Last week, we spoke about choosing to pray. This week, we are looking at how to make more time for prayer. I mentioned last week that I struggle with prayer and mental wool gathering — that is, not being able to focus on prayer.
But the struggle is not only with mental wool gathering for me. I find it’s also difficult to make time for prayer. In a way, yes, there is always time for prayer and we can pray in many ways in many places. But maybe we should actually schedule time for prayer and only prayer. Time that cannot be interrupted by anything else because we have committed that time to prayer.
So how do we make more time for prayer?
1. Make time for prayer in the morning. Even if it’s just for ten minutes.
There are many examples in the Bible of making time for prayer early in the morning. We read about Jesus going to the Father early in the morning, before the day started. In the Psalms, we read about seeking God early in the morning. So there is maybe something to praying early in the morning, based on these biblical examples.
Honestly, I feel like morning is a great time for prayer because that will set up your whole day. And starting your day with God? Is a really good way to go.
“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.”
Now, I am a morning person. I love the morning light and waking up with the sun — or even before the sun. However, I realize that not all people are like this. So maybe praying early in the morning is actually a big thing and requires a change in your life. However, I think this is a practice we should all take on: to pray in the morning. And to make time for prayer in the mornings.
This, I know, can be a difficult thing. But then again, I think it does not have to be too difficult. It is enough to pray for just a few minutes, as that is better than nothing. So what if you woke up ten minutes earlier? Waking up just ten minutes earlier might feel like a lot; but at the same time, it is manageable, I think.
2. Give thanks when you go to bed.
Another time to pray is in the evening, which is found in the Psalms as well. We find the Psalmists meditating on God when they are in bed. And I think this is a good practice honestly. When we go to bed, it’s so good to look back on the day and give thanks to God for what He did on that day.
Maybe make a list of answered prayers. Or maybe make a list of three things where you saw God today. These can be anything, really. Just list things you are thankful for, where you saw God today and thank God for those things.
“When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.”
Honestly, I love what the practice of thanksgiving does to our hearts and souls. We can find so much more beauty and grace in every day when we approach our days with thanksgiving. And I think we see more of God when we remember to give thanks for what He has given us.
3. Pray anywhere, always.
We are commanded to pray without ceasing. But what does that actually mean, since there are other things we need to do in life as well?
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
For many years, some of the most fruitful conversations between God and I happened in the shower. That was where I had the most uninterrupted time to lift up prayers to God. It was just me and the Lord while I was lathering shampoo in my hair.
Lately, I have tried to commit time spent in my car to prayer. I drive a lot for work and many of the drives are about 10-15 minutes long. Those are perfect times for prayer and pouring my heart to God. These are not the best places; but they are good places to lift up prayers, just like all other places and moments are.
So where and when can you pray? I think that is for you to decide and to talk about with the Lord. But it is always possible to make more time for prayer — we just need to commit to it.