I must admit: long, focused prayer isn’t really my strong suite. I have some friends who are true prayer warriors and it’s something I really admire. To be able to quiet and focus and listen for a long period of time achieves saint-like status in my book. I would love to be in that place someday :).
Right now, my personality and season of life lends itself more to the “go as you pray” prayer style.
- As I run, I pray for the Life Groups that I coach.
- As I take a shower, I pray for whatever pops into mind.
- As I check email, I pray for people I’m interacting with.
- As I’m about to lose my mind, I try to pray for the kids who are highly influencing those feeling of mine.
- As I walk 2 of the kids to school mid-day, I pray for the kids and their various issues.
- Before I go to bed, I’ll pray for Jake and I’s marriage and any communication issues we may be having.
- When I wake up in the morning, I pray for the people in my dreams. [sidenote: As I have started doing this more, I tend to dream about SO MANY different people from my past. It’s creepy in a fun way!]
I’ve found that if I want to fit something into my life permanently, and not just as a passing fad, I have to find a way for it to fit into the rhythm of my days. When trying to figure it out, I ask myself these questions:
Where would this habit, task, or action fit the most naturally?
When it comes to prayer, I think to myself- Is there a slot of time when I’m doing something where my mind often wanders? Instead of wandering to other things, can I focus my thoughts to prayer? Are there little slots of quiet when I can use for quick prayers? When do I find myself worrying the most, or feeling the weight of the to-do list? So, I thought that since Jake is right next to me in bed every night, it’s only natural for me to pray for us before I doze off to sleep.
What is going to be fighting for my attention during this time?
With this question, I’m basically brainstorming what could throw me off so that I’m aware of it when it starts to happen. For example, as I’m trying to fall to sleep at night, I tend to want to worry instead of sleep. 🙂 So, I know that the challenge some nights will be for me to worry or mentally run through situations from the day (over and over and over) instead of praying for Jake and I. I can more easily catch myself when I think of how I should have said such and such to so and so, and did I sound so stupid when I said blah blah blah at the meeting I was in? You get the point :).
I’ve found that using this kind of prayer has helped me to be aware of God’s presence and how my soul is responding to His promptings throughout the day.
What kind of pray-er are you? What rhythms work best for your personality and season of life?