How to Build a Habit of Prayer for Beginners

Matt Mylin   -  

Have you ever set aside time to pray and found yourself distracted? You set a timer for ten minutes, start to pray, and in about 60 seconds, find your mind distracted. If you’re anything like me, here’s what can happen:

– You begin praying but then start thinking about what to make for dinner.

– Thinking about dinner reminds you of adding a few items to the grocery list.

– The grocery list leads you to all the to-dos: laundry, paying bills, replacing a lightbulb, and the list goes on and on.

– Then, you start to dream about that much-needed vacation.

Ten minutes have passed. You realize the time you wanted to focus on God has turned into focusing on your own life, which can easily lead to a feeling of failure and defeat. And you think to yourself, “I guess I’ll try it again another time.”

There is a better way.




Whether you’re praying by yourself or with others, be prepared with a plan for where to start. Here’s one way to prepare in four simple steps:

1) Print out 3-5 scripture passages on paper.

In about five minutes, you can find 3-5 scriptures showing you how to pray according to the truth of God’s Word. Here are some options for you: Psalm 46:1, Psalm 32:8, Joshua 1:9, John 14:27, and 1 Peter 5:7. Look them up, write them down, and move to the next step.

2) Identify specific people you will pray for.

List the people by name. The list could include the people in your family, your coworkers, your peers, your small group, your neighbors, those in leadership, and anyone that comes to mind.

3) Connect the person to the scripture.

Begin to pray one of the scriptures out loud over the people on your list. As you take this step, the Holy Spirit will bring the right words for you to pray over them according to the scripture. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to help us pray.

4) Pray with faith.

Prayer is communication with God. Talking to God, who we can’t see with our physical eyes, and believing he will be faithful to the promises in scripture requires faith every time. The more we pray in faith, the more confidence we’ll have in him.


“It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Preparing for a time of prayer will minimize distractions and hopefully become a time that you look forward to.