Prayer, Creativity & Faith

Looking for balance in the new year?

I’m not big on new year’s resolutions—but I am always looking for ways to find balance in my life, and the start of a new year seems like the perfect time to start off thinking about balance, prayer, wellness, and peace.

Prayer can—and should—be fun. Get ongoing inspiration and new monthly calendars when you subscribe to my monthly newsletter.

Prayer Tips

No need to delay, and there’s definitely no reason to wait for a better time. There will always be excuses and distractions and a million other things to do. So don’t wait—pray right now, wherever you are. It’s always a good time to start.

One of God’s greatest gifts to us is His grace. He doesn’t want to beat you up for all your failings—He just wants you to turn to Him. To have a relationship with Him. Allow yourself to accept this gift and simply spend time in His presence.

Stop keeping track of how much you pray and how little. (Remember: give yourself grace.) God doesn’t want to pressure you into spending time with Him. He wants you to choose to be with Him because you want to.

No words are needed. Don’t agonize over what to say to God or feel as though you have to talk in a holy, formal way. Instead, try this—just sit in silence. Silence can be companionable and comfortable.

Refreshing and holy.

There’s a reason gratitude is such a popular concept, but it’s difficult to live with thankfulness every single day. When it comes to prayer, though, it’s one of the best ways to start. Tell God thank you for whatever comes to mind—the people, places, relationships, opportunities, and situations—large or small—that make up your life. Let Him know how much you appreciate all that He has already done.

Here’s a novel idea. Next time you pray, don’t ask God for a single thing. Just talk to Him—about life, what you’re feeling, what you’re worried about. The best relationships focus on sharing life, not on what you can get out of them.

Don’t worry if you don’t pray as often as you’d like. Try starting your day with prayer—even if it’s simply saying “Good morning, God!” And end with prayer—which may be as simple as saying “Thank you, Lord, for all that you did this day.”

Prayer is meant to be a two-way street, yet we often spend way more time talking than listening. When we can get alone with God and demonstrate that we want to hear from Him, we often will! Besides, aren’t you curious what He might have to say?

It’s OK—really. When we’re instructed to pray about everything, there is no asterisk leading to a 5-point disclaimer that says “except yourself.” It’s not selfish to bring our own needs to God in prayer. It’s normal. It shows that we trust Him and want Him involved in every aspect of our lives.

Something remarkable happens when we pray for other people—God changes our hearts and helps us love them. I’ve found my attitude about friends and enemies alike softening and changing when I go to God in prayer on behalf of the people in my life. As you pray, ask God to show you how you can help. And watch to see how God changes you in the process.

I doubt if I’m the only one who hesitates to ask for what I really want, thinking I’m asking too much or the request seems impossible. But you want to know something cool? There is nothing too hard for our God. The whole world is at his command, and His love for us knows no bounds.

For me, one of the best things about prayer is that there’s no room for pretending. God can see through all of my flimsy excuses and rationalizations. That may seem scary, but it’s freeing and refreshing.

Just be real. God loves you just like you are.

Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Another way to think about this: If we’re trusting God with our needs, we don’t have to worry. When you do, pause for a minute and pray: “Lord, I hand this to you.” Then try not to take it back.

I doubt if I'm the only one who hesitates to ask for what I really want, thinking I'm asking too much or the request seems impossible. But you want to know something cool? There is nothing too hard for our God. The whole world is at his command, and His love for us knows no bounds.

My Books

Praying Upside Down

A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE MAY BE EXACTLY WHAT YOUR PRAYER LIFE NEEDS When you talk to God, do you ever wonder if He hears? Do your prayers feel uninspired or routine? Do you sometimes feel like you don’t even know how to pray? Try praying upside down. Let artist and author Kelly O’Dell Stanley show you what white space, sketching, point of view, and other artistic ideas reveal to us about how to pray—and experience a deeper connection with God than ever before. Praying Upside Down will move your prayers away from the preconceived and expected, allowing you to encounter […]

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InstaPrayer: Prayers to Share

Want to pray but have no words? InstaPrayer’s colorful prompts are perfect to post on Instagram and other socials: Read. Pray. Snap. Share. Sometimes the hardest part of having a vibrant prayer life is simply getting started. To help start that conversation in a quirky and non-threatening way, these prompts from author/artist Kelly Stanley open the door to creativity and are perfect for sharing on Instagram and other socials. With fun and colorful meme-like images, you will be encouraged to ask God to shelter someone who is going through a storm, pray for someone who is full of hot air, […]

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