15 Prayer Challenge Ideas: Transform the Way You Pray

prayer challenge ideas - desk with coffee notebook Bible and prayer challenge papers

Whether praying on a regular basis is routine, or is something to aspire to, a prayer challenge can be a great way to enhance your quiet time.

A prayer challenge often includes a plan or a theme to hold you accountable to praying for something or someone for a predetermined amount of time. If you want to build a prayer habit, this can be a helpful tool to encourage a regular prayer time.

If you already pray regularly, a prayer challenge can add variety to your prayer routine, or can expand what you are praying for. 

If you participate in a prayer challenge with a group, like a Bible study or a church, it can help build community as you trust God together to answer your prayers. Witness the power of prayer as you pray together!

Take a look at these prayer challenge ideas. We have a free printable prayer challenge – keep reading for more information on how to download it. 

What is a Prayer Challenge?

prayer challenge ideas - person in silhouette praying against a sunset sky

A prayer challenge serves as a structured plan or guiding theme to encourage Christians in their prayers for a specific cause or person over a designated period.

It is often written by another person or organization that wants to support people in praying for a cause or an aspect of the Christian walk. Each day gives a prayer request or prayer prompot or a focus on what to pray for during your quiet time. Prayer challenges typically range from one week to one month.

For example, a prayer challenge might be for a characteristic you want to work on in your life, like gratitude or faith. Your church might have encouraged everyone to do this challenge together, or you could have found a plan online to do by yourself over the course of a month. 

You would make an effort each day to set aside some time to read through material, typically ranging from a few sentences to a few paragraphs. You might have a Bible verse or passage to read. Then you would pray through the suggested prayer focus or request for that day.

Variations of this include praying for an organization’s needs, like a missionary organization that is focusing on reaching a certain people group; praying every day for an outreach event, like a week-long Vacation Bible School; or a focused time of prayer for revival or renewal for your local community.

This might be something you take up with your close friends, or a Bible study or small group. In praying together, it gives a great opportunity to hold each other accountable to the commitment to pray, as well as getting to rejoice together over answered prayer.

Some people who do these individually might follow along on social media with an organized prayer challenge on Facebook or YouTube.

Prayer challenges might also be called prayer plans or prayer calendars. Whatever form these prayer tools take, they are here to encourage you to pray.

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How to Do a Prayer Challenge

The first thing to ask is, why do you want to do a prayer challenge? What is your goal?

If you want to build a habit of daily prayer, you might want to choose a shorter one to start, like a 7 day prayer challenge, on a topic that is important to you or a characteristic you want to build. 

Having some success at staying on plan is important when you are trying to establish a prayer time.

If you are doing a prayer challenge to address a felt need, participate in a group prayer activity, or to remember to pray for certain prayer requests, then it is important to go with a prayer challenge that best fits those needs. These vary in the length of time, but often have 7, 21, or 30 day durations.

If you aren’t the one choosing the prayer challenge focus or a plan that is already provided, then follow the prayer challenge provided to you.

If you are choosing one yourself, there are many different ways to find prayer challenges. We will link to them in the ideas for prayer challenges below. You can choose one that is in a book, a printable plan, or might even have an online group.

prayer challenge ideas - man praying with Bible in hand

When choosing your prayer challenge, pray the Lord would help you find the right one. Look over the source – is it from an organization or author that you trust? Is their viewpoint biblical or do they have their own agenda? There are many options for solidly biblical prayer challenges.

Once you have your prayer challenge selected, it is a matter of following the plan. Some require just a few minutes, while others might have a chapter to read or a prescribed amount of time to pray. This is another reason why it is important to choose a plan carefully.

If you like journaling, it can be helpful to have a journal to record your insights, or to make notes in a journaling Bible.

Some people are excited to start a prayer challenge on the first day of the week, month, or new year. That can be nice, but it definitely isn’t required. If you are doing a prayer challenge with a group, you will need to stay on schedule. 

A good piece of advice is to decide beforehand what you will do if you miss a day. Even with the best of intentions, we know how busy life can be. It’s good to have a plan. 

Some people might decide that they will double-up on days of prayer challenge until they catch up; others might jump back in on the current day. 

While it might be satisfying to have a perfect checklist of prayed-for days, that’s not the point of a prayer challenge. A prayer challenge is to grow you in your prayer habits and in praying for the focus of the challenge. It is about growing closer to our Heavenly Father and trusting in Him through prayer.

