We frequently hear about the importance of regular quiet time with God – in sermons, devotions, personal testimonies, heck, even the Bible. Jesus often went off by himself to pray. Many times Jesus prayed through the night, foregoing sleep. Prayer was clearly a priority, and should be for us.
My best prayer time, recently, was while strapped to an uncomfortable seat as required by an illuminated fasten seatbelt sign. With nowhere to go, I opened my prayer app, lifted up each concern, and jotted down insights. I can’t remember the last time I poured out my heart to God like that! It was surprisingly intimate! I emerged connected to the Spirit, filled with peace, and confident that God was handling every concern.
Why don’t we make prayer a daily habit?
There are many reasons – work, sleep, lunches to pack, a pet needing to go out, social media, life.
We talk to God all day, sending quick prayers of thanksgiving and cries for help. We think about people needing His presence. We say mealtime blessings. It’s all good prayer but doesn’t provide the intimacy found in time alone with Him.
So let’s do this!
We want to start our day with Him. We know that a steady habit of dedicated prayer is life changing! Let’s choose to meet Him in that quiet place.
In lieu of being strapped down and a thousand miles above the earth, find a comfortable chair away from your main living space. For convenience, keep a Bible, notebook, and pen there, and perhaps a candle and timer.
A timer? Short of installing a seat belt, it may be difficult to remain seated. Set the timer and commit to five minutes in His presence. At first, it may feel like an eternity, but will soon be too brief.
Use the candle to calm your racing mind and relax your body. Tell your family that when the candle is lit, you’re spending time with God – it’s better than posting a Do Not Disturb sign.
If you’re visually distracted, close your eyes. When your mind wanders, either arrest the diversion and pull your thoughts back to God or pray for the diversion itself.
Don’t do all the talking. Let your mind be still and listen. Take notes of your insights or journal your whole conversation with Him.
This is an idyllic prayer environment, but we all know some days don’t start out this way. Never fear! There are many ways to be alone with God.
- Pray before getting out of bed. When you’re tempted to start planning your day, give Him your agenda and ask for His guidance.
- Pray while walking. Praise God for His creation. Pray for the families whose homes you pass and pour out your own concerns.
- Pray through your keyboard. It doesn’t sound sacred, but close your eyes (or remove your glasses) and let your prayer flow through your fingers. Don’t edit. Don’t look at the screen. Just pray.
- Pray in the shower. You’re alone, right? And naked! What better time to surrender yourself to Him and allow Him to search your heart?
- Pray over the child snuggled in your lap, your role as a mother, and your marriage.
- Pray during your commute. Silence all distractions and talk to God.
However, you and God work out time to be together, He will honor your effort. Over time, you will find it’s the best, most important part of your day.