I Know I Should Pray More, But...

Let’s face it: life is sometimes a vortex of chaos. Attempting to schedule regular prayer time into an already overloaded day can be a recipe for frustration. Instead of feeling guilty about not praying enough, (can we ever pray enough?) or trying in vain to remember who or what I’m supposed to pray for, I've learned how to make prayer a priority by incorporating it into my crazy, never-quite-normal, everyday life in creative ways.

I think of prayer as an ongoing dialogue between God and me, not a one-time event relegated to a particular time of day. Though I maintain a morning prayer time, my prayers don't cease for the day when I say Amen and head out the door.

A lifestyle of prayer isn’t as difficult as it might sound. The following sure-fire strategies are guaranteed to help you experience more prayer power.

Fill mindless activities with prayer. For instance, I always pray while I vacuum and when I’m in the shower. It’s simply become habit for me. There are always opportunities for prayer sprinkled within our day. Other possible times to fit prayer into the day include:

· Any time you’re in the car
· While folding the laundry
· In line at the grocery store, the bank, etc.
· In the doctor’s waiting room
· Waiting for your dog to do their business (ahem)
· Waiting for your kids in the car pool line
· While scrubbing the bathroom
· While mopping or dusting
· When you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep


Consider using your daily walks, bike-riding, jogging or other exercise time as a prayer boost. It's a powerfully effective stress-busting combination.

Ask God to show you who to pray for. You might be surprised who He puts on your mind. I have two friends with late-stage breast cancer. The least I can do is pray for them, and God never fails to remind me.

Pray immediately when you become aware of a need. Don't tell yourself you'll pray later, because if you’re like me, chances are you won't remember. Tell yourself to stop, drop and pray right away when you hear of an urgent matter.

Don't just moan about all the horrible stuff on Headline News. Take a minute to pray about it. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to pray in your recliner. However, when the ironing pile stacks up, I haul out the ironing board, turn on either local or national news, and pray while I iron.

Be willing to pray for someone on the spot. When a friend or neighbor tells you the awful situation they're in, don't just tell them you'll be praying for them and walk away. Ask if you can pray for them right there, and watch God move.

If you're forgetful, use a notepad to jot down the things you want covered in prayer. When things heat up at my house, I always start a prayer list. Keep the list in your Bible, on your nightstand, or taped to your bathroom mirror. Also, keep a small notepad in your car.

Remember, when we pray, we’re not only talking to God, we’re inviting Him to speak to us as well. We can expect God to respond and help us fit more prayer into our sometimes crazy lives.

Happy praying!


29 comments:

Jean Wise said...

In our Sunday paper each week, they print about 10 photos of felons the police are seeking. I pray for each of them by name as I study their faces. So often they look so lost. I wonder if anyone ever prayed for them.
My mom always said when you hear a siren, pray. I do that also. God gives us all sort of tiggers, reminders during the day to speak to Him, doesn't He?

Sande said...

Isn't that the truth. Find myself continually chatting and sharing my life and of those I encounter with my amazing Friend.

Sometimes though, I find Him reminding me that even though He loves my constant chatter that it is also a good thing to also LISTEN to Him respond. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Be willing to pray for someone on the spot. When a friend or neighbor tells you the awful situation they're in, don't just tell them you'll be praying for them and walk away. Ask if you can pray for them right there, and watch God move.

I love this one. It took me years to feel comfortable asking someone to pray with themm right on the spot. I'm still not comfortable but always feel better after I do.

Julie Gillies said...

Jean,

I do the same thing! I always pray when I hear a siren, and I pray for escaped convicts, etc. You're so right...God gives us all sorts of triggers!

Sarah said...

I love this. With busy schedules, it always seems like there's no time to sit down and pray. But if I pray while I'm out and about, my whole life becomes a prayer or a prayer opportunity.

B His Girl said...

Pray without ceasing...I know this is crazy but your list made me think of the book 'Green Eggs and Ham'. There is nowhere you could not eat them and the same applies to prayer. I have conversations with God throughout my day during my daily routine. He lets me know He is there. Speaking of prayer, I pray your son is doing well after his surgery and healing is fast.

ginny said...

I do that too! I pray in the shower, cooking, cleaning, sitting on the front porch, driving the car, almost everywhere. I try to set aside a special time, but that does not always work.
Great post.

Karen said...

Julie, wonderful reminder. The attitude of prayer. Someone also told me, to not get upset about stopping or slowing down at school zones, but rather, let it be a prayer zone for the kids you see.

I read some of your past posts. I'm sorry about all physical problems going on. I know God can handle things, but it's still tough.

Blessings to you and your family

Deb said...

Warfare.

Please say a prayer for me.

Sweet dreams.

K. Frangeskos said...

Hi Julie,
What a beautiful post...so well written and easy for us all to remember...

