Time to Pray?
How do you pray continually with so many tasks and responsibilities in front of you?
One day, as I was driving, I suddenly lost all power while in the middle of an intersection. A loose battery cable was the underlying problem. Repeatedly, throughout scripture, we're exhorted to live with a continual connection to and reliance on God’s presence. Ephesians 6:18 tells us to pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers, with all perseverance, for all the saints. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing or to be continually praying.
But, how do you pray continually when you have to focus on the many tasks and responsibilities in front of you? This isn’t an encouragement to neglect our responsibilities but to keep a continuing conversation with God in the midst of our full lives. Talk to God whenever something is brought to mind and heart even while you’re doing other things. Also, utilize mindless tasks or situations when you have time to kill, as opportunities to talk with God. Shower and pray, drive and pray, wait in line at the grocery store and pray. Another way to cultivate a continuous prayer life is to schedule times of prayer through out your day. Rick Warren came up with a helpful pattern based on the Lord’s prayer.
Get up With Gratitude: As your waking up in bed, thank your caring, consistent, close, and competent Father for His presence and blessings in your life. This sets the tone for the rest of your day.
Bless God at Breakfast: Praising God, focuses our minds and hearts on the truth of who He is and what He does and generates confidence for relying on His presence so that our life reflects the reality of who He is to others.
At Midmorning remember what Matters Most : Align your heart with God’s purposes and plans, praying for Gods’ guidance in your own life, for unsaved friends, families, coworkers, His kingdom purposes in your community and the world, and asking Him to use you for His glory.
List your needs at lunch: Trust His provision bringing to the Lord, both, your own needs and the needs of others, physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially.
Ask for forgiveness and forgive others in the afternoon: Trust God's grace, and release to Him your failures and mistakes, sins of commission and the omission. Rely on His grace, forgiveness, power and presence to forgive those who’ve offended, frustrated, annoyed or wounded you.
Ask God to help you make wise decisions and protect you from making dumb ones: By the end of the day we’re usually tired and hungry and running on emotional reserves. Draw upon His presence to respond to challenges, conflict and trials with God’s truth and grace rather than react with your most initial and instinctual thoughts and feelings.
End your day with encouraging truth: Go to bed praising God for the truth that He is in charge, this isn’t the end of the story, and that God and his family win in the end.
This pattern can be a useful tool for developing an ongoing conversation with God and a life that is saturated in prayer and increasingly shaped by God’s presence. Remember, unless you stay connected to the power source, you're going nowhere.
John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."