How do you pray when life gets too busy? We all value prayer and know we need it. But when life gets busy, taking time to pray can slip through the cracks. If we're honest, prayer may not happen until Sunday, when we finally sit down at church, where smart phones and emails are held at bay or our children are in capable hands for an hour or so.
When it's finally quiet and no one's expectations, demands or checklists can get to us, we may finally breathe. We have permission to just simply be.
When you find a pocket of quiet, you realize your heart really misses talking to God about everything. You miss the nearness of God. You miss the peace of His presence and the joy of simply being refreshed by His word.
But, as women who are caregivers as moms, daughters – or as professional women with a career running 24x7 with emails, texts and constant work deadlines queuing up or hard at work in ministry – you may wonder if a rich prayer life is possible.
A rich prayer life is possible – even if you feel overwhelmed with busyness. Jesus longs to refresh and take care of you. He invites you to simply come and rest – so he can whisper words of love to you – to fill you His peace and presence.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28
We often struggle with prayer because we don’t know what to say or our hearts feel stuck. But, prayer isn’t just about what you can do or say to God.
Prayer is about being present. Prayer is about receiving the peace and joy you need – that God wants to supply for you. Freely. Again and again.
Here are 5 Powerful Ways To Pray – Even When You're Busy
1. Sip and Rest (5 minutes)
Sip a cup of tea or coffee & breathe with God today. Are you tea or coffee lover?
Prayer is like sharing an intimate moment of quiet with a loved one. No words are needed. Research shows that even the act of brewing tea and simply the aroma of coffee is mood lifting!
You don’t have to say a word. Scriptures tell us Jesus is praying for you.
“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life… is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34
Give yourself permission to be God’s beloved. Rather than only sipping to refill on caffeine today, refill your heart with the comfort of God’s love for you. As you take a sip, rest in the thought of Jesus praying for you. Your intentional reflection of Jesus is a silent prayer – of receiving God's rest.
2. Journal Your Prayer
Instead of struggling to reach Jesus, invite Jesus to enter your world. Research in a NY Times article shows the power of writing your personal story leads to behavioral changes and improves happiness. Even 10 minutes of writing makes a difference!
“For the word of God is living and active… It penetrates dividing soul and spirit..” Hebrews 4:11-12
The “word” is the Greek word logos—translated as living voice. God is not limited to the written word. God uses everything living to speak into our lives. This includes journaling.
Where will you journal today?
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3
Drink in these beautiful words from God’s heart to yours. Simply think on a favorite Bible verse that has encouraged you in the past. Remember how God is whispering His words of love to you again today.
Share your verse with a friend who needs to hear loving words of encouragement. Be God’s loving voice and presence on her journey today.
A Breath Prayer is a simple way to pray using the natural rhythm of your breathing. It is a contemplative prayer practiced by the early church to experience God’s peace, practice the presence of God, and “pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 6:17.
Soul Care Tip: Deep breathing oxygenates your brain and reenergizes you. Now, breath prayers will oxygenate your soul with God’s presence and bring you calm.
What is your breath prayer today?
5. Listen to Your Favorite Worship Song
Pick a song to enjoy as you walk or relax in the sun or before you sleep tonight.
Take 5 minutes. Make music your time of meditation and prayer. Find new songs or load favorites into your playlist. Let God renew you through song today.
As his prayer, Brother Lawrence, a seventeenth-century Carmelite monk, made it a habit to intentionally think of God during the day – while he worked in the monastery washing dishes. “I worshipped God as often as I could, keeping my mind in His holy presence, and recalling it as often as I found I had wandered from Him.”
One simple way to intentionally enjoy continual conversation with God is by listening to worship songs. A song is a quiet conversation echoed in music.
What worship song speaks to you? Listen today.
Soul Care Tip: Music Is Therapy for the Soul
Music is used in therapy to uncover hidden emotional responses in children, helping them find words to express themselves. Songs give them permission to examine what’s bothering them or to process their experiences.
Music therapy is not just for children. Music helps us pray without words. Music is shown to bring calm and comfort, and alleviate pain. When you feel too stressed to pray, put on some music and let God whisper words of rest and love to you.
Why Finding Time for Prayer Matters
Busyness may be what's gripping your heart at the moment, but Jesus understands you. He doesn't judge you. It's the opposite.
Jesus steps closer to whisper to you in return —
Hold onto this beautiful truth in your heart and you will find the touch of Jesus' hands taking yours into His. And suddenly, busyness will no longer have a hold on you.
You will be held, instead, in the loving presence of the One who calls you His. You will realize Jesus is right there with you – speaking whispers of rest to you.
Take one day at a time. God will provide.
To enjoy 40 simple, powerful ways to pray and refresh your heart with God's peace and presence, check out Bonnie Gray's newly released devotional "Whispers of Rest: 40 Days of God's Love to Revitalize Your Soul".
Bonnie Gray will be hosting an online Whispers of Restweekly video series here at iBelieve on Monday, June 5, 2017. Order your copy and get ready to create new rhythms to renew your heart with the community of faith here at iBelieve.com.
Bonnie is the soulful author of Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace. An inspirational speaker and retreat leader, she has touched thousands of lives through storytelling, visual arts, nature, prayer and meditation. Bonnie’s writing is featured on Relevant Magazine, DaySpring (in)courage, and Christianity Today. She lives in California with her husband and their two sons. Visit Bonnie at www.thebonniegray.com and connect with her @thebonniegray on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.