Too busy to pray? Here’s what you need to do…
Don’t panic if your prayer life is suffering. Help is at hand!
You glance up at the clock and it’s 7pm and there just hasn’t been a spare second in the day to pray. Life is busy and there are so many demands on our time. So how do we make time to talk to God every day?
Reconsider your priorities
Everyone has different priorities. Very few of us skip meals each day, for example. They’re part of everyday life and we make time for them. Some of us find the time to check our Insta, YouTube and Twitter accounts. Many of us make time to text friends or chat to our work colleagues. Some will hit the gym five times a week while others make regular pilgrimages to the coffee shop or pub. If prayer was as important to you as eating you’d find the time to do it, so maybe it’s a simple matter of adjusting your priorities.
Romans 12:12 says: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Do what Jesus did
We know that prayer is important because Jesus gave us a model of how to do it properly. He also spent a lot of time doing it, as recorded in the gospels. If we’re to become more like Jesus we HAVE to find time to pray, even if we’re busy. That might mean separating yourself from the crowds (or turning off that phone) and creating a place of quiet where you can really talk to the Lord. We know that Jesus prayed before and after healing people, before choosing his disciples, while speaking to the Jewish leaders, before feeding the 5,000, before walking on water, before he went to the cross and just before he died. If you’re expecting big things to happen you’d better do what Jesus did and get praying!
Luke 18:1: “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”
Make it part of your daily routine
If you’re a morning person, get up a little earlier every day and start each day soaking in God’s presence. It’ll set you up for the rest of the day and keep you in a place of prayerfulness. If you’re too groggy first thing, carve out a time when you are more focused. This could be in the shower, during your commute to work, on a daily walk in the countryside or with your family before bed. Just be disciplined about doing it every day – set an alarm if you need to – and you’ll find that it not only becomes a habit, but that you want to spend more and more time in prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-20: “Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Remember that prayer really works
Think back on all the times God has answered your prayers and spend time thanking him for all his goodness. He is faithful even when we’re not! It may help to keep a prayer diary so you can look back in the months and years to come and remember all the times he has turned situations around or brought comfort when you needed it. Then keep praying! Pray for your friends, your colleagues and your enemies. Pray for your church leaders and those in government. Pray for forgiveness and forgive others. Pray for provision and good health. Pray for Christians around the world, and for those who are not yet saved. Pray for opportunities to minister to others.
1 John 5:14-15: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Hear from God himself!
Finally, don’t forget that prayer isn’t just about us talking to God; it’s also about making space to hear from him. Don’t do yourself out of a wonderful thing by becoming too busy to hear what the Lord has to say to you. As Bill Hybels says, we’re too busy not to pray! Clear out the clutter, slow down and listen to the Holy Spirit more than any of the other noise in your life. He’s waiting for you to meet with him today, so what are you waiting for?
Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”