Finding Time to Pray

Digest from the Airborne Mail List

 

Angus wrote the following post to the Airborne mailing list:

 
Hi, Just wondering how people find time and headspace to pray during a busy day?

Here are some of the answers...

 
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Just talk to the Lord continuously. Instead of thinking "how will I do this....?"

Try "Lord, how am I going to do this...?"
 He will guide your thinking and you will be doing what the Bible says "pray continuously."
 
Les, Queensland
 
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Quotes: "Satan mocks at our wisdom, he laughs at our toils but he trembles when we pray!" "The greatest people on earth are those who pray."

2 Chronicles 7:12-16, is entitled "Prayer on Wings!" giving 3 points:
1. The call to prayer
2. The conditions of prayer
3. The consequences of prayer

1. The call to prayer

This age-old call to prayer is one that will never be full realised for so long as there is the opportunity to do so. Why? Simply because we will always be people in need of prayer, and be a people entrusted with this fundamental service of our faith. In the first 3 verses of the same chapter, after King Solomon finished praying, 3 times we read that "the glory of the Lord filled the temple". This must be our desire as we rise up to the call to pray. And all the more if indeed the Lord were to "shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among His people".

2. The conditions of prayer

It might appear that we are called to do 4 things: "humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways". Yet to the response of the Lord that "His eyes will be open and His ears attentive to prayer made in this place" (v 15), our task is simply to pray, but with 2 crucial conditions.
These are humility, "humble ourselves", and holiness, "turn from our wicked ways". So, prayer may be likened to the engine of a plane; humility or contriteness, and holiness or consecration are the wings that enable it to soar right into the face of God.

3. The consequences of prayer

God says that when we pray in this way, then "His name, His eyes, and His heart will be with us forever" (v 16). He has promised us no less than His entire Being! "His name" speaks of His "association" with us. He is our Banner! "His eyes and ears" assure us of His fullest "attention". "His heart" reveals His "affection" for us. What more could we ask? Who else would we need?

Indeed Psalm 23 is a good Psalm for prayer. Walk through your prayer life with Psalm 23...beginning with His name.
- THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD -
The Lord, Jehovah Tsidkenu
The Lord, Jehovah Shammah
The Lord, Jehovah Rohe

May the Lord reveal Himself to you in your prayer life! In any circumstances, speak to Him first before go to anyone else. Remember your faith is a relationship faith.

Shalom. Renee

 

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My boss is a Christian who believes thoroughly in including God in every area of life, including business. So, we pray often about personal and business stuff. I also find myself praying arrow prayers throughout the day, but they tend to be the "God, what do I do now?!" kind of prayers!
 
Regards, Anthony, Melbourne

 
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Every now and then we all have these days. I guess short ' arrow ' prayers can be offered for these occasions.
 
Adrian.  Singapore

 

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Our heavenly Father knows our needs before we ask Him, so there in no need for a babbling long speech; but He wants to be asked. Just talk with Him as your friend. Short prayers from your heart will be a delight to Him e.g. Lord get me out of here; Thank you for this interview; Please tell me how to do this. Any time and any place will do. 

Jim, Singapore

 
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A few thoughts on prayer:

  1. The Chairman of our business is Jesus Christ.  We try to be mindful of communicating with the “boss” about projects and other issues.
  2. I subscribe to a number of Christian site email newsletters/bulletin boards (eg. Sojolist, Saltshakers) and receive regular messages from them.  These provide opportunities for thought or prayer throughout the day when they arrive in the email.
Regards, DesC, Melbourne
 
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Don't mean to be depressing but I do want to amplify your honest question - because I ask it all the time - in the light of the day I've just had.
 
First day back to work after 2 weeks leave :  took 5 hours to go 110 miles from home to office through London, standing for 3 hours on the train while also preparing for my annual Appraisal.  That Appraisal took 2 hours and did not go too well.  I then fly to Manchester for a meeting tomorrow but, 10 minutes late, had to pay £60 more to get the next flight.  Then, due to carrying a pocket knife, had to check my briefcase in, which upon arrival did not come through - all my papers, money, clothes - British Airways said it might come up tomorrow or next day.  I'm now at my hotel, away from home, exhausted, feeling as if I have achieved very little today.
 
I have not prayed during this demoralizing day.  I do ask what does God have to do with this?  Where is he in such a day?  Where or when do I pray in the middle of it all?  And why really?  Please help.
 
