"Learn to know Christ and Him crucified. Learn to pray to Him, and despairing of yourself to say this, 'Lord Jesus, You are my righteousness, I am your sin. You have taken upon yourself what is mine and given me what is yours..." Martin Luther
"Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured." Colossians 4:12
Reading the struggles Elizabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael (missionaries and authors) had with prayer encourages me. They thought the exact same thoughts as I ... "I pray so poorly, too much time for prayer, does it really work better than action, past sin, tiredness, guilt over tiredness, distraction, distraction." With the same thoughts given to all of us one wonders if the author of those thoughts is not Satan himself? He's not creative, therefore he discourages all mankind in the same way. We should be quicker to recognize the liar.
Amy Carmichael: "...he is much more afraid of our prayer than our work."
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us..." Ephesians 3:20 So, Lord, I wish I would pray more than work. In my heart I know this is right, but my head is busy getting the outer done instead of accomplishing the inner.
"In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12
Here are some ideas to help keep prayer lively. A blank page journal can be used to record requests and answers. Recipe boxes with 3' by 5' cards can hold the name of one you wish to regularly bring before the Lord. Place their name at the top and the date. Maybe you have a favorite verse to pray in their life. Write it under their name. I add a picture of the person I pray for. It helps me to focus on them and not get so easily distracted. If you are a scrapbooker, make yourself a prayer album instead of an event album.