2021 and beyond. That’s why it’s so important to start the new year the way we mean to go on: with prayerful hearts. So how can we pray effectively when there seems to be doom and gloom all around us?

  1. Remember Jesus’ example. Jesus often withdrew to pray. He got rid of all the distractions around him and spent time with his heavenly Father, especially when life was at its busiest. Don’t let what’s going around you rob you of that special time of communication with God. Seek your Father’s heart each and every day.
  2. Ask for forgiveness often. Sometimes we allow sin to creep into our lives, and instead of coming to God straight away to ask for forgiveness, we allow a sense of unworthiness to separate us from him. The longer we leave it, the greater the barrier becomes. Keep a short account with God and ask him to help you deal with any recurrent sin in your life. Don’t let it fester!
  3. Bring your struggles to him. It may feel as though your circumstances are completely overwhelming right now. Maybe you have lost a loved one or a difficult relationship is bringing you down. Perhaps you’re drowning at work or struggling financially. Remember that you are not alone. God loves you with a never-ending love, and he wants to be involved in all areas of your life. Tell him how you feel. Ask for the strength to go on. Give him the opportunity to show you how to survive or overcome whatever it is you are facing.
  4. Discover your purpose. It may be that God has a particular purpose for you in 2021. Perhaps you have a passion for something but haven’t yet pursued it, or maybe he’ll plant a new desire in your heart as you seek his will for your life. Ask him to reveal his plans and purposes for you in the year ahead, and to show you how to bring them to fruition in a practical sense.
  5. Share God’s hope with others. Your situation may be tough, but there are others around you who may be suffering alone, without any sense of hope. Ask if there is anything you can pray for on their behalf. Help in practical ways and ask the Holy Spirit for opportunities to share the gospel with them. Speak of his love and faithfulness, pointing them toward other Christians who might be able to encourage them in whatever they are going through.

“Father, thank you for this new year. Thank you that you are still on the throne, and that you have promised never to forsake us. Reveal your plans and purposes as we start this new chapter in our lives. May we be walking testimonies of your love to those around us, shining your light into the darkness. All for your glory, Lord. Amen.”