Time to spring clean your prayer life? Here are 6 great ways. Posted on March 2, 2018March 5, 2018 by Celia Bowring With spring on the way, the autumn of your life could be a great time to dust off your prayer life. Like me, perhaps your times of Bible reading and prayer have become less than you wanted them to be. Working full time and years of hands-on motherhood certainly made me ridiculously busy. It’s so easy to find prayer taking second place when you have one eye on the clock, to-do lists that seem never done, and constantly delivering other people’s agendas. Does any of that sound like you? Have you found carving out time for you and God a challenge? That it’s been a bridge too far to find the strength you need each day – able to do little more than praying on the hoof and reading favourite bits of Scripture to keep you going in between Sundays? Then help’s on the way – with six simple ways to spring clean your times with God. But first please ditch any guilt you may feel for the way it has become. God understands and is so very gracious. No matter what, he meets us where we are and as we are – answering our prayers and encouraging us to keep following him. But there’s more on offer than that in your after-work years – the autumn season of your life. If you desire a greater sense of the Holy Spirit speaking truth, guidance and encouragement into your heart and soul you might decide to introduce more spiritual discipline into your life. Life will still be hectic at times, but generally you should have a bit more flexibility to reorder your priorities. If renewing your prayer life is towards the top of that list the following might help. If you give a portion of your money to God’s work how about giving a portion of your time too? How much of your week is spent not only attending church and other activities and personal time with God in Bible reading, worship and prayer? This isn’t about being a ‘better’ Christian but a thirstier one!. God save us from self-righteousness! Augustine’s maxim was: ‘Pray as if it all depended on God and work at it as if it all depended on you.’ Faith is deciding to trust God which usually leads to action too. Without the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and strength, it’s impossible to deepen your prayer life. Reading plans and prayer lists, excellent though they are, won’t work on their own. What are the logistics of when, where and how to make this regular time happen? Philippa Lally, health psychology researcher at UCL says ‘If someone wants to form a habit they should specify clearly what they will do and in what situation and try to do this consistently. Over time it will start to happen more easily and require less effort.’ Don’t be discouraged. There will be times when your best intentions just don’t work out. God is the One who rescues and lifts you up when you stumble. His love is stronger than anything else on earth and in heaven. To explore more on this issue, our website has some helpful content on Nurturing Your Faith. Celia Bowring Celia isn’t retired yet – although she’s recently changed from being office-based to working from home, so working out her own use of time. Celia writes the CARE Prayer Diary along with many other resources. She also chairs Pray for Schools. And loves being a hands-on grandmother!