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The Busy Woman's Guide to Prayer

(No matter how packed your daily planner is!)
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Like Martha in the Bible, I have lots to do—office work, writing projects, laundry, cooking, cleaning. Just this week, for instance, I had a deadline to meet, my daughter-in-law was hospitalized, and I cared for her baby. Add in meals to cook, a household to run, a prayer group to lead, and preparation for an overseas ministry trip. It's a real challenge to squeeze in time for prayer!

I used to think, If I don't pray at a certain time of day, then my prayers don't really count. Then my prayer life underwent a radical transformation. I discovered the apostle Paul's command to "pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) means more than just spending a lot of time in prayer; it means sharing a continual dialogue with God wherever I go.

Praying continually isn't just another duty or heavy burden to bear

The truth that God listens to my prayers wherever I am didn't sink in until my son, Chris, left to attend a university 20 hours from home. Oh, how I missed hearing his voice! Busy with premed classes, intramural basketball, and studying, Chris didn't call often. But once in a while, the phone would ring, and it would be Chris. I'd drop everything—the project I was working on, dinner preparations—just to hear my son's voice.

One day I realized God feels the same way about me, only hundreds of times more, because I'm his child (John 1:12)! Whether I'm walking, driving across town, or sending a prayer heavenward from my computer, he delights in hearing from me—not just once a day, but throughout the day. Scripture says he "inclines his ear" and is "open to hear" my prayers (Psalm 40:1 34:15).

I became even more excited about the effects of praying continuously when I noticed that throughout the Bible, God used short prayers to accomplish great things—such as raising the dead or parting the Red Sea. It dawned on me that thoughts such as, But I can't pray long enough, or If I can't pray one hour, then why pray? have no biblical basis. It's wonderful to have longer sessions of prayer when I can, but remembering that my short prayers can have a big impact encourages me to pray throughout the day.

Whether you're married or single, with or without children, you probably struggle with your prayer life as I did with mine. The good news is, you don't have to put either life or prayer on hold. Here's how to begin building a 24/7 prayer life.

Get a Good Start

For me, a life of continuous prayer now starts even before I lift my head off the pillow. I say, "Lord, this is the day you've made; help me focus on you in the midst of all I've got to do."

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April 06, 2011  5:25pm

Thank you. I am currently attend bible college. One of my classes in on pray. We are read E M Bounds book on Pray. I praise God for you writing these guidelines. Just what I needed as a busy wife,mother, grandmother, students, friend. Just been Martha with Mary spirit(learning to sit at Jesus feet on-going).

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April 02, 2008  1:15am

Wow ! this is really something.. I am a final year student at university..a lot of ppl know me (not to boast) so alot of ppl talk to me all the time - especially at uni.. I struggle with spending long hours in prayer - as i used to..and though i realised that the point or purpose of prayer was not the length of time, i am convinced that quality time is as important to God as it is to humans... i never really thot i was being 'respectful' by offering up short hasty or min-prayers especially for random people which i would do withoiut a thiught..and actually forget at times..so by the time the end of the day comes or the nest day, i feel bad - like i havent prayed or communicated to God but could spend a whole few hours talkin to rinds about issues.... THANKS SOO MUCH FOR THIS.. IT is ALWAYS good to know - and i mean that rom the bottom of my heart - that sum1 gets me, has been there and can encourage me without patronising or judging me..dis has realy strengthened me!GODBLESSU!

Tracy Pace

November 29, 2007  10:35am

Jesus said our prayers should not be vain repetitions, but simple personal conversations thanking God and asking for what we need each day! I pray constantly wherever I'm at.

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