But how do you sustain a prayer life when you work 70-90 hours a week? How do you maintain a prayer lifestyle when as a student, you work two jobs while schooling and need to meet up with a busy academic schedule?
How do you find time to pray when as a busy parent, you’ve got your hands full with the kids and work?
How do you find time to pray, when life seems to overwhelm you?
Life definitely presses and demands a lot from our time, but we shouldn’t let that sniff life out of our commitment to prayer.
Keeping prayer as an important priority in your heart is vital to finding time for it.
Once you set your mind to consider prayer as an indispensable feature in your daily life, it becomes somewhat easier to creatively carve out time to commune with the divine.
In this post, I have highlighted some practical real-life tips that could help you find time to pray and even pray more often.
#1. Sing your prayer
Sometimes in the midst of tasks and activities, it’s easier to sing or even hum than to utter words in an exercise of prayer. Sometimes also, you feel drawn to sing, and specifically at times, certain songs are impressed on your spirit.
Whichever one it is, you can take advantage of the singing or humming to pray. You can decide to sing in tongues. You can also decide to sing prayerfully, that song that has been laid on your heart or any other one that resonates with your spirit regarding the burden or challenge you have.
#2. Pray while driving
Driving can be very limiting.
Because of the kind of concentration it requires, it’s often difficult (and unadvisable) to engage in any other productive task.
However, one thing you can combine easily with driving is praying. You can blast loudly in tongues or send supplications in quiet whispers.
Whichever one you choose to do, by the time you arrive at your destination, you would realise you have deployed your time to good use.
#3. Pray during mindless routine
All our routine tasks can be classified into two categories: mindless and mindful routine. Mindful routine requires you to exercise your mind and mental powers in carrying out the activity.
However, mindless routine don’t. They are tasks you can do with your mind completely engaged with something else. Good examples of these are house cleaning, laundry work and dish washing.
As a busy person, when you are involved with such activity, you have a good opportunity to intercede and pray.
And you should always grab it!
I once heard of a man who would spend some time to pray whenever, he went to use the toilet. His colleagues always wondered why he stayed longer than expected in the rest room. They never knew he was deploying the time to recharge in the spirit.
#4. Pray in tongues often
The ability to pray in tongues is an amazing resource of vast potential that has been made available to us as believers. When we pray in tongues, we edify ourselves, we utter mysteries, and most importantly, we release our spirits to allow the Holy Spirit take over our prayer. (1 Corinthians 14:2, 4)
That allows Him to more effectively help our infirmities and make intercessions for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26-27)
As a busy Christian, you should learn to tap into this enormous resource by deliberately praying in tongues often. Paul said, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all” (1 Corinthians 14:18). That’s not because he was more anointed but because he exercised himself more in it.
The more you pray in tongues, the easier it becomes to do so in short moments as a busy person.
#5. Learn to pray terse prayers
What do you do when you are faced with a challenging task? What do you do when something unwanted happens?
Those are occasions when you can respond first by uttering a short specific and heartfelt prayer.
When you pray by saying things like, ‘Lord, help me’, ‘Lord, grant me light’, ‘Lord grant me favour’, ‘Lord, take over’ from the depths of your heart; you can’t tell how much of divine resource that can be dispatched to you instantly.
Whether you utter it just under your breath or loud enough for the person close by to hear, it makes no difference; God surely responds swiftly to such brief but desperate prayers we make in our moments of need.
And we should learn to do it more often as we encounter the challenges and hassles of each day.
#6. Learn to pray in your heart
It’s not every time that you’ll be able to pray by uttering speech. Sometimes, you need to commune with the Lord straight from the crucible of your heart. The words in your heart can travel to the throne of Grace by a connection of your spirit man to heaven in a mood of prayer.
That’s how to pray in your heart.
You’ll need to deploy it more often to see God’s hands at work with you through your day.
#7. Utilise the traffic delays
Oftentimes, we get stuck in traffic jams or hold-ups.
Whether you are driving or you are being driven, such is a good time to engage the supernatural in prayer.
Sometimes, you may even decide not to wait for the opportunity a traffic jam or hold-up presents; you could choose to pray throughout the trip!
#8. Block time out sometimes
The cold hard truth is that sometimes, you may need to block out time to pray.
