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Let’s face it; we all can make a case in today’s society for being too busy for a prayer life. If the truth be told, life hasn’t slowed down in generations. And while I could go along with it all and give you a nice and tidy list of things that will help you make time for prayer, let’s call this lack of time what is really is:
Any of us (myself included) who pull this card out as a reason why we don’t have time to pray, can likely list multiple things in our lives that we could cut back on to make room for a prayer life. My life is super busy. I’m a single mom of three kids, who works full time, has a fledgling ministry, and writes books. And I could still find time (besides all of these things) to pray if I focused on it and made it a priority. I could take five minutes a day—or three, or even two—to spend focused time in prayer.
But I don’t. I use the excuse just like you do.
Because the real problem isn’t typically knowing how to make time for prayer; it’s deciding that prayer is going to be a priority in our life—something that we believe is more important than another thing we could use that time for.
Let’s agree to change that together.
Do you earnestly want to increase your relationship with God through prayer? It only takes a few minutes of your day to create a strong and growing prayer life. And the benefits of doing so are well worth the effort. Just consider some of the things prayer can do in your life:
- Help you to gain wisdom and understanding
- Help you to get direction in life
- Help you restore or build your relationship with God
- Give you strength
- Give you encouragement
- Allow God to work through you
- Prepare you for spiritual warfare
Oswald Chambers once wrote, “Remember, no one has time to pray, we have to take time from other things that are valuable in order to understand how necessary prayer is. The things that act like thorns and stings in our personal lives will go away instantly when we pray; we won’t feel the smart anymore, because we have God’s point of view about them.”
But in order to make time for another thing in our lives, we not only have to make it a priority, but follow through on that commitment. How do we make prayer a priority and stick with it?
Step 1: Organize Your Time
By making something a priority, you are saying that you will choose it over other things. By saying “yes” to prayer time, you have agreed that it is more important than anything else; you will willingly say “no” to whatever is going on normally at that time. Choose a time in your day that you know you consistently have time to pray. Start with two minutes. If you can’t come up with time, reevaluate how you are spending your day.
Step 2: Remind Yourself Consistently
For me, it’s not about the time; it’s remembering it consistently. I get so wrapped up in my day and list of things that I need to accomplish, I can literally blow through an entire day in what feels like minutes. But, there are times throughout my day when I’m also wasting time (social media, Netflix, surfing the internet, etc.) Set up a reminder on your phone at a time you know you will be available, or use a free reminder service like If This Then That (IFTTT).
Step 3: Don’t Put it Off
You’ve picked a reminder time that you know will work for you. Don’t hit snooze. Don’t push it aside. Use that time as it comes so that you begin to create a good habit in your life. Make a pledge to yourself ahead of time that you will honor this time. Let this reminder serve as a nudge from God to get the conversation started.
In reality, that’s all prayer is: a conversation with God. And having daily conversation with God is key to keeping our lives on track and connected to Him. Stop making excuses as to why you don’t have time for a prayer life and just make the time. As we spend more time in God’s presence, we will long for more time in His presence. As a result, we will look up a few weeks from now and realize: “Hey! I have a pretty good prayer life.” As Stephen Covey put it, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Let’s do that together, starting today.