Prayer time is a crucial part relationship with God. Without daily time with God I am often short-tempered, easily agitated and ungrateful. (Not a very rosy picture, eh?)
Being intentional about prayer time sounds good but when the alarm goes off after a long night of putting kids back in bed, letting the dog out, changing diapers and breastfeeding it's a hard intention to be excited about. Add to that lunches to pack, schooling to do or the job you're headed to, it can seem like only a miracle will help you have time to squeeze in some meaningful time with God.
I can't tell you how many days I feel like there is no way I can get prayer time in. No. Way. The Lord is impressing on me from various avenues the need to make this a priority. I believe we put too much pressure on ourselves to make each morning this blissful time of tranquil peace where we spend hours on our knees in intercession, worship, and praise.
When we think this way, we limit God.
You heard me right, we limit God. We limit Him to only being able to work in perfect conditions when our feelings and our houses are fluffy and happy. But God doesn't live in this box I try to stuff Him in. I get mad (at Him, myself, my son) when my “quiet time” is interrupted. I say “See God, you want me to spend time with you but this child won't sleep in long enough for me to do it!”
Wyatt might get up at the crack of down but why do I blame God? Why not ask God what I should do instead? Would He have me get up earlier, stay up later, use nap times more wisely? Would He also have me cry out to Him mid-day and pray while I'm doing the dishes? Would He also want me to pray over Wyatt while we're sharing a mug of tea and watching Paw Patrol?
Being intentional about prayer is more than getting up early or staying up late. It's capturing those moments throughout the day where we can pray, praise and thank God. When we see the wallet our friend gave us as a gift lying on the counter we can thank Him for her friendship. When we clean the bathroom we can thank Him that we have one to clean. When we see a tragic news story we can grab the kids and pray for those affected.
I am not discounting the need for set aside devoted prayer time. Jesus set aside time to pray, separated from other and we should do the same. We must seek out this time but we must not be so religious about it that if we don't get it we feel like failures or feel as though we cannot pray because conditions aren't right.
Finding Ways to Pray Throughout the Day
Throughout your day look for ways you can pray:
Meal prep– the blessing of food in abundance (even if you don't think you have abundance check what others in the world have in comparison).
Cleaning – for the blessing of a house and protection from the elements.
Making beds – pray for each family member who lays their head on that pillow. (For years I did this over my husband's pillow in faith waiting for changes to stir in his heart. Pray for protection, salvation, heart changes.
Paying bills – thank Him for the provision He has given you. Pray over your checkbook that He will provide for you every need even if when the numbers don't make any early sense.
Homeschooling – pray for wisdom to speak words they will understand and pray their minds will be clear to understand what you are teaching.
Watching TV – I pray over my son while we're enjoying an episode of our favorite show.
Driving – Pray for your neighbors, other churches or in those quiet times in the car alone, pray the desires of your heart out loud.
Sporting Events – either on television or in person, you can pray for injured players.
Anytime – when you see something and it reminds you of a particular person or if a person “pops” into you head, pray for them. They did not “pop” into your head for no reason. Spontaneous thoughts or images can be from God; Him speaking to you and prompting you to pray. Remember, prayer is a conversation.
Your prayers do not have to be long to be heard. You can pray whenever the spirit moves you.
What ways are you intentional about prayer throughout your day?