The Bible has a lot to say about prayer. It tells us not to be anxious but to pray instead. It says to ask for things in prayer so God can grant them to us. It says to seek God's will in prayer so what we ask for is aligned with what he plans for us.
And it also says to pray unceasingly.
Even if you're a senior of faith who has practiced spiritual disciplines for years, it can be daunting to remember to pray constantly.
You might have thought moving into an assisted living community with apartment maintenance, housekeeping, laundry services and daily from-scratch menus would free your schedule for quiet contemplation. But in a vibrant location such as Cambridge Court assisted living community, it's easy to get caught up in the action. After all, there's often so much to do on the schedule that you can easily run out of time to spend with God.
Here are some tips for incorporating prayer time into your active assisted living lifestyle.
Make it a point to join in on exercise daily to keep your body healthy and your mobility up. And while you're paying attention to physical health, take a moment to attend to spiritual health. Before exercise, take a moment to release things you're stressed or worried about to God. After exercise, thank God for your body and what it can still accomplish.
Check the Cambridge Court assisted living community schedule to find out when daily exercise programs are. You can also exercise yourself in your assisted living apartment or by walking around the community or grounds.
This is one we teach children from the time they're young. As a young child, you might have been taught to say grace to thank God for the food you're about to eat. But praying before you're about to eat can be a much deeper habit.
Think of this: You have to eat. It's something you likely do several times a day. And if you train your brain to commune with God every time you commune with food, you get a lot more time in with him. By starting with a habit you might already have — saying grace — you make this deeper prayer habit easier to cultivate.
It can be difficult to remember to pray for others, but one way to make it more of a habit is to say a small prayer for every person that walks through your assisted living apartment door. When staff bring a snack or activity by, someone comes to fix the sink or your loved ones visit, that's a cue to say a quick prayer. Thank God for this person and their service or support, and ask him to be with them in a tangible way.
Some people find it easier to communicate in writing. If that's you — or you like to have a tangible record of things — keep a prayer journal. Jot down your major prayers each day in the morning, at night or whatever time works best for you. Record when you feel prayers have been answered. Looking back on this record later can provide encouragement to continue praying and support for your hope in the Lord.
Nothing big has to happen to warrant prayer. God loves to hear from you anytime of the day or night. If you struggle to turn to God with little things or remember to commune with him periodically during the day, make a small game of it.
Each morning, pick a prompt that will remind you to pray. For example, you might say "Anytime I see someone wearing a red shirt, I will pray" or "Every time I hear or see a bird, I will remember to pray." Try to pick things you'll see or experience at least once during the day, but don't stress over it. You might be surprised at how God works to communicate with you via this habit if you commit to it!
Start and end your day with prayer. It doesn't have to be elaborate at all. When you wake up — before you get out of bed — simply tell God hello and that you're excited to see what he has in store for you that day. Or admit to him that you're worried or scared about what's ahead of you that day.
Then, before you go to bed, thank God for the blessings of the day, release any stresses you accumulated and ask for forgiveness for any wrongs you might have done.
Praying alone is a great way to spend time with God. But praying with others is great Christian fellowship and can help you learn other ways to pray. Gather with like-minded assisted living community friends regularly for a prayer group. Share concerns and pray for each other. You might find that while you're coming closer to God in prayer, you're also making lasting friendships with others.