RICHARD, Lester

 

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Dear Richard,

For the days I have like yours here, I have to remind myself of the unpleasant truth in life that were we to never suffer, we would not recognize the joy of NOT suffering. And I tell myself, "well...at least this isn't like hanging on a cross for hours on end.....(even though it seems like it perhaps. I wanted to respond to you particularly because as of the time I read this summation, no one else had. I have days like this too, it will pass. God be with you.

Aloha, Rick, Melbourne

 

 
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Generally a little bit at a time committing things as you go. Trusting every thing into his hands? That’s how I do it.

Rowland, Melbourne

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I recently read that General Stonewall Jackson ( a famous confederate general in the US Civil War) prayed every time he took a drink of water.

Since he did this often, he trained himself to be in constant prayer. I think we can also train ourselves.

What is it we do often every day and connect that with prayer?

Maybe it's changing frequencies on an aircraft radio, waling to a restroom, driving, waiting in any kind of line, just before or after phone calls take a moment to pray or whatever.

Find what you do most frequently and connect the habit of prayer to it. I think we'll find prayer time increasing dramatically.

Blessings! Dennis and Susan Hoff, USA

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I have a long commute. Praying in my car is primary for me
 
Shea

 

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On the topic of prayer, I do not feel good unless I start the day with the Lord. Therefore somehow or other I get up 20 minutes early to say my prayers and read the "Streams in the Desert" and the Daily Bread". It gives the spiritual food to sustain me through the ups and downs of any given day.

I loved a comment made by someone in this context - Its not "how do I cope with all the stresses of the day Lord" but "Lord help me to cope with the stresses of this day"

This is what really matters. I feel it is a very relevant prayer. I adopted it this morning itself.

Dil, Singapore
 
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Hi, Angus,

I find the Holy spirit Prompts me from time to time, or prods me, to remember my salvation and what Jesus Christ did for me. Even in the busyness of work and life. What grace and love God must have for me. I am so unworthy of his goodness. So that's how i find time to acknowledge God. Pray, that's a matter of short sharp jabs for me. usually its the big things that come to mind, Salvation of my ex-wife, protection of my two boys, salvation of a non-Christian friend etc......... nothing formal but short and sharp.

 
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Angus replied to the question of arrow prayers...

 
thanks for your response. To follow up: how do you remember to load the arrow and how do you keep in mind that you even have the tool in the first place? I'm assuming that the work we're doing is demanding / consuming and not based on prayer arrows!
 
regards, Angus

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Get up early in the morning....when it's quiet and dark.   When you are driving....pray.   When walking....pray.   When you have a time alone....pray....even if they are small "arrow" or "bullet" prayers.    I'm still trying to make it a habit. Some days are more successful than others.

Blessings....Gary Kosak....Miami Florida USA

 

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I heard a comment the other day which was, If you're too busy for God you're too busy.

 
God bless you all, Bruce, New Zealand.

 

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Greetings dear Brothers,


.........especially those trying to get some new relevance into their prayer. I have read your dialogue following Angus' comments and also wish to offer some personal thoughts.

Its great to be able to have a continuous line of prayer with our Saviour.............but sometimes it is real tough when we simply 'petition' and ask Him to fix or do something.

How about simply asking Jesus what He is doing? Perhaps reflect on John 5:19. Look at how He modeled prayer. He loves to be included. Just dare to ask Him what He is doing and wait quietly.......He will answer......He loves you too.

Blessings, Rick, Melbourne

 

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Oh the joy of 'tongues' which can override my restricted (very!) brain power.

Yours, Brian, England

 

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There won't be any busy day for Him. He always busy looking after so many millions but He is always able to find times to love you .
God Bless.
 
Boody, Singapore

 

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Maybe I'm not busy enough to comment but this is what I do.

 
When emailing I have Christian CDs on and that's continuing praise and worship.
 
I have to walk a lot (no car here in Singapore) and I also swim most mornings.  Both of these activities give me time for praying for people and situations etc.
 
That's all I can offer
 
Judy Gray, Singapore

 

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I know that we're called to pray in the spirit at all times but honestly its impossible without the Holy Spirit having full reign in our lives so that prayer is something that we are constantly engaging ourselves in.  But that does not mean that its a continuous breathing type of constancy but its always happening, always punctuating our daily life. I find prayer is as much apart of me now as breathing and talking because I'm finding that the longer you 'walk the walk' the more aware you are of His presence.  And its when you've had a really bum day that you find out what's in your heart....you realise what sort of fruit you are producing in your life.  Is it patience? an ability to be long suffering but still cheerful and faithful in the absence of trials?  Having a horrible day can really set us on our heads when we realise what we can be like under pressure.  Some nameless wit said 'Christians are like tea bags... squeeze them and you find out what they are really like'

 

Love in Jesus, Reg

 

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How to pray several times a day? It is so easy if only we know how.
 
