We are a busy people.
Most days our feet hit the floor running, and we continue in that mode until our head hits the pillow at night. Some days we feel accomplished. Other days, exhausted.
Are we too busy?
There is a world of difference between being busy and being hurried.
Being busy is an outward condition that occurs when we have many things to do. By itself, busyness is not lethal.
Being hurried is an inner condition, a condition of the soul. It means to be so preoccupied with myself and my life that I am unable to be fully present with God, myself, and with other people.
Busyness migrates to hurry when we let it squeeze God out of our lives.
This is the more important question. Am I too hurried?
Has my busyness squeezed out time with God? Before my hit head the pillow for the night, had I spent time with Him? If not, busyness has migrated to hurry.
On those days when I can, I must make time – chunks of time – for engaging in spiritual practices such a prayer, Bible reading, solitude, and soul-reflection. Rather than viewing these as draining obligations or items on a checklist, I need to see them as opportunities that connect me to God, His grace, His energy, and His joy.
And on those days when it’s just not possible to carve out large blocks of time, I still must make time for engaging with God through the spiritual practices – however I am able.
Over the next few weeks as we head into the holiday season, we’re going to explore some ways to engage in certain of the spiritual practices, even on the busiest of days. This week we will begin our journey with seven ideas for praying even on the busiest days.
Never Too Busy to Pray
Begin your day with prayer.
Before your feet hit the floor and you take off running, pray. Even if only a line or two, begin your day in His presence. Thank Him for the sleep, for waking you, for the day that lies ahead. Acknowledge His presence. Invite Him into your day.
Set an alarm.
Schedule prayer. That’s right; schedule it! How many have found that in the busyness of life, things like date nights and family time needed to be scheduled in order to be sure they happened? We know that in order to keep our earthly relationships strong, time together is a must. So, we put these opportunities for togetherness on the calendar.
To keep our relationship with our Heavenly Father strong, we must spend time with Him. Put the opportunity on your calendar (or in your phone).
Pray as you live.
Examine your life. Spend a few days paying attention to how your days are being spent. Then look for places where you can pray as you live – standing in line at the grocery store, sitting in the after-school car line, doing the laundry, walking the dog, drinking your morning coffee.
Discover a way of praying that connects with your God-wiring.
It is a fact that we make time for what we enjoy/value. How did God wire you? Do you feel ever-so-close to Him while watching a sunset or hiking through the mountains? Then get outside in the beauty of nature and pray. Are you a contemplative? Find a quiet spot for meditative prayer.
Whisper breath prayers.
Short and easy. Breath prayers are simple prayers that can be spoken in a single breath and repeated numerous times throughout your day. They help cultivate a “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) habit.
Breath prayers can be as simple as “Father, let me feel your presence,” “Jesus, my One and Only,” Holy God, guide me,” and “Jesus.”
A “trigger” is something that initiates or precipitates.
Think about your life, pay attention. Then identify meaningful prayer triggers. For instance, folding laundry might serve as a trigger to pray for the wearers of the laundry. Other triggers could include someone’s favorite song, the smell of coffee, walking past someone’s door, cooking dinner, the sound of an ambulance, saying good-bye to a loved one, the sight of someone’s pet. A prayer trigger can be anything, really!
Pray at bedtime.
End your day as you began it. Again, even if only a line or two, before you drop off to sleep, acknowledge God, thank Him, rest in His presence. Eliminate the hurry.
Nothing will influence the next generation more than our prayers. Praying with Purpose gives us a wonderful road map for enjoying and sharing a focused and creative prayer life. Included in the book are many creative and real world methods for a variety of different types of prayer and prayer topics.
Available at Amazon.com