Years ago, I read a poem about a person who was very burdened with stress and a full schedule and put off praying that day saying, “I’m so busy that I can’t take time to pray”. Things don’t go well for this person as they bumble through the day in their own strength. The poem ends with the person waking up the next day – to another full schedule – and saying, “I’m so busy today that I HAVE to take time to pray.”
This is where I often find myself – easily putting off prayer. Sometimes it’s because I feel my schedule is too full and other “urgent” things have priority – like my three year old daughter who clearly got the “very early morning person” gene. 🙂 Sometimes it’s because there is much weighing on my mind and I feel that I need to think it through before I know how to present it to God (who knows all about it anyway – doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?). Whatever the reason I find to neglect praying, it’s not nearly as urgent or important as all the reasons I should be praying.
When I really think about it, consistent prayer is probably one of the clearest and most practical signs that I truly believe that God is real. I can think of a few people that I know who clearly have well developed prayer lives –it’s just part of their thought process! When talking to these people even briefly, they’ll often say “let me pray for you” or “let’s talk to God about this” and it’s not awkward or showy – it’s as normal as if they stopped to include another person in the conversation. God is real to them! They often have stories to share of what God is doing around them and they inspire me (and others) to follow harder after Him.
I want to be like that – to have prayer such a part of my daily life that Jesus is literally the friend always beside me ready for conversation. When prayer is built into my life, I will not only receive the benefits of exercising my faith and having good communication with God, but those who come into contact with me may very well see more of Him, too.