I know what it’s like to be busy.
Between buying a new house and moving, attending countless medical appointments for my Crohn’s Disease, launching a new website, and traveling to San Antonio, Orlando, southern California, South Carolina, & Ohio… I’ve barely had time to breathe these last few months, let alone spend quality time with God.
I love when other Christian writers encourage their readers to carve out anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour daily for quiet time with God. Reading the Bible and praying to God are essential to a Christian woman’s journey.
A frequent suggestion is to wake up early, before everyone else in the household, to spend some uninterrupted time with God’s word and in prayer.
Except that doesn’t work for everyone… If God wanted me to wake up early to talk to Her, She wouldn’t have challenged me with a chronic illness that zaps my energy. On a regular night, when I’m feeling fine, I sleep 8-9 hours. On nights when I’m sick and flaring? I easily sleep 10-11 hours.
So how do I add prayer to a busy schedule?
Here are a few suggestions for adding prayer to your busy lifestyle!
5 Ways to Add Prayer to a Busy Lifestyle
Pray first thing in the morning while still in bed.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, go ahead and hit the snooze button! But instead of falling back asleep, take that 5 minutes or so to pray. Praise God for Her glory. Repent of your sins from the previous day. Thank God for the joy of a new morning. Ask God to bless your parents, your siblings, your significant other, your kids. Talk to God about any heart issues you might face today, like contempt for a coworker or a short temper with your kids.
If you’re too groggy in the morning to pray on your own, enlist help. Keep a prayer book by your bed. Read one prayer every morning. Or use an app! Prayer Prompter (iOS only) and Echo (iOS and Android) are both great options.
Pray at night, right before bed.
Make nightly prayer part of your bedtime routine. You can do this in one of several ways.
Literally pray while getting ready for bed. Pray while brushing your teeth or washing your face. Pray while changing into your nightclothes. To be honest, this strategy is multitasking prayer, which is not the absolute best way to spend time with God. However, if you’re struggling to prioritize prayer during your day, this is a great way to start praying daily.
A better way to prioritize nightly prayer is to pray right before getting into bed. If you feel comfortable kneeling, kneel by your bed to pray. Otherwise, you can sit somewhere, or even stand next to your bed. Close your eyes and speak to God from the heart. You can pray silently, or out loud. You can pray alone, with your partner, with a roommate, or with any other loved ones.
I usually pray right before falling asleep. After my husband and I have both turned out the lights, and exchanged, “I love you,” I turn to God. For me, the benefit of praying before sleep is that I can turn my worries over to God and fall asleep more easily. However, the downside is that sometimes I fall asleep in the middle of praying!
Pray on the toilet.
Hear me out on this one!
I have Crohn’s Disease, so I spend a more-than-average amount of time in the bathroom. Bodily functions and bathroom fans aside, it’s quiet. It’s private. When I was a nanny, my bathroom time was sometimes the only private moment I had in a 12-hour day. For me, it’s the perfect time to talk candidly to God. These prayers tend to be more conversational than my morning or nightly prayers.
Even if you spend only a normal amount of time in the bathroom, this still gives you several opportunities throughout the day to check in with God. Not all prayers need to be long and flowery. Thank God for indoor plumbing or an abundance of healthy food. Ask God to heal your friends and family with digestive diseases. (I would genuinely love your prayers). Pray for patience with the child whining outside the bathroom door.
Pray in the car.
My mother modeled this method of prayer. My brothers and I often prayed with our mom while driving to church, to school, or to other activities.
Obviously the driver needs to keep their eyes open while praying, but the passengers can all close their eyes.
Start by praying whenever you see an emergency vehicle with its siren blaring. Pray for the driver of the ambulance, the firetruck, or the police car to drive safely and to reach the emergency on time. Ask God to bless all the people involved with the unknown situation, to heal them, to protect them, to grant them wisdom and compassion.
Pray whenever you see an accident or a car pulled over to the side of the road.
Pray whenever you see someone at risk of being hit by a reckless driver, whether that’s a police officer directing traffic or a homeless person asking for money.
I also pray for myself as a driver, particularly when I’m stressed or tense. I ask God to help me drive safely and to guide the drivers around me.
When I still lived in Columbus, my commute home included a short and busy weave lane. Without fail, I prayed for God’s help before changing lanes, and I thanked God for delivering me safely after changing lanes.
Pray before meals.
I feel like this is an obvious suggestion, but I know I tend to overlook it. By the time I sit down to dinner, I’m exhausted and ready to eat!
Praying before meals is also a great way to participate in communal prayer, especially if you normally prefer to pray privately. Most of the time I prefer to pray alone. My prayers to God are an intimate conversation just for me and Her. But communal prayer has its benefits, and prayers before meals are the perfect opportunity for such.
As a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, one communal prayer is our blessing. When we gather together in large numbers, we sing this song before our meals.
Father, we are thankful.
May we ever be
Mindful of Thy blessings,
We of K.K.G.
As a child, I learned this simple prayer for meals.
God is great. God is good.
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands we shall be fed.
Give us, Lord, our daily bread. Amen.
When I was in Girls Scouts, we sang the Johnny Appleseed prayer before meals.
Oh, the Lord is good to me,
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun, and the rain, and the apple seed.
The Lord is good to me. Amen, let’s eat.
How will you pray daily?
Not every day is exactly the same. Some days I might use all of these prayer strategies. Other days, I just try one or two. My ultimate goal is to pray daily, even if I fall short of my desire to pray often and at length.
You might have a busy lifestyle as well, but none of us are too busy to pray. It’s just a matter of prioritizing time with God, even if our prayer life looks a little unconventional!
God wants to hear from us.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. -Philippians 4:6
I hope these ideas will help you pray daily and grow your relationship with the Lord.
To start your prayer journey, download the FREE ebook 5 Prayers to Cultivate a Servant’s Heart. Each prayer begins with a relevant passage from scripture to guide you.
How do you include daily prayer in your busy lifestyle? Leave your comments below!