1) Schedule your prayer time. You can prayer anytime and anyplace, but having a set schedule is the key to consistency. If you don’t have a set time, you are likely to only pray when time permits. Unfortunately, that approach usually leads to prayer getting squeezed out by other priorities. Instead, set your prayer time and then work other things around it.
2) Use devotional guides periodically. A devotional guide will expand your prayer life by exposing you to new ways of praying. Also, having a guide for your prayers can help you stay focused. If your mind wanders as you pray, a devotional guide can be a quick fix.
3) Pray out loud. Praying aloud physically engages you in prayer and therefore is another great way to help you stay focused. Speak or sing your prayers as a way of praying out loud.
4) Pray from your heart. Sometimes people are self-conscious about how they word their prayers; especially when praying with a group. Keep in mind that God, not the other people, is your audience. Sincere prayer, not eloquent prayers, will mean the most to God.
5) Keep a “prayer catch.” Have you ever told someone, “I will pray for you”, only to forget and then feel guilty the next time you see her. You can eliminate this problem by carrying a small notebook in your pocket as a “prayer catch.” Write down prayer concerns as they come to you and never forget again.
6) Listen. No one enjoys a one-sided conversation. Be sure that you take time to listen to God. You may not hear God speaking to you audibly, but God may bring to mind a verse, idea, person or memory that you should listen to. You will likely miss it, if you aren’t actively listening.
7) Mix it up. Prayer habits can become prayer ruts. Periodically, try new forms of prayer. If your prayer life is feeling a bit ho-hum, something as simple as writing your prayers or singing praises can reinvigorate your time with God. Keep seeking and applying new prayer instruction to keep your prayer life fresh.
In closing, applying any of these tips on prayer can help you be more engaged as you spend time with God. Some tips may yield very quick and obvious improvement. However, I find that if you really want to experience significant improvement, applying a strategy for several weeks is best.