Do you struggle to fit prayer into your day? Read these tips for how to find the perfect prayer time.
Have you noticed how spiritual disciplines~ like serious, concerted prayer~ can be hard to stay consistent with?
My friend Jenni knows about that. Today she’s sharing how she’s fighting distractions and prioritizing prayer … and she invites us to join her in the fight.
I’m a 30-something woman who would still sleep in until nine in the morning if given the choice.
But everyone says that successful people get up early. So I’ve tried getting up early to exercise. I’ve tried getting up early to write. I’ve even tried getting up early to do chores.
Each time, I failed miserably. I just didn’t have the early-morning energy or the ability to stick with it.
So, when I found myself searching for the perfect time to do silent prayer, mornings weren’t even an option for me. Why would I choose a time so doomed to failure?
Instead, I tried squeezing my prayer time into various parts of my day. There had to be another time that would work well, right? But, no matter how hard I tried, I kept forgetting — getting distracted by the busyness of life — and in the end my prayer time never happened.
That’s when I realized, like everything else that’s good for me, I wasn’t going to stick with it unless I found a consistent time that I could pray each day.
Out of sheer determination (and utter failure to fit it in elsewhere), I admitted to myself that I might have to try my absolute last option — morning prayer.
So the next morning, I drug myself out of bed at the first alarm (instead of hitting snooze twice). I mentally cheered myself on, “You only have to make it to the big blue recliner. You love that chair. You can have a blanket. If you get up right now, you can even grab some coffee on the way.”
And you know what? It worked for a whole week.
Then a whole month.
Now it’s been several years, and I’m still doing my morning prayer time.
As it turns out, apparently prayer is the one thing I’m actually willing to get up 15 minutes early to do on a regular basis. There’s just something about the fact that it doesn’t require much of me. All I have to do is go from one comfortable place (my bed) to another (my chair). Somehow I can do that.
And fortunately, with prayer, if I show up, God typically takes care of the rest.
However, as I learned on my quest for the perfect prayer time, just showing up can be a lot harder than it sounds. The world will take from us as many moments as we will give it.
You have to fight for your prayer time. You have to sacrifice for it.
Whether that means you give up your morning snooze time or 15 minutes of t.v. in the evening, somewhere in your day, you are going to have to trade something good in this world for something so much better in the next.
The strange part is, once you commit to it, it doesn’t end up feeling like a sacrifice. Those 15 minutes of prayer each morning benefit me in a way that my snooze time never could.
So, the bad news is, if you want a healthy prayer life you are going to have to sacrifice something to get it. The good news is, it won’t really feel like a sacrifice in the end. I invite you to choose your sacrifice. Decide on your prayer time.
Jenni DeWitt is a fun-loving contemplative who is discovering the value of rest and silent prayer in the midst of this rushed society. She is the author of two books — Forty Days and Why Won’t God Talk to Me? Jenni lives in Nebraska with her husband and two young sons. She loves to help people in their prayer time at Genuflected.com.