The structure of a prayer challenge might not be for everyone. Someone who becomes very discouraged by missing a day, or who might throw off the habits that are working for them now, should pray about if a prayer challenge is right for them.

A prayer challenge is meant to enhance your prayer life, not run your prayer life or bring you discouragement. If you aren’t sure, try a shorter one to start, and see how that works out for you.

15 Ideas for Prayer Challenges

Take a look at these options for prayer challenges. Most of them are free printables, although there are also some book recommendations.

Free Prayer Challenge Options from Hope Filled Faith

We here at Hope Filled Faith have made a couple of prayer challenges for you.

Gratitude Prayer Challenge

The first one is our Gratitude Prayer Challenge. For this prayer challenge, you would read a Bible verse each day, and pray the provided prayer request in relation to that verse.

Gratitude is so important to our walk with God. It helps put our focus on God, and not ourselves. Spending an extended amount of time focusing on gratitude to God can change your heart.

Here’s the plan for the 31 Day Prayer Challenge. You can return to this page each day, or you can pick it up for free in my Gumroad store

You can also check out the playlist that features the Bible verses and prayer prompts on our Gratitude Prayer Challenge playlist on YouTube. 

Day 1: 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Pray for a heart that is always thankful.

Day 2: Psalm 100:4. Pray for thankfulness to the Lord.

Day 3: Colossians 3:17. Pray that your life reflects your gratitude to God.

Day 4: Philippians 4:6. Pray to trade your anxious thoughts for thankfulness.

Day 5: Ephesians 5:20. Pray to be constant in your gratitude towards the Lord.

Day 6: Colossians 4:2. Pray to be steadfast and thankful in your prayer life.

Day 7: 2 Corinthians 9:15. Pray for a thankful heart for the indescribable gift of Jesus Christ.

Day 8: Psalm 95:2. Pray for a joyful heart that praises God.

Day 9: 1 Corinthians 15:57. Pray to be thankful for the victory that we have found in Christ Jesus.

Day 10: 1 Chronicles 29:13. Pray for a heart that praises God’s glorious name.

Day 11: Psalm 35:18. Pray for boldness to give thanks publicly to God.

Day 12: Colossians 1:12. Pray for thankfulness for being part of God’s family.

Day 13: Psalm 69:30. Pray for a heart that praises God above all else.

Day 14: Romans 1:8. Pray to be thankful for your Christian brothers and sisters.

Day 15: Psalm 75:1. Pray to be thankful for God, His mightiness, and His works.

Day 16: Psalm 52:9. Pray to be constantly grateful to the Lord.

Day 17: Romans 6:17. Pray to be grateful for deliverance from sin.

Day 18: Psalm 136:26. Pray for thankfulness to God for His everlasting kindness.

Day 19: 2 Corinthians 2:14. Pray for gratitude for God’s guidance and victory in your life.

Day 20: Psalm 79:13. Pray for a heart that is grateful to God from generation to generation.

Day 21: 1 Timothy 2:1. Pray for a heart that is thankful for others and faithful in prayer.

Day 22: Psalm 140:13. Pray to be righteous and thankful, dwelling in God’s presence.

Day 23: Colossians 2:7. Pray to be thankful as you grow in your faith.

Day 24: 1 Timothy 1:12. Pray for gratitude as you serve the Lord.

Day 25: Philemon 1:4. Pray for a heart that is faithful in gratitude and prayer for others.

Day 26: 2 Corinthians 4:15. Pray to respond to God’s grace with thanksgiving.

Day 27: Revelations 7:12. Pray to give God the thanksgiving, honor, and glory that He deserves.

Day 28: Colossians 3:15. Pray for a heart that is thankful and peaceful.

Day 29: James 1:17. Pray to recognize that God is the source of your blessings.

Day 30: Hebrews 13:15. Pray for a continual offering of praise and thankfulness to God.

Day 31: Ephesians 1:16. Pray for a heart that faithfully gives thanks for others in prayer.

Get the free printable here.

31 day gratitude prayer preview

Faith and Hope Prayer Challenge

The second option is a 7 day challenge on faith and hope. It includes a Bible verse and a prayer prompt for each day. You can find out more about it and how to download it for free here.