Sometimes, you need to shut out everyone and everything and just be alone with God in your closet. Sometimes, you’ve got to switch off the phones, delegate everything you can, keep the ones that are left aside and face the Lord.
Yes, you’ll need to do that sometimes because that may be the only thing that will work in certain situations.
In fact, that may be the real thing you need sometimes to pray through, prevail and break through.
#9. Utilise short breaks
No matter how busy you are, you’ll find some short breaks in the course of the day.
Regardless of how short it turns out to be, you can still utilise it for prayer.
Sometimes, the prayer you initiate during a break like this could be sustained in your heart even after break time is over. But that initialisation would have been good enough to help you switch to further praying in your heart, singing your prayer or praying in tongues.
#10. Stay back after meetings
I have discovered that staying back after fellowship meetings or even secular meetings could afford you ample time to pray.
All you need to do is to ride on the wings of the conditions of nil or minimal disturbance that was in place for the meeting.
For instance, most likely your phones would have been switched off or on vibration mode during the meeting; you can leave it like that till you finish praying. If you didn’t attend to the phone calls or messages in the 2 hours that the meeting lasted, you could as well afford an extra 30 minutes.
Also, you probably would have informed colleagues and friends that you were attending a meeting. You can choose not to alert them immediately the meeting ends so you can stay back a bit. This would help you avoid briefly, people and tasks that could have come to you physically but were held back because you were in a meeting.
Whether you rush out immediately after the meeting or stay for an extra 15 or 30 minutes, either way they will be waiting until you return. They would never be so sure whether the meeting has ended or not until you arrive. So, you can ride on that to spend a little time engaging the supernatural.
Staying after a fellowship meeting to pray could help you to cruise further in the strength of the edification you just received by communing with brethren. This can provide you the needed ventilation for your spirit if you really struggle hard to make out time to pray.
#11. Take a walk sometimes
There is such a thing as prayer walk and it simply means praying while you take a walk.
There are different ways one can do it.
You may decide to walk down alone to a certain destination instead of joining people in a vehicle; so you have time to pray with tongues and with understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15). You may also choose to pick out a certain specific time to walk to or around a place, and while doing so, you pray! Another option you can explore is to take time off your busy schedule for a relaxing walk; and while you do that, you pray!
#12. Fast often
When you decide to observe a fast, you are often compelled to find a way to pray, so it doesn’t become a hunger strike. That way, fasting helps you to pray. So, the more you fast, the more you are able to pray.
Note however, that the fasting doesn’t have to last the whole day to be valid or effective. It could be for some hours in the day. You may even decide to observe your fast in the evening or night. After all, scripture speaks about the Lord Jesus, Moses and Elijah as having fasted 40 days and 40 nights, suggesting that one could fast day alone, night alone or day and night.
#13. Set up a routine
Perhaps the most important step you will take towards sustaining your prayer life in spite of how busy you are is to set up a routine. Find a time that you would most likely be able to stay alone to concentrate in prayer for at least one hour. Remember, Jesus asked His disciples, “Could you not watch with me for an hour?” That suggests that an hour could be the least time the Lord expects us to tarry in prayer.
After you’ve identified and fixed the time, try your best to adhere to it till it becomes second nature.
For a busy person, that time would probably fall somewhere in the middle of the night or wee hours of the day.
Whichever time it falls in, the more you keep to it, the more you gain stamina and prayer power.
Whenever your schedule changes such that you can no longer keep up to that time, do a careful review and fix the time again to the most feasible period when you can pray.
As much as lies within your power, ensure your commitment to prayer never wanes. Rather, see to it that as you number your days in the Lord, your prayer life keeps soaring.
By Ogaga Eruteya
Ogaga Eruteya is a Nigerian ordained pastor, poet, inspirational speaker and a scientist by profession. He was born and raised in Oyo – a historically significant Yoruba town – to Isoko parents. His name Ogaga Oghene means God’s power and he has been a true testament to this, having witnessed interventions that could only be divine on a number of dire occasions. He figured he needed to take writing seriously when he noticed that he had a plethora of scribbles and snippets all over his phones, notepads, and fragments of paper. He lives and serves God in Lagos. Read his amazing works here: www.faithandliving.com