How to Pray in Times of ChangeHolly Anderson - 8 Aug 2019

During times of change or transition - like starting university or a new job –  we often experience a transition in our spiritual lives, too.

Living in a new environment, meeting new people, and facing new challenges, you will find that your relationship with God changes. You may discover that the way you used to pray ‘doesn’t work’ any more.

This was certainly the case for me starting university. But I discovered that as I was maturing as a person, there was also an opportunity to deepen my relationship with God…

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

- Matthew 7:7, NIV

In times of transition, try knocking on different prayer ‘doors’. You may discover Jesus is waiting for you.

Here are four practical tips to get started:

Get Outdoors

It’s easy to become introspective and only live in a small bubble. Why not take your prayers outside? I found that fresh air, light exercise, and a change of scenery did wonders for my overall wellbeing, and I experienced greater freedom in prayer.

Try: Setting aside an hour and go for an aimless wander. Explore areas you know less well, praise God for the beauty you discover, and bring to Him whatever emotions and questions are stirred as you walk.

Get Specific

It’s amazing how God is interested in every aspect of your life, and is waiting to be invited in. My final year project was written in constant prayer – I felt desperate for divine intervention every time I opened my laptop to write! I discovered that God loves to rush in with His comforting presence when we invite him, even in the midst of study.

Try: Thinking of a specific situation in your life where you need God’s presence in a new way. Pray your most imaginative prayers, and see how He responds! God can even exceed those!

Get Intentional

Making some sort of space, place or time to intentionally meet with God can be tricky.

His Spirit is with us all the time, but there are lots of Biblical and historical examples of how setting aside a ‘place of meeting’ can transform the way that we approach God.

You don’t need to be near a desert or a mountain! When I was studying, my most regular and intimate encounters with God happened in my ‘Prayer Chair’ – a small seat next to my wardrobe that I dedicated as a special meeting place with God.

Try: Find a peaceful, beautiful, or private place and make time in your schedule to visit there to intentionally meet with God.

Get Quiet

As a student, I was often swamped with a seemingly endless to-do list that could consume every hour of the day, and a packed-out social calendar. This is often the case for us in adulthood too.

However, our bodies need to rest, and our Spirits need to be quiet. Choosing to encounter God in solitude and silence is wildly counter-cultural in our generation that is always on the go.

Try: Pray and invite the Holy Spirit to be with you. Become aware of His nearness, and sit in the presence of God without asking for anything.

(This can be challenging! I found that reading Psalm 131 before, during, and after helped a lot, and setting a timer for 3 minutes).

 

Looking for more creative prayer ideas? Head to the Help me Pray section of our website.

 

#Students

Holly Anderson

Holly is a 22-year-old History graduate from Essex. She grew up in the 24-7 Prayer movement and still part of the Stanford Boiler Room Community, now called Proximity Church. Can most often be found wearing orange, surrounded by children, and singing loudly.

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