7 day faith and hope prayer challenge preview

More options from our site, Hope Filled Faith, include:

31 Days of Prayer for Your Child

31 Days of Prayer for Your Marriage

31 Scriptures to Pray for America

Other Free Prayer Challenge Options

Many of these prayer challenges are about 30 days long, although there are some shorter ones. Look over the material and see if it is a good fit for you. The ones listed in this section are currently free, but may require an email signup for access to free resources.

Some will be 30 day prayer challenges, while others are 1 week prayer challenges.

30 Day Prayer Challenge by Ladies Drawing Nigh. This 30-day prayer challenge has a printable prayer calendar and even a printable prayer journal, meant to help you have an intentional time with the Lord.

40 Days of Praying the Promises of the Cross by Arabah Joy. This list of Bible verses to pray through are a great reminder of what the Son of God did on the cross. This may be a good option for some who would like to pray through the Lent season/the 40 days before Easter.

30 Day Prayer Challenge by Garments of Splendor. This is also a list of Bible verses to pray through. The focus of this prayer challenge is boldness and confidence.

Monthly Prayer Calendars from Coffee and Bible Time. The prayer calendars in the free resources library can be a great way to do a prayer challenge. You can choose the current month or find a theme that you like.

7 Day Live It Challenge for Students by Focus on the Family. This 7 day prayer challenge for teens is a way for them to learn to pray for various parts of their life, like their family, their school, and their nation.

The 7-Day Prayer Warrior Experience by Stormie Omartian. This short book is currently free (and appears to always be free) on Amazon. It is a book designed to help you put on the armor of God through prayer. 

Weekly Prayer Schedule by Raise Your Sword. This is less of a prayer schedule and more of a prayer structure, but it is worth mentioning as an option. The calendar suggests themes for each day to pray on a regular basis. 

Other Prayer Challenge Resources to Consider

30 Days to Becoming a Woman of Prayer by Stormie Omartian. This is another book from this respected author to encourage women in their prayer lives. Reading through each short chapter provides several scriptures and a prayer for each day.

Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation byJason Mandryk. This book suggests a country to pray for each day of the year. Some countries get more days of prayer than others. The list of things to pray for can be insightful as you pray your way around the world.

This is an older book, but can still be useful for prayer. You may prefer the updated information in the app.

Prayer Challenges in the YouVersion Bible app. This Bible app has many options for prayer challenges. Their website shows several of the prayer Challenges, or you can search “prayer challenge” in the app under “plans.”

Tips for a Successful Prayer Challenge

prayer challenge ideas - woman journaling in park

You’ve decided that a prayer challenge sounds interesting, and you may have even selected one to try. What are some ways to help you stay on your plan?

Invite others to do the prayer challenge with you. This can be a great activity to do with your friends, your small group, or even your church community. You may also want to try a prayer challenge with family members. 

It’s better to keep it a low-pressure invitation. People shouldn’t resent praying and reading God’s Word! Ask them if they would be interested and send them a link to the challenge or the book.

Use technology to help you. If your smartphone is always around, why not use it to remind you about your prayer challenge? Set reminders on your mobile device. Or use the phone itself for the prayer challenge, like the prayer challenges in the YouVersion Bible app listed above.

If you are doing this challenge with others, set up a group text to talk about what you’ve learned that day and what you can pray for.

Save time for reflection. The point of this prayer challenge isn’t just to have a short Bible verse and prayer request to check off a list. It’s an opportunity for you to spend some time with God. Reflect on what you are reading and praying. If you find journaling helpful, include that in your reflection. 

Also spend time after the challenge is over reflecting on the experience. Did the length of time work for you? Did it add to your quiet time or subtract from it? The structure of a prayer challenge is not for everyone, but it can really be useful to some people.   

Spending time reading the Word of God and praying is never wasted. A prayer challenge might provide the type of structure you need to make a habit of spending time with the Lord in these crucial ways.

It also can help you focus on praying through a personally significant or meaningful prayer requests for your Christian walk.

Be open to trying a prayer challenge, and see how it can transform your prayer life! We’d love for you to try the Gratitude Prayer Challenge, so head over to our Gumroad store to pick up a free printable copy. And don’t forget about our 7-Day Faith and Hope Prayer Challenge.

If you liked reading about Prayer Challenges, you may also like Prayer Box Ideas and 10 Favorite Psalms.

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