Making Time for Prayer

Why should I make time for prayer? It’s a worthwhile question to ask yourself.  I mean, we can try to do this day on our own –we can try to be patient and kind when faced with those moments we want to scream and yell –we can try to hit that never-ending “to do” list–or make that difficult decision we’ve been worrying about –but why try to do it alone when you can walk through all those moments with Someone who loves you and knows you better than you know yourself?

Life is very busy– homeschooling, raising 6 kids, working in the family business, writing — they all take more time than I have to give.  Really, there aren’t enough hours in the day, and sometimes I’m tempted to tell myself that I have to jump out of bed and begin my day running, or I’ll never get accomplished what needs to be accomplished in my day.

But the thing is, I need God–I need him like I need air–I need His grace and wisdom and love, because I have tried to do it on my own, and somehow I always manage to make a royal mess of things when I leave God out of the picture!

I have learned that the best time to pray is first thing in the morning. There are days when I’m running late, and I only have time for a quick “hello God” and out the door I go, and somehow that little morning greeting sustains me until I can find time to pray–but I have to make it a priority to find a quiet spot and spend a half hour with God as soon as I can.

There are many ways that I approach this time: the readings of the day, the Divine Office, or a really good spiritual book are a good start, but prayer is so much more than a mental exercise–it’s an encounter with a Someone, a Someone who died out of love for you.  Sometimes, I just sit in silence, imagining myself leaning up against Jesus, like the beloved disciple, and I try to just be with Him.

He used to share little words of love and encouragement, not audibly, but in my heart I felt those words, but now He rarely speaks to me –sometimes it’s so painfully dry that I wonder why I am sitting here for half an hour when nothing seems to be happening.  But He knows I’m trying and I just keep showing up for our daily appointment, because I know that He appreciates the effort, no matter how fruitless  or distracted I feel that time has been.

I once heard the analogy that prayer is like scuba diving:  there can be a storm raging above, but the wind and waves don’t reach you when you are deep below the surface.  Prayer helps us to weather the storms, even to be unaware of the storms at times, because we’ve tapped into the peace that can only be achieved through prayer.  That half an hour of prayer every day helps me to go a little deeper, to be a little less affected by the storms of my day.

And sometimes, the deeper you go, the less you see.  This is not the time to give up–when you are distracted or feel nothing when you pray–don’t give up, because I can say that, though my prayer time is often very dry, I feel that God is leading me silently throughout the day, loving me throughout the day, in a way that is palpable.  He gives me so much, and when I meet him in the morning, it’s a little way to say “thank you” for all that you have done for me, and are doing for me, and “I love you” and “please don’t let me mess this day up too much”.

Besides, I’m a much nicer mom after I pray…really I am.  My kids have seen mom-zilla, a little too often, but those mom-zilla moments are nowhere near as often or as prolonged as they would be if I didn’t take the time to pray. That time that you give to God, do you honestly think He won’t give it back to you a hundredfold?  He does, in little ways, and in big ways.  He often sends help through other people so that I can manage to get done what needs to get done in my day.  More importantly, He let’s me peacefully let go of all those things that weren’t meant to be.

There’s so much more that could be said here, but I have to get back to momming.  I’d love to hear how you make prayer work in your life!

That's right!...
That’s right!…Keep Praying!

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Making Time for Prayer

  1. Thanks for the great post! I have prayer time either first thing in the morning or just before bed, after the kids are asleep. No doubt it’s difficult to find time. Practical question – just wondering – do you wake up 30 min before you know your kids will wake up, or at some age do they let you have that 30 min of alone time? I find mornings tricky because once they’re up, they’re up … Thanks!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment! As for my trying to wake-up 30 minutes before my kids…I’ve given up on that one! Honestly, I used to get really frustrated when I woke myself up early and then I would hear the pitter-patter of feet before my prayer time ended. So, because I never know how well I am going to sleep or when my kids are going to get up, I try to set a reasonable wake up time (it is always changing depending on if we need to leave the house early- I try to limit early morning obligations -but the older kids have classes outside of the home) and then I try to eat and pray. So, if I need to leave the house before I pray, I just try really hard to pray as soon as I can get back home or at a park, or wherever I find myself!

      I think that the key is that God knows I’m putting in the effort, and I do try to pray in a quiet place out of the kids eyeshot (I have older kids who can help make sure the house isn’t burning down), but if my little one’s hunt me down, I let them know I’m praying and try my best to redirect them or hold them while I am praying, and I continue. Now, if my littler kid’s come in during that time, I see it as a way to accept that they were supposed to be part of prayer time. So, for me, even if I felt totally distracted by them, when my 30 minutes is up, I say “Lord you know I tried my best” and trust it pleases Him and I move on with my day. Maybe He wanted to be close to them to, and maybe He wants us to be an example for our kids of the importance of taking time for Him.

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