One of the most common obstacles to prayer is fitting it into our busy schedules. Let’s be honest, we are all busy. Finding time to pray is an overwhelming challenge. Whether we’re chasing kids or chasing careers, we fill up our days with things to do. We get into rhythms and tend not to set aside time to pray. And when we do pray, we have a hard time focusing on prayer rather than our to do lists.
Stop feeling guilty about not praying. Feeling guilty leads to feelings of unworthiness and we should never feel unworthy to pray. Let’s take a look at some ways you can make prayer a habit in your daily life.
Don’t Set Aside Time to Pray…Yet
Like you, I have tried to set aside time to pray again and again, but I’ve failed. Lenten and Advent devotions become short spikes in prayer activity that quickly get replaced by other seemingly more pressing responsibilities. This is why, my first suggestion to people struggling to find time to pray is not to schedule it at all.
Let me explain.
If we make praying a stressful thing that we feel like we have to do, we miss the point. Instead, try saying short prayers throughout the day at specific moments. These are prayer habits in the true sense of the words. Here are some examples:
- Praying before meals
- Praying before bed
- Praying when you wake up
- Praying in the shower
- Praying in the car
- Praying while you brush your teeth
The list can go on. The point is to get over your stress about finding time to pray. Choosing specific moments throughout the day to say short prayers and making those moments habits, will make the expression “pray always” a concrete action.
What is the best time of day to pray?
The best time to pray is going to vary for everyone. If you are a morning person, then set aside some time in the morning. If you stay up late in the evening, then set aside some time to pray at night. Start experimenting with various times throughout the day and stick with what works best.
For many devout religious monks and nuns, scheduled times of day to pray throughout the day and night are essentials. Muslims, have prescribed times of day to pray as well. These scheduled prayer times are great examples for the rest of us to make prayer an integrated part of our daily lives.
Don’t Forget to Pray
Consider setting some triggers in place to help remind you to pray:
- Set alerts in your calendar
- Set an alarm on your phone
- Connect it with other events (before bed, after breakfast, at the beginning of lunch break, etc.)
- Place prayer books and devotionals in places where you will have the opportunity to pray
- Ask someone to remind you to pray
- Plan a pray date!
We tend to think big with something so important as prayer. If we want to make something a habit, it is my belief that we have to start small and build upon what we have started. Don’t try to adopt multiple habits all at once. Focus on one habit and develop it fully before branching out to another. Over time, you will develop the prayer lifestyle you are looking to develop. If you are interested in the habits I am developing, check out my personal prayer habits reports.
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