I always have an on going conversation with Jesus thoughout my day. I go to HIM with love in my heart, smiles on my face and also when I may become a little stressed.
He is my refuge always. Jesus is my best friend. We can always count on HIM for everything.
Best wishes and may you continue to inspire others for the Lord...

K. Frangeskos
at Jesus Knows You Best

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Awesome tips on prayer. I love it!

Carla J Schuchman said...

Sometimes I imagine Jesus sitting there, with His head in His hand and tapping His fingers with the other, smiling, waiting His turn to speak to me. I love that we get to have this most awesome friend that knows us completely. I love that we don't have to hide anything and that we couldn't if we tried. I love that He hears all our prayers. I love that He is My Father, My Friend and My Teacher.
Thanks for a great post!
God Bless You!

Bridget said...

Great post Julie. Someone once told me that STOP means to Stop To Offer Prayer. It always reminds me to not just say I'll do it, but pray right then with the person. There's no time like the present!

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Indeed, I follow many of these same practices. I also have a little note posted on my computer, reminding me to pray BEFORE I made an administrative decision (or ans answer an email) not AFTER. Most of the time, it works.

Anne L.B. said...

You are spot on, Julie!

To better pray, I too often need to simply shut up and get in a quiet place to listen.

But mostly, I need to "Just Do It!"

Dan King said...

What great wisdom Julie! Thanks for sharing!

I also can't believe that you talked about dogs doing their business... AWESOME!!!

Tea With Tiffany said...

picked you for an award :)

Tammy said...

I've been seek God on this very subject. Wanting my prayer time to be deeper, to be reminded of the things I should be praying about.

Thanks!

Jill said...

Great practical advice Julie. And something I'm sorry to say I needed to be reminded of.

On another note, more of a prayer request I guess - please pray for me as the marketing process of my book becomes real. We have a meet the author event on Friday and a newspaper interview coming out tomorrow. I just keep praying God would give me the words and He would get the glory.

Blessings and thanks to you, Jill

Cheryl Barker said...

A lifestyle of prayer...so good to just be able to speak to the Father about anything and everything at any time we want to. What a blessed way to live!

Gaia said...

I say my morning prayers in the bus. That's the only quiet time I have. Then throughout the day, I give thanks, especially when I feel his hand in helping me get out of needy situations whether its work or family. I pray when I hear the fire engine siren too. Taken note of your list, will do that too.
Thanks Bless you.

Bonita said...

Great ideas for praying. I do the mindless activity thing a lot. Also, I enjoy prayer walks.

Heather Coyle said...

Great reminder to me to pray throughout the day. I start out with a bang in the morning and fizzle out by night. Thanks!

Billy Coffey said...

I love these suggestions, Julie. The best part of my day is my ride to work and back home, because they tend to be two long conversations with God.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Incredible and practical wisdom, sister!

Diane said...

I have definitely found that I need to pray immediately when I hear a need. If I say, oh, I'll pray for that... I sometimes forget especially on the phone. :O)

KelliGirl said...

I'm so sorry I'm late getting here. I read this the other day, but didn't have time to comment. :-(

I can really relate to what you wrote and am going to soak in some of your suggestions. I feel like my prayer life is ever-evolving. I have so far to go, but am thankful I have experienced the power of prayer...and the power of the Spirit...in my life.

Thanks Julie for your example, your faithfulness and your conviction.

Blessings, my friend,
Kelli

Sue J. said...

So much about prayer is just being intentional about recognizing that God is there in EVERYTHING! Too often, I feel like we create this "event" to "summon God" into our presence. Well, it just doesn't work like that. He knows our every thought, after all!!

But, when we focus on Him, it's the start of gearing up our hearts to worship Him. When our "wellspring" has been filled, we can, with confidence, pray whatever is on our hearts, knowing that He will hear us.

No matter what, no matter for whom, but with Who do we begin?

Praying without ceasing really can be a frame of mind if we choose to make it one. Thanks for the tips, Julie!

Gwen Stewart--Singer-Scribe said...

Julie, you must have read my mind for this post.

I made Bible reading a mandatory part of my day a long time ago--so long that on the odd days I miss it, I feel like I lost a limb. But prayer time? Boy, do I struggle with that--and it was causing me a LOT of guilt.

I have a running conversation with God all day long, it seems. I DO pray when driving, walking, doing mundane chores--but I was under the impression that must not "count", since it wasn't mandated time. I'm feeling a little better knowing that I'm not the only one who prays in silent moments throughout the day.

I am grateful to say that I have a prayer-place at school: my storage closet. It's quite roomy. I pray for students there, and for our school, and for myself. Yes folks--I am a public school teacher. :)

And I love your idea for immediate prayer. I'm going to employ that right away: instead of, "I will pray for you", "Can I pray for your right now?" I cannot WAIT for God to give me the opportunity to do that for and with someone. I know He will!

May God bless you richly on this day of worship and rest, Julie.

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