Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Stacy Averette

If your life is anything like mine, you need to pray throughout the day but you might feel like you don’t have the time, the place, or the words. This post offers 6 simple ways you CAN pray throughout your day!

In my experience, Christians often feel guilty about their prayer life. We don’t think we pray long enough, often enough, or well enough. We compare ourselves to the “prayer warriors” we’ve known and wish our prayer life could be like theirs.

I loved the movie “War Room” and was challenged to strengthen my prayer life. I don’t have a “prayer closet” like the one depicted in the movie (and you might not either) but even if we did; we’d still spend more time outside our prayer closet doing all the things that life requires than we would inside. So where does that leave our prayer life?

Is it possible to deepen our prayer life outside of our prayer closet?

If you clicked on this post you’re at least a bit curious and you likely are in search of simple ways to improve your prayer life even if you don’t have a prayer closet. I commend you. Let me also encourage you to let go of the guilt you feel about your prayer life and the dread of possibly adding one more task to your to-do list. What you’re going to learn in this post are simple ways to talk to God throughout the day (and no one but you and God will even know you’re praying).

I challenge you to read this post and I promise if you apply these Simple Ways to Pray Throughout the Day, you’ll know God better and love Him more than you ever have before.

Before we get to the 6 Simple ways to pray throughout the day, I want to give you a few reminders about prayer that I believe will be helpful.

What is prayer?

The most basic definition of prayer is “talking to God.” Prayer is not meditation or passive reflection; it is a direct address to God. It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God.1

What is the purpose of prayer?

According to Mark Batterson, author of Draw the Circle: A 40-Day Prayer Challenge, The primary purpose of prayer is not to change circumstances; the primary purpose of prayer is to change us! But either way, the chief objective remains the same: to glorify God in any and every situation.

If we’re being completely honest, most of our prayers have as their chief objective our own personal comfort rather than God’s glory. We want to pray away every problem, but those shortsighted prayers would short-circuit God’s perfect plan. There are seasons and situations when we need to simply pray through.

Can our prayers change our circumstances? Absolutely! But when our circumstances don’t change, it’s often an indication that God is trying to change us. The primary purpose of prayer is not to change circumstances; the primary purpose of prayer is to change us! But either way, the chief objective remains the same: to glorify God in any and every situation.

God wants us to talk to Him. He has given us the gifts of language and conversation in order to communicate with each other and with Him! Prayer (talking to God) is one of the ways we deepen our relationship with Him. Just as a marriage or a friendship is strengthened by frequent, healthy, honest communication, so is our relationship with God.

How often should I pray?

This question might be the most guilt-producing one of them all. We never feel like we pray enough. Friend, let me remind you again to let go of the guilt. God isn’t keeping score of how often you pray!

And yet, the Bible is very clear about how often we ought to pray. Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing”. This phrase has also been translated as pray continually, pray constantly, never stop praying, and pray at all times.

Ephesians 6:18 reminds us: “Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.”

Jesus told his disciples a parable about a persistent widow to remind them of their need to pray at all times and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1)

Pray constantly?! How is that even possible?

Well, this post is meant to answer that question. If you’re feeling guilty about how little you pray then please keep reading!

One commentary says this about the command to “pray constantly”:

It is impossible to be always on our bended knees, but we may be in the spirit of prayer when engaged in the duties of our earthly calling. Prayer may be without ceasing in the heart which is full of the presence of God, and evermore communing with him. (Pulpit Commentary)

There are seasons of life that afford us more time to enter into our prayer closet and on bended knee linger before the throne offering praise and intercession. But what about all the other hours of our days? How might we be “evermore communing with him” as we go about our civic duties, household chores, commuting, and tasks at our jobs? Is it possible to pray without ceasing during times of rest, leisure activities, and entertainment?

Let me ask you this? Do you have needs and wants at all those times—work and leisure? Do you need energy, wisdom, strength, and patience at all times? Of course, you do! We are often needy, in some way distressed, anxious, and overwhelmed.

And it is precisely at these moments while we are engaged in the affairs of life that we have the privilege to enter the throne room of heaven—no prayer closet, bent knee, or bowed head required!

Whatever you’re doing right now, God is close by, ready to meet your needs.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand; Psalm 121:5

a vintage typewriter on a desk

How long should I pray?

Think about the definition of and purpose of prayer I mentioned above. With that in mind, let me urge you to focus on the quality of your prayer life. Of course, there are times when will want and need to linger, unhurried, undistracted, in the presence of God but certainly, the God who gave us families, jobs, gifts and hobbies, vacations, and ballgames had something more in mind when He also told us to pray constantly.

In the Bible, we have numerous records of God’s people (and even Jesus) praying at certain times of the day. But there is no prescribed length recorded. Pray as long as you need to. Pray as long as you have time to pray.

What should I pray about (and not pray about)?

The Bible says “Don’t worry about anything. Pray about everything”! We spend so much time and energy worrying about things, most of which are completely out of our control.

What if we started to heed that command? What if we prayed about EVERYTHING that concerns us and those we love?

