When Prayer Seems Impractical
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (NASB)
A busy mom of six once told me, "I'm too busy NOT to pray!" Therein lies the secret to a life that really works.
Putting Jesus first and making prayer a priority is the key to finding the peace, strength and joy we all long for. And yet, many of us might admit we've got our thinking regarding busyness and prayer backward.
Let's be honest. As busy women, prayer often becomes that one project we'll "get to eventually," like cleaning the cobwebs from the ceiling or writing a cookbook.
With so many demands on our time and energy, most of us conclude the only real prayer life we can have are those short bursts of heavenly appeal (Help, Lord!) during the stressful moments of our day.
I've been there ... many times. The busier I am, the less practical prayer seems.
But I have come to realize when prayer seems the most unrealistic, that's when I need it the most. In fact, the "Too busy NOT to pray" principle has revolutionized my life.
Just a few years ago, our four children were all ages 4 and under. Three were in diapers, and the typical noise level in our house rivaled the Whos in Whoville on Christmas morning. Spending quality time with Christ each day felt next to impossible.
I reasoned, Surely Jesus understands how many important things I need to get done. He won't mind if I just whisper a few hurried prayers here and there as I'm scurrying around!
Yet in the busyness of my days, I continued to hear Jesus' gentle whisper, inviting me to come away from my hustle and bustle and be with Him.
So finally, I began to make room in my life for true prayer, even though it was far from convenient. I asked God to show me pockets of time during my day when I could steal away to be with Him. Such as when the children were napping or when my husband could take charge of things.
I asked God to equip me with the discipline to get up earlier and make my time with Christ a far higher priority than temporal distractions like social media and movies.
As I began to live by the "Too busy NOT to pray" principle, I was amazed at what happened. Suddenly, life became fruitful instead of frustrating. My responsibilities and demands didn't change. But instead of rushing around in a stressful frenzy, I had a supernatural strength to tackle my daily challenges calmly and joyfully. My defeated and overwhelmed perspective was replaced with a victorious, conquering one.
I was learning the truth of today's key verse, "... apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5b). I have come to realize that I cannot truly thrive in any area of my life unless I'm spending purposeful time in God's presence on a regular basis.
I still have a tendency to put tasks above prayer. But now, when I start coming up with reasons why I cannot spend quality time with Christ, I remind myself that actually, I'm too busy NOT to pray. Nothing on my task list could ever be more important than making time with Jesus. He alone has everything I need for the battles I'm called to fight.
The busier our days are, the more important prayer is. So when prayer seems impractical, let's remember that the very best solution is to get on our knees.
Lord, help me never forget that spending time in Your presence is what will give me strength for everything else I'm called to do. Teach me to not just fit You into my life when it's convenient, but to truly build my life around You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Luke 10:41-42a, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part ..." (NASB)
Ephesians 6:18, "... praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints —" (NKJV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When do you feel "too busy to pray"?
When you make time with Christ a priority, how does it change your ability to handle life's stresses and responsibilities?