When life gets busy, almost always, the first thing that gets tossed off our to-do list is prayer and quiet time with God. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says: “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Prayer should not be one of those things that we skip or set aside when the day gets busy. In fact, prayer shouldn't even be on our to-do list because it takes priority over anything and anyone on our schedule.
But let's face it, things aren't always perfect. Routines and schedules don’t always go the way we want them to. For not-so-routine days, we may need some not-so-traditional methods of prayer. Here are some ideas to get you started on creatively incorporating prayer into your busy life. These ideas should not in any way diminish your quality time of prayer. You can even use them in addition to your regular prayer routines.
I hope that you will not put away prayer, saying that you don't have time, but will be encouraged by these pointers and consider using them the next time you feel that you don't have the time to pray.
1. Prayer walk
I spotted a book called Prayer Walk by Janet Holm McHenry a few years ago and was intrigued by the title. So I read it and loved the idea of prayer walking. All you do is commit to walking 10, 15, or 30 minutes around your block where you live or work, and pray while you walk. It is so simple. You can choose to pray for one specific thing a day. So Mondays, you can pray for your family, Tuesdays for your career or goals, Wednesday for your extended family and church family, so on and so forth.
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving,” Colossians 4:2.
"Prayer walking is a great discipline because it combines two great exercises for both the body and soul."
I find it very effective when I set a specific time and stick to it, no matter what. So if you are at work, you can pick lunchtime and walk first, then eat lunch, ensuring that it gets done every single workday.
At first, prayer walk can be distracting and you might find it difficult to focus on praying, but you’ll get used to it. One thing I find helpful is to listen to a playlist of instrumental worship music with no words during my prayer walk. It helps drown the outside noises and align your mood to worship and prayer. You can also create your own playlist for a duration of the time you intend to walk, so when the playlist ends, you can head back.
Prayer walking is a great discipline because it combines two great exercises for both the body and soul.
2. Sing your prayers.
An ancient proverb says: “One who sings well prays twice.” How true. The words and music of songs are prayerfully and beautifully written so that when you sing them, you’re combining prayer and worship. What I like to do is pick songs that are written in the form of a prayer. So songs like “Here’s my heart, Lord” by David Crowder, “Lord, I need you” by Matt Maher and “Clean” by Natalie Grant would be great choices. You can also pick songs that focus on worship.
"Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing," Psalms 100:1-2.
"It might sound trivial, but worship songs help you orient your thoughts toward God."
Make a playlist with 20 -30 minutes of worship or prayer-focused songs for your morning commute or while you’re doing laundry or dishes. It will turn those mundane moments into God-filled times of worship. And while you are listening, sing along. Offer your praises and worship to God through these beautiful songs. Reflect on the lyrics. It might sound trivial, but worship songs help you orient your thoughts toward God. When the playlist ends and you move on to the next activity, you will enjoy a peace resulted from those few songs.
3. Redeem your mundane moments.
When I started listening to audiobooks during my weekends while I caught up on cleaning, laundry, ironing, and a dozen other things, I noticed that it was a significant 2 -3 hours. While your hands work on tasks that are so programmed into your memory, yourmind is free to focus on something else which is less of a humdrum. Use the opportunity to do something more involving, like praying.
I asked my Twitter tribe how they would incorporate prayer in their busy lives. And this is the unanimous response that I heard back from them. Women all over have been redeeming their time spent in daily chores to effectively pray.
4. Pause between your scheduled moments.
Does your calendar involve a lot of time behind the wheel, running from one schedule to another? Is today your errands day? Do you feel that your to-do list is jammed back to back like the interstate on rush hour?
Breathe. Pause for a moment between those appointments to pray. Right there, in the parking lot, before you head into your next appointment and get lost in the puddle of information or chaos of life, pause and pray. Let God into those in-between moments in your calendar. Pray for your appointment. Pray for the people you are going to meet. If you are heading into work, pray for your co-workers. Pray for God’s guidance, direction, and will in your lives.
"Soon, it will become a discipline and something that you look forward to."
Taking a moment between your activities to spend a few minutes in prayer helps refuel your day. The peace of God will surround you and shield you in your subsequent events of the day. You will soon realize that you are spending a considerable amount of time in prayer while on the move. For example, you can pray every day before you head into the office. You can pray while you wait to pick up the kids. You can pray while you wait at the drive-through for your morning coffee. Soon, it will become a discipline and something that you look forward to.
"God isn’t fixated on your posture or place you choose to pray. He looks at your heart and your attitude."
If you’ve been having difficulty in finding time to pray, try one or more of these suggestions. By all means try to find a specific time to pray every day. But if for some reason that gets disrupted, fall back to these ideas. God isn’t fixated on your posture or place you choose to pray. He looks at your heart and your attitude. If you are struggling to find time but still make space for Him, He honors that.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people," Ephesians 6:18.
"I encourage you to not give up on prayer when life gets busy."
via Alice William...
She’s a wife and programmer with a passion for writing. She started the blog, Walking in the Word, by journaling her Bible Studies. She enjoys studying God’s word and is often amazed by the way God reveals His wisdom through them. Her desire is to encourage other women in their walk with God with words that He has used to strengthen her own walk with Him. Download Alice’s free eBook Lessons from Joel: Discovering a God of Second Chances here.
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