How to Pray When You Don’t Have Time

Each day offers moments when you can connect with God. Here's how to find them.

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Posted in , Jan 7, 2020

Finding time to pray

Too busy to pray? Happens to all of us. The real question is: how do you stay connected to your faith when you’ve got a thousand things to do? Here are six things you might try. 

1. Throw your nets on the other side. 
Remember what happened to the disciples when they went fishing and couldn’t catch a thing. The Lord appeared to them and told them to cast their nets on the other side. God’s endless bounty was there. You can do the same thing in the midst of your busyness. Drive home by another route. Walk on the opposite side of the street. Sit in a different pew. A different view—even on the busiest of days—can open you up spiritually.

2. Make elevator prayers
A member at a church I was visiting mentioned how he always says a prayer in the elevator as he’s heading to the office. Just a short prayer, something to set the day right. The doors open, he steps out. Renewed. There are empty times in all of our days. We can fill them by staring at our phones or do something more intentional like commune with God.

3. Feel someone’s pain, hear someone’s sorrow. 
Some friend asks you to pray for them. You promise you will after you hear their heartbreaking news. Write down their name somewhere. I like to use Post-It notes. Send them an email or a text from time to time. As for prayer, consider this: your compassion, your outpouring of love is a form of prayer. Being a sympathetic listening ear is a Godsend.

To buy a copy of Rick’s latest book, Prayer Works, click here.

4. Hold a song in your heart. 
It could be a hymn from church or praise music. It might be some pop tune. Whatever it is, it connects to a deep, soulful part of you. Sing it to yourself. Hold it in your head. The psalms were all songs, not just words on the page. Not a perfect singer? Fret not. As the Psalmist said, we are to make a joyful noise. That’s good enough.

5. Keep a prayerful phrase on your lips and in your head. 
Take just a single phrase from the Lords’ Prayer or from a psalm. “Hallowed be thy name.” “The Lord is my shepherd.” “Thy will be done.” “Know that the Lord is God.” “Deliver me from evil.” Maybe the meeting at work has gotten a little contentious. That little prayer in your head will remind you what’s most important.

6. Look up. 
It occurred to me the other day when I was jogging in the park that I’m always staring down at the ground when I run. Sure, it’s because I don’t want to trip on a branch or crack in the sidewalk. But it’s also important to look up. To see the sun rising over the trees, to see the branches shimmering. Look up from your computer. Look up from your book. Look up from your phone. Look up from the newspaper. See the beauties of the world.

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