When the Bible says “everything” we ought to take that literally! I’ve prayed for the salvation of lost family members and I’ve prayed for lost pacifiers! I’ve prayed for sunshine and rain. I’ve talked to God about menopause, grief, sex, and our finances. I’ve asked him for help figuring out technology, insurance billing, and running a business.

Here’s the thing: God knows everything. He is all-powerful. And He cares more about you and your life than you ever could. Nothing is off-limits. Talk to him about everything and watch how much your love for Him will grow!

Hindrances to a fruitful prayer life.

  • Overthinking. Please stop overthinking. Just talk to God. And the more you talk to Him, the better you’ll know Him and the more meaningful your conversations with God will become.
  • Wrong thinking. God isn’t mad at you. He loves you. He wants you to come to Him. When you go to God in prayer you are going to a throne of grace! You are talking to the Father who gave His Son to die for you. Charles Spurgeon said, “A throne of grace is a place fitted for you: go to your knees, by simple faith go to your Savior, for he, he it is who is the throne of grace” (“The Throne of Grace,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 860).
  • Prideful thinking. Sometimes people come to our counseling office and say, “I feel like I should be able to figure this out/fix this on my own.” Our pride often prevents us from asking for help. God already knows how desperately we need him. He wants us to come to him in our time of need.

“And he said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I hope you found these reminders about prayer helpful. I know I needed them! Now let’s move on and apply what we’ve learned.

6 Simple Ways to Pray Throughout the Day

1. Prayer Journal

Prayer journaling is a good way to start your day. When I try to pray quietly my mind is often like an unruly child running all over the place. Writing my prayers helps me to stay focused and pray more sincerely. If you’re worried about someone reading your journal use code words!

Related: 5 Ways Prayer Journaling Can Change Your Life

2. Moment by Moment Thanksgiving

These are silent prayers of thanksgiving offered throughout the day.

“Thank you, Lord.”

  • For a cup of clean cold water in the middle of the night.
  • For our safe arrival at our destination
  • For a reminder to pay a bill I’d overlooked
  • For pretty pink blooms on my rosebushes
  • For good neighbors
  • For the special treasure found at the thrift store

Throughout the day, we have hundreds of opportunities to express our thankfulness to God and let him know we see and appreciate all the little blessings of life.

3. Conversational Prayer

When we have a lot on our minds, it’s nice to have a friend to chat with about everything and nothing. What if we also developed the habit of talking to our friend Jesus the same way? Leave the “churchy” public prayer language behind and talk to God in the same way you would a friend. Tell him all the exact things you’d tell a close friend. Tell him about your new shoes, upcoming vacation, the friend who disappointed you, or an inattentive husband. Ask him all your questions and believe that at the right time, he will provide everything you need and more.

He speaks all languages and dialects. He understands every accent and colloquialism. Cry with him. Laugh with him. Express your frustration, your excitement, your fear. Say it all to him. I find that the more I talk to God about the minutiae of my life the easier it is to hear his voice and see His work.

4. Short-Phrase Prayer.

Conversational prayer might be long and drawn out. (I like to have these when I’m driving in the car alone.) However, sometimes all we have time for is a phrase. Just as we might text a friend or family member to say “Thinking about you” we can do the same with God all day.

  • I love you, Lord.
  • Help me.
  • Please guide me.
  • Strengthen me.

5. Recite-a-prayer.

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7) These words of Jesus are instructing us about the quality of prayer, and the attitude of our hearts. God is looking for worshippers who are engaged in expressing the meaning of the words they speak (pray). He’s not interested in someone who’s simply going through the motions.

His words in Matthew 6:7 are not an indictment against memorizing a prayer, using a prayer written by someone else, or even repeating yourself in your prayer. Jesus taught his disciples a prayer (we refer to it as The Model Prayer or The Lord’s Prayer) and it has been memorized and repeated for two millennia.

There are times when reading or reciting a memorized prayer is needed. Here are a few examples:

  • Hannah’s Prayer I Samuel 2:1-10
  • Prayer of Jabez I Chronicles 4:10
  • Hezekiah’s Prayer 2 Kings 19:15-19
  • Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom I Kings 3:7-9
  • The Jesus Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
  • Guide us waking O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace. Almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.

6. Scripture Promises

Remember the scriptural promises of God as a prayer throughout your day. Some of my favorites include:

  • Lord, You are faithful. (2 Timothy 2:13)
  • Lord, You are with me. ( Joshua 1:9)
  • Lord, You will strengthen me and help me. ( Isaiah 41:10)

I encourage you to search the Scripture for the promises of God that are especially meaningful to you in this season. I often string the promises together as a sentence prayer and recite them whenever I need to.  For example, when I feel overwhelmed at work, I might pause a moment and think, “Lord, you are faithful. I know you are with me and I believe you will strengthen and help me.”

What’s the biggest struggle in your prayer life?

Have you tried praying simple prayers like the ones I mentioned?

What has helped deepen your prayer life?


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