I have an appointment with my dentist to have my teeth cleaned and checked. I’m confident that I’ll get a good report on the condition of my teeth and gums because I floss every morning and brush two or three times every day. I have built it into my daily schedule.

I have to confess that it wasn’t always that way. I knew that I should pay better attention to my dental hygiene— and I intended to. But I seldom got it done because I didn’t have a plan for it. The result: growing gum disease that led to extensive and uncomfortable surgery. I won’t let that happen again!

Many things in life are like that— including prayer. Mature Christians know that unless they plan to pray, it will not happen. Daniel set specific times for prayer (Dan. 6:10). And David followed a schedule for prayer, as Psalm 55:17 indicates.

I realize that following a regular program does not guarantee effective praying. And I know it can easily become a stiff formality. Even so, we must devise a plan for praying— and stick with it. Otherwise, despite our best intentions, we will pray very little.

Failure to establish good spiritual habits will lead to poor spiritual health. Plan to pray!