Prayer is simply talking with God. It is the way you share your heart with Him, and also how you prepare your heart to listen to Him.
Like with any other relationship, when you begin a relationship with God, you spend time with Him to get to know Him more. Prayer is simply a way for you to build into that relationship with Him. The more frequently you talk with God, the more you’ll get to know Him. Incorporating prayer into your life every day will have profound effects on your walk with God.
Bill Bright, the co-founder of Cru, said this about prayer: “I want, before God, that everything, every thought, attitude, action, motive, desire in my heart be pleasing to Him. I ask Him, ‘Keep the spotlight of your Spirit on me so there would be nothing impure or unholy in my life.’ That’s been my prayer for 50 years.’”
Imagine if this became your daily prayer. Imagine how God could use a heart surrendered to Him in this way. Daily prayer creates pathways for God to intercede in your life and use you to minister to others.
It may seem that having a simple conversation with God is a small thing, especially when you don’t get the results you expect. But the effects of your prayers are extraordinary.
We want to give you all the tools you need to experience the Lord this way. This is where the daily prayer matrix comes in.
Daily Prayer Matrix
The daily prayer matrix is a unique, strategic tool that teaches you how to incorporate prayer into everyday life. The prayer matrix is organized by monthly themes that you create yourself and daily themes that are taken from the Lord’s Prayer, which is the prayer that Jesus modeled for His followers in Matthew 6:9-13.
Download Daily Prayer Matrix (PDF)
First, let’s take a look at the daily prayer themes. Jesus prayed all the time and is a great model for learning how to pray effectively. His model prayer is an example of prayer that you can use in your own life:
“Pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
may Your name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come soon.
May Your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.’”
(Matthew 6:9-13, New Living Translation)
This prayer is the model for the daily prayer matrix’s days of the week. Each day of the week corresponds to a different line in the Lord’s Prayer.
The daily prayer matrix is designed so that daily prayer does not feel daunting, but doable. Here is a detailed explanation of the themes for each day of the week.
Monday’s theme comes from the first line of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father in heaven.” God’s character is who He is. He is holy, set apart, kind, just, forgiving, loving, all-knowing — the list goes on. As you pray, reflect on these aspects of God's character and others that you learn about as you grow to know Him more. Thank God for being who He is, and ask Him to put His character on display in your life and in the lives of those whom you pray for.
This theme comes from the second line, “May Your name be kept holy.” God’s glory is another central feature of who He is. He is worthy of being glorified. No one else deserves the honor, glory, and praise that God alone is due. When you focus your mind on God’s glory, you gain awareness of who He is. This produces, within you, gratitude for and awe of His character. You will see God as trustworthy and faithful, and you will see yourself as deeply loved by Him.
This theme is taken from the third line of the prayer, “May Your Kingdom come soon.” God is King. Right now, because the world is broken, we only experience his kingdom in a limited way on earth. It grows as people around the world choose to follow him. One day, Jesus will come back to earth to reign and rule forever. This part of the prayer is a way of asking God to come quickly. However, until He does come, there’s still work to be done on Earth. God still wants to create relationships with people who do not know Him yet, so you can also pray that God would use you and other followers of Jesus to grow His kingdom.
This theme is taken from the fourth and fifth lines of the prayer, “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Do you ever wonder what God’s plan is for your life? Or for the world? I think everyone asks these questions. Intentionally praying for God’s plan to prevail in your life and in the lives of your loved ones will give you direction and purpose instead of worrying and waiting.
This theme is taken from the sixth line of the prayer, “Give us today the food we need.” It’s natural to forget how God provides our daily needs and knows what we need before we even ask. When you focus your prayer on God’s daily provision, it slows you down in a few ways. First, you become grateful for what you currently have and not bitter about what you do not. Second, it helps you see glimpses of God in the everyday parts of your life. Third, you are able to trust Him for the future because you can see Him working things out for your good today.
This theme is taken from the seventh and eighth lines of the prayer, “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Unforgiveness is a cancer that, if left untreated, will grow inside of your heart and reap negative consequences. God does not want that for you. He wants you to live in joy, peace, contentment, and abundance. When you ask for forgiveness and forgive those who have wronged you, you will be free.
Sunday’s theme comes from the ninth and tenth lines of the prayer, “Don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” Through His Holy Spirit, God lives inside of you to protect you and guide you. He is acting as an advocate for you always and is ready to protect you. All you have to do is ask Him. The more you learn to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, the more self-control you will have.
The daily themes of the daily prayer matrix have been created for you based on Jesus’ model prayer, but you get to decide on the monthly themes yourself. You can spend time asking the Lord what He would like you to focus on each month if you are unsure.
