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.
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).