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Continuing With Spiritual Disciplines as a Senior: Practicing Prayer

Realizing what a privilege we have to approach the Living God as His beloved children is the first step towards strengthening our dedication to prayer.

There have been many discussions on the benefits of prayer, and for good reason since this communion can change our outlook on life and our attitudes when dealing with difficult situations and other people.

By seeking God in prayer first thing in the morning, you can place your focus on Him and prepare your heart for the upcoming day. Similarly, quiet times before bed can allow us as believers to process the day's happenings and turn our praises and worries over to God before we sleep. Here are three ideas to help you get started and enhance your prayer times.

Prayer Walks

Prayer walks are a wonderful way to exercise your mind, body and soul. This practice is especially wonderful during nice weather, when you can stroll the gardens and enjoy the relaxing and rejuvenating effects of spending time outside in the fresh air and sunlight.

Indoor areas and corridors, where you can walk during inclement weather and uncomfortable temperatures, might not be as scenic, but these alternate walking paths provide an opportunity for you to take your prayers in a new direction.

Because you're more likely to pass friends and neighbors when walking indoors, take these moments to extend a warm greeting and offer to pray for them as you walk or stop and pray with them if they'd like. As you move around your assisted living community, pray for residents of the apartments you pass and the staff members in their areas of work.

By making this a routine and switching your direction each time, you can literally blanket your home and neighbors in loving prayers.

Prayer Groups

Look into whether your assisted living community already has a prayer group or consider starting one of your own. Joining together in prayer as the body of Christ is a powerful way to seek God and His will for us and those we love.

Many believers cite the groups that hold them in regular prayer as one of the greatest blessings in their lives. You can also take hope from these many testimonies and band together with your group to pray for each other, your loved ones, unsaved family members and those in leadership roles in and around your community.

These times of fellowship let you share your burdens and joys with like-minded individuals as you all give and receive encouragement.

Say Grace

Saying grace before meals seems to be a fading practice in this day and age. However, God calls us to remember His goodness and consider our many blessings. The Gospels record Jesus giving thanks when He broke bread, and as His followers, we should strive to keep his example.

Focusing on our blessings softens our hearts and keeps us prepared to hear our Lord's voice and respond to His direction. In contrast, when we turn our gaze inward and dwell on our struggles and frustrations, we often miss others' attempts to help us.

This walls off our hearts and prevents us from being able to experience the abundant life Jesus promises to believers. If we start thanking God each day, starting with our meals and increasing to include all the good things He does for us, we'll be able to rest in God's love and offer love to those around us.