Why Mundane Places and Spaces Can Help Your Prayer Life
Fitting prayer into a busy life can be hard. And it’s not just finding time for prayer–it’s having peaceful, quiet time to pray.
Good news! You don’t need quiet and solitude to pray. Okay, there are ways we can be more in tune with how God is speaking to us and more open with our own authentic prayers, but prayer time can be anytime. In fact, the noise and rhythm of everyday life may even help, rather than hinder our prayer life.
Pray while doing mundane tasks
Emptying the dishwasher.
Taking a shower.
Brushing your teeth.
Our mind often experiences revelations while performing relatively mindless tasks. As Mental Floss describes the phenomenon: ‘Since these routines don’t require much thought, you flip to autopilot. This frees up your unconscious to work on something else. Your mind goes wandering, leaving your brain to quietly play a no-holds-barred game of free association.'”
So in times when you can’t seem to get in the prayer “mindset,” what you may need is not quiet and calm, but a task that doesn’t require a lot of brain power that allows your neurons to focus on prayer
Pray in Your Car
There is something about motion–whether propelled by our own feet or aided by technology–that moves our minds as well. Anytime you’re on the move (a walk, a bike ride, on a bus or in a car) is a great time to spend in prayer. And remember, you don’t have to adopt a hands-folded, head-bowed posture. Prayer can happen no matter how your head and hands are positioned.
Pray in Line
Instead of defaulting to scrolling through your phone when you get stuck in a long line, use that time to pray. Pray for the people in line with you. Pray for the people working. Pray for the people (and places and things) you’ve been meaning to pray for, but just haven’t found the time to do so.
In an elevator
If you are in an elevator, you are typically going to encounter someone or someone’s. You’re headed to work, to an appointment, to pick something up or to drop something off. If you’re like me, and live in a city, you may be headed home on the elevator. Take that time to pray for those you will meet, for your interactions with them and to leave those you encounter better than you found them.
Here’s the thing: when we begin to pray in unusual places and spaces and in times not dedicated to or designated as prayer time, we cease to have to carve out time to pray. Prayer becomes a part of our rhythm of life.
So start praying is strange places. Prayers don’t have to be long, eloquent or particularly pious to be effective. Prayer life is real life.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.