I occasionally quote Joe McKeever here. He is the recently retired director of the Greater New Orleans Baptist Association, and a wonderful guy. I highly recommend his blog. Since I just finished a series on prayer, I wanted to leave you with some great advice from Joe as we move into our next series. These are ten tips on breaking out of a rut in one's prayer life. If you don't know what a rut is in prayer, either you are much more spiritual than I (quite possible) or you never pray! Here are Joe's tips...try 'em out sometime:
1. Get up and go for a walk while praying. Pray while vacuuming the floor or doing the dishes or chopping some wood.
2. Get a piece of paper and write out your prayer.
3. Call a good friend and ask him/her to pray with you (as well as for you) at that moment.
4. Pull a book on prayer off your library shelf and read a chapter or two. Usually, you'll get several ideas of how to enlarge and deepen and sharpen and vary your prayers.
5. Have the Book of Common Prayer handy. Open it to the section on general prayers and let the old masters show you how to pray.
6. Tell God a good story or a joke you heard and enjoyed. Ask if He's heard a good one lately.
7. Send up a prayer for the meanest person you know, the biggest celebrity, the current Hollywood rage, someone who is on the front of today's newspaper, and your next door neighbor.
8. Pray a "time-release" prayer for your children and grandchildren: for the choices they will make 10 years from now, 20 years, and beyond -- schools, spouses, jobs, churches, best friends, everything.
9. Ask the Lord to surprise you today with some blessing or opportunity you would never thought of asking for.
10. Read something in the Bible, then pray it. Read something else and pray it. Keep at it. (Be careful of the Psalms, however. You might be calling down plagues on your enemies!)