You get to be as creative as you want when you decide on these themes. The monthly themes will be broad topics that you are passionate about, and since the days of the week are specific and already laid out for you, you get to pair the monthly theme and the daily theme together.
For example, if your theme for the month of January is the loved ones in your life, each day of the week will correspond to a different aspect of the Lord’s Prayer as it relates to your loved ones. Maybe one Monday of the month you will pray for God’s characteristic of love to be made known to a friend who is struggling with life circumstances. Maybe on a Tuesday you will pray for God’s glory to be a bigger part of your family. Maybe on Wednesdays you can pray for people in your life who do not have a relationship with God.
The daily prayer matrix will give you the tools to make prayer a daily habit. The more you use the prayer matrix, the more natural it will be to pray. Soon, prayer will be a habit you do not even need to think about.
In short, here are the things you need to know to create your own Daily Prayer Matrix:
Download Daily Prayer Matrix (PDF)
Continue reading for a few examples of daily prayers utilizing The Daily Prayer Matrix.
If you are unsure of how to structure your prayer, try the ACTS method, which helps you to pray in a four-step process: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. You do not need to pray this way every single time you talk with God.
In fact, that might get boring after a while. Imagine if you had the same daily conversation with your roommate or best friend. Your relationship would not move forward because you wouldn’t be learning new things about that person. You can think of your relationship with God in a similar way.
With that said, ACTS is a starting point to make daily prayer normal. When prayer becomes more natural, ask the Holy Spirit to give you fresh ideas about how to pray and what to pray for.
If you are wondering what a daily prayer from the matrix might look like, here are a few examples.
Your prayers do not need to be long or eloquent. They just need to come from your heart. You can be as creative as you want when you pray. God’s excited to talk with you!
You may have the best intentions to pray daily, but developing any new habit takes practice. We want to help you succeed in any way we can. Wherever you are at with prayer, here are seven tips to make daily prayer a routine in your life.
Take a look at your daily schedule. Do you have an uninterrupted time that you can use for prayer? Try blocking out 15 minutes of your day to intentionally pray. Set an alarm on your phone for that specific time each day and see if it helps you incorporate prayer into your life.
This tip goes along with the first one. Set a realistic time limit for yourself. If you start by praying for an hour, you may discover it’s not realistic for beginning a daily prayer habit. But 10 to 15 minutes? That might work well. When you set an alarm to begin praying, also set an alarm to let you know when you have finished praying. You will be able to complete this realistic goal, and it will motivate you to pray more.
Another simple tip is to pray before your meals. It’s common to rush from task to task and not slow down enough to thank God for the meal He has provided. Try thanking Him for what has happened in your day so far, and thank Him for what He will do for the rest of the day. These mini “breaks” in your day will help you recenter your mind on Jesus.
God, our Father, values your spending uninterrupted quality time with Him. This does not mean that you should only pray alone. On the contrary, there are immense benefits to praying with others. But a prayer closet will give you a space in your home that is dedicated specifically to prayer. Do you have a chair you prefer to sit in? An extra room you can make into a prayer area? It does not have to be a closet, it just needs to be a space that you and God know is your place to talk with Him.
Getting to and from work can become prayer time that is already built into your schedule. Instead of zoning out on your way to work, try praying for something. See if this helps you incorporate prayer into your day.
If you are not sure how to form the words of a prayer, pray a verse out loud. If you are feeling overwhelmed or worried, try praying Romans 8:28: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV). You can also pick a verse that you have read recently and pray it out loud. Watch and see how praying the Word out loud gives you a desire to continue praying.
This is another simple prayer you can pray in the morning. Try posting a prayer next to your bathroom mirror, and as you brush your teeth, you can pray the prayer in your heart: “Holy Spirit, I surrender to You. Fill me today. Give me Your eyes, Your ears, Your heart, Your mind. Keep me in step with You today. Amen.”
How have you made daily prayer a habit in your own life? Do you have a tip that has worked well for you in the past?
Prayer is vital to your relationship with God. It is what keeps your relationship thriving, personal, and vibrant. God desires for you to know Him, and the best way to get to know Him is through prayer. There is no better way to deepen your friendship with God than by talking with Him.
Something to try: Make a one-week plan using The Daily Prayer Matrix and invite a friend to join you in praying every day for a week.
Something to read: “Does Nature Make You Pray?,” like the daily prayer matrix, encourages using themes to help guide your prayers. You can associate the things you see in the world around you with biblical themes so that you are reminded to pray when you see them.
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