“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB
“I wish I had more time to spend with God everyday,” confided a dear friend, ” but, at this stage, my life is chaos!”
How many of us can relate? With careers, college, or kids; or oh, gosh, all three(!) life can feel out of control. Where do the minutes, the hours, the days, the months, even the years go?
Do you want to know a well-kept secret? Life will be this chaotic for years, decades, and probably until we die.
So…How can we draw closer to God when we can’t eliminate the chaos?
Create calm from the chaos.
Embrace the chaos.
Utilize the chaos.
And, end the excuses.
Think about your day. When are there predictable moments everyday you could use for prayer, for study (even when that translates to listening to a Bible study en route to work or the kid’s activities,) and for communion with God?
For example, do you exercise alone first thing in the morning or late in the evening? Commit your workout time to prayer time. Maybe that’s when you pray for all those on your church prayer list.
Drive somewhere most everyday? As you drive through your neighborhood pray for your neighbors, your schools, the teens.
As you run errands, thank God for His provision to buy groceries. As you clean your house, thank God for His provision of shelter; thank Him for His provision for your family as you fold that fifth load of laundry. Thank Him for His provision as you run machines around the clock without concern for hot water or electricity turning off.
As you pull into your employee parking lot, pray for your co-workers, your place of employment, and for those you serve.
When you get stuck behind a school bus and you’re running late, pray for those students, and our nations’ future.
When you hear emergency sirens, pray for all that God would heal, help, and hold all those involved. You don’t need to know the details to give it to God. He knows everything, and your prayers can unleash His action.
Pray for your spouse when you hear the garage door opening at night, and for your spouse’s sense of purpose as you pass his place of employment or make that Saturday morning coffee.
Maybe there’s a special song which reminds you of someone. Years ago, there was a young teen in my daughter’s school who was making poor choices, landing her in legal trouble. I never met her, but every time I heard the song by Tenth Avenue North, “You Are More,” I prayed for her by name.
If you hear someone has a favorite verse, through conversation or Senior Recognition, for example, write that person’s name by the verse in your Bible. Even after the graduates are gone, or someone has relocated, when you read that verse you can pray for him.
Last year, I met an amazing young woman at a writers conference. She had suffered the death of a child earlier that year. She shared the verse that got her through her grief. Every time I read that Psalm I pray for her, and for everyone knowing that loss today.
Just because we don’t have two hours of peace and quiet every day,( OK let’s be honest here, ANY day!) does not mean we can not pray! It just means we must become intentional about our prayers, and utilize the chaos!
Monday: How do I define my ideal prayer time? Am I flexible with the “how” and “when” it happens?
Tuesday: Have I also believed the lie that I am just “too busy?” You are not alone! I told God all through college I would study Scripture more when I graduated and had more time. He taught me I would need to learn to make the time; unfortunately it took years for the lesson to sink in! If you are feeling convicted, talk to Him! He’s willing to forgive and show you how to fit Him in.
Wednesday: What “prayer triggers” do I already employ? What could I add?
Thursday: Think of people and situations you worry about regularly. When is a time your could commit to praying almost daily, for them?
Friday: Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank you for who You are. How humbling that You would take time and concern for me, and yet You do. Please show me how to honor You with my time, with my words, with my deeds. Show me pockets of time I have not even considered in this rat race of life, which I could use, spending time with You. Show me how to pray, when to pray, and what to pray. You promise Your word will not return to You empty. (Isaiah 55:11) Whatever I pray, You will use. It may not always be how I would have authored it, but You will use it. Help me to trust and commit to that promise, doing my part in praying for others, and for my relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thank you for reading! Please return by Monday March 10, for the next post!