The Busy Woman's Guide to Prayer
Like Martha in the Bible, I have lots to dooffice 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 everythingthe project I was working on, dinner preparationsjust 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 menot 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 thingssuch 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."