Fitting Prayer into a Busy Life

There are far too many Pinterest and Instagram stories out there from people who get up at five in the morning, fix themselves a cup of coffee or a very specific kind of tea and then spend an hour with their Bible and notebook in prayer and study.

So, that is fantastic…if it works for you. But most of us are NOT going to be able to pull that off in the midst of lives that are full to bursting at the seams.

But here’s the catch. The more full our lives are (I’m trying to give up using the word “busy,” but that’s another blog post), the more we NEED prayer time. If you haven’t figured this out yet, we all do much better when we make time to talk and listen to God.

Finding time for prayer can seem difficult when we have to work, get kids to dance/football/band practice, do laundry, care for aging parents and live with people who need to eat EVERY day. However, there are ways to fit prayer into an already over-scheduled life. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Schedule it in: If you live and die by your calendar, put prayer in there. You don’t have to spend an hour in prayer; even a few minutes can be enough to connect with God and help you make it through the day.
  2. Pray on-the-go: Use the time you spend commuting, doing housework, or running errands as time to pray. Pick a thing that you do every day and be intentional about using that time for prayer.
  3. Start and end the day with prayer: Begin the day with a simple prayer and end the day with a prayer of gratitude. Morning: Thank you God for this day. Let me be a mediator of your love and grace everywhere I go. Evening: Thank you God for getting me through this day. Help me to leave my concerns and worries with You so that I might get a good night’s sleep and be ready to do it again tomorrow. This bookending your day with time to talk to God can really reframe your experience of that day.
  4. There’s an app for that: If you are never without your phone, use it to remind yourself to pray. Pray! is a free app that allows you to set prompts and reminders. Instapray lets you set up prayer groups, if your prayer life thrives better in community.
  5. Workout prayer: There are some exercise classes that feel like prayer is a necessary part of making it through, but workout time can be great prayer time. There’s something about being in motion that makes our brains work differently and you may find it easier to pray when you’re walking, running or lifting than it is to connect to God while sitting still.

There is no right or wrong way to pray, nor is there a prayer practice that works for everyone. But everyone DOES need to find a way to work prayer time into our lives. Faith life is real life and our whole lives go better when we make time to pay attention to God’s presence.

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.

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