Autumn View Gardens was founded as a community for people of faith. A place where residents can relax and enjoy the assistance provided while still being able to actively exercise their walk with God. We take this commitment seriously and are dedicated to helping foster and develop your own personal faith journey. In keeping with that, we like to help our residents as much as we can in developing routines centered around their faith.
One of the most vital aspects of faith-based living is prayer. Prayer is essential to growing in your spiritual walk. It provides an opportunity to get closer to God, spend time with Him and discern His will. Perhaps that’s why 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says that we are to pray without ceasing.
But sometimes, life can get in the way. There are appointments to keep, bills to pay and commitments to family and friends—not to mention the many activities and engagements of a vibrant assisted living community like ours. Time can get away from you pretty quickly, and before you know it, you’ve gone a few days without any prayer. One way to avoid that, or at least mitigate it, is to come up with a prayer plan.
A prayer plan is a guide to help you navigate to your destination—that destination being a more dedicated and deliberate time of prayer. You wouldn’t try to drive across the country without some idea of where you were going and how to get there, so why not take that same approach to your faith journey as well?
The main purpose of a prayer plan is to help guide your prayer life. It’s a plan of action for everything surrounding you being able to pray. At its most basic, you need it to contain some information to help you know when, where and how you’re going to pray.
It might sound obvious, but you might want to schedule a specific time to pray. Whether that’s in the morning as soon as you wake up or the last thing you do before bed, make it a part of your routine so it becomes habit. More importantly, scheduling a set time helps ensure sure you can really dedicate your energy to prayer during these set aside moments.
In addition to scheduling a specific time, make sure you have a set space where you will pray. It doesn’t have to be much, but an area that is quiet and free from distractions can really help you focus. Even a quick prayer done in a dedicated distraction-free zone can be more beneficial than one constantly interrupted by the noise of life.
This is an aspect of prayer that is often overlooked. Going into your prayer time knowing what you specifically want to pray about is crucial to making the most of it. Matthew 7:7 says, “ask and it shall be given unto you,” but how can you ask if you don’t know what you’re asking for? Whether it's praying for healing of a sick loved one or for better understanding of the Bible, understanding your needs can help you pray for them. Consider going into at least one prayer time each day with specific intent.
Making a prayer plan can be as simple or as involved as you want it to be. You can have a loose schedule you create to guide you or very specific details that lay out everything you are going to do. The choice is really up to you in that regard, but at least something as a guide is better than trying to blindly go into prayer and hope for the best. The good news is that there are a number of ways you can accomplish this.
One of the easiest ways is to create a plan in a notebook or journal. Writing down the information and keeping it accessible to check back with makes it easy and stress free. You don’t have to remember it; you can just go back and check as needed. Another option is to use a smartphone or tablet.
Most smartphones have notes apps, calendar apps and some way of setting a reminder. If you use those three in conjunction with each other, you can have a very detailed plan in the palm of your hand. Use the notes app to write down things you want to pray about, use the calendar app to schedule a specific time to do it and use the reminders to alert you when that time is near.
Speaking of apps, there are also a bunch of Bible and prayer plan apps available across all types of devices. These can help you plan your prayer life and also incorporate Scripture more effectively.
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to plan, the next step is to carry it out. This is the fun part. You might need to tweak your plan a bit here and there to make sure it’s working for you. Remember that it's your plan and you can do what you want with it. It's not about creating a checklist item you must do every day but about encouraging yourself to prioritize time with God. Plus, you can always turn to him in prayer outside of this scheduled time too!