How to Pray Effectively even When You are Busy

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Most Christians would agree that prayer is vital to the Christian life. I also think that most of us think that our prayer life could be better. Being more formal does not necessarily equal better. Matthew 6:7 states, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again.”

Most of the Christians I know struggle with the feeling that their prayers are not quite as good as a “professional’s.” They think that pastors probably have a secret “Bat Phone” to heaven. It probably does not help that many pastors pray weird prayersin public.Why do some people draw out the word “God” and pronounce it “Ga-a-a-a-w-w-w-d?”  

The good news is that if you can talk to a friend, then you already know how to pray. Prayer is simply talking to God. It is aligning yourself under His authority and will. It is asking and receiving. Don’t think that God is too busy running the universe to hear your prayer. That is way too small an understanding of His power and ability and it does not give Him the credit He deserves for loving you. You can talk to God and you are free to talk to Him in the way that best fits your personality. Here are a few ideas to make prayer more accessible to you. 

·     Pray in the car.

I pray a lot while I am driving. Hopefully that is not because of my driving. I find that I can redeem my time and really connect with God while I am behind the wheel and alone in my car.  

·     Pray while you work out.

I have a hard time praying while sitting still. I find that my mind wanders. Praying while I am walking or running gets me connected with God and allows my mind to stay focused. I am a lot like the pastor with ADD/HD who prayed, “Our dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for…oh, look! A bird!”

·     Listen to your prayer or read your prayer.

A few years ago, I wrote out a prayer list and recorded myself (on my smart phone) reading it out loud, pausing between each prayer request. I included Bible verses and promises as well to help guide me through my prayer. This is a powerful and convenient way to pray and stay focused. I also typed out all my prayer requests, Bible verses that I like to read for encouragement and building my faith, and the faith statements I like to pray daily. It has been a real boost to my prayer life.

·     Sit still and listen. 

I do not do this as often as I should, but I have learned that sitting still and focusing on God while not saying anything is a wonderful exercise and leads to some awesome times of prayer. 

Prayer does not have to be a daunting experience. You can pray more than you think you can by simply talking to God and being aware of His presence. What has your experience been? What works for you?