Right from my young age and throughout my Religious Life I begin the day by Offering every thought, deed, action of the day to the Lord. These become prayers even if we forget to center on God whilst we think, act, and move around. Of course we need "intensive contacts" with the Lord as two lovers need times of love and intimacy with each other.  It is good to set aside a few minutes each day at a regular time to Praise and Love God.

A simple prayer like this one could help: "Dear God I offer you this very moment of the day as an act of Love!"  or simply say: " All for you dear Jesus!" try and soon you will want to talk more often with Him.

 
Br. Emmanuel  a Brother of St. Gabriel in Singapore.

 

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Put the Lord first. Pray always, as St. Paul instructed. Rely on friends to help you and ask for help if you can. Tonight two friends, on different occasions, took me aside to pray with me. They want to help, if you just insinuate that you need help. Even if you don't want to go that far, say something to God, even while you are thinking that you don't have the time. I'm praying for you now. It only takes a breaths worth of time. God doesn't care if prayers are long or short, just if they are earnest. I love you Angus.

 
Tim
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I don't know about that. Maybe because I don’t have so much “days like that” but more weeks at a time?

I am finding that just being in a space during the day where I can sense God’s presence is a major feat for me...let alone having a conversation with Him that doesn’t degenerate into a “please” session.

Peter N. Melbourne

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I would like to recommend meditating on Psalm 23... "meditate" not just reading it through. For example:

The Lord is my shepherd.

The Lord...who is the Lord?   He is Jehovah Jireh, my provider He is El Shaddai, The God who supply all my needs (Phil 4:19) etc.

Is....that is present tense!  not "was" and not "will be" but the Lord... IS....my shepherd. Right now, today! ...my...shepherd.  He is not just the world's but He is "mine", personal, intimate shepherd.  He knows all my need. He has provided the answers. The Lord is MY shepherd.

Shepherd...  If He is the Shepherd, that makes me a sheep.  A sheep does not call the shots in his own life. The sheep follow the shepherd's direction. Jesus said: My sheep knows my voice (John 10:4).

This kind of meditation can be done anywhere and anytime. I have done it for myself when I first started my walk with the Lord just a few years ago and also exercised it with my children and the result is just simply awesome.

In Joshua 1:8 (KJV), God has commanded us to "meditate" on His Word day and night so that we may have "good" success. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let's go for "good success" and "sow" those incorruptible "seeds" into our hearts (Mark 4:26-29) and let His Words to fill our hearts to overflowing out of our mouth (Matt 12:34).

Ken, Singapore.

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God first of all knows our hearts and minds. Also He is our constant companion. I don't believe He either wants or cares about us having a formal prayer of a certain type or length. I just talk to Him as I go along, asking for help, thanking Him for help, thanking Him for the beautiful sunset, the sweet older lady I just met and was able to help while working. He's just THERE with me, and I love Him and tell Him so. There are times, I try to take at least 15 mins in the morning.....and I may be eating breakfast at the same time, which I believe He understands. I try to pray then for all my  relatives and friends, their burdens, safety, salvation, etc. On the whole though I just converse with Jesus throughout the day as I go, a sentence here, a sentence there, He's my friend.

Love in Him, Bonnie, MO,  USA

 

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Try starting by committing to 20-30 minutes, first thing, every morning alone with God. Ask Him to speak to you and to teach you to pray. You can even ask Him to show you why its important.

Read a psalm or a proverb, or read a book of the new testament, chapter by chapter, that you find full of encouraging promises! Then talk with and listen to Him. He accomplishes His will on earth, in part at least, through the prayers of the saints (that's us, if we're truly His children!).

It's all about fellowship, a relationship, communication with Him, even sometimes, if all you can do is cry and moan, and call on His name.

Ask God to draw you close through your prayer life. It's important to Him and He's desiring to do it. He promises to be near to those who call on Him in truth.

In your prayer time with Him, in your bible study time with Him, you might want to write God a note, make a prayer list of people He puts on your heart to pray for, journal what you sense Him speaking to you through His word or a sermon or teaching you or reminding you somehow.

It helps make us aware of specific answers and reminds us of His faithfulness.

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