Stuck in a rut when it comes to prayer? Do you feel like you are just too busy, too tired, and the day slips by you? Before you know it, you realize you have not prayed and you’re too exhausted to do anything but go to bed? The Bible tells us to pray constantly but that sometimes seems impossible with our chaotic lives.
Saint Paul urges us in his letter to the Thessalonians to “pray constantly” (I Thess. 5:17). Here are 5 easy ways to pray more during your day without changing your routine.
- Mealtimes: We all have to eat at some point during the day. Most of us eat two or three meals daily. Many of us pray before partaking of the food for the meal. However, for those who cook the meals, one can use that time to pray. While you are cooking meals for your family, use that cooking time to pray for those who do not have food. Pray for those who are going to go hungry tonight. Pray for those who work on the farms, in the factories, grocery stores, or those who drive the trucks to deliver the food where it can end up in your kitchen and on your table. Cooking meals for the family is a great time to also thank God for the blessings of food, provision, and even for the electricity and clean water you use to cook the food.
- Doing Laundry: Let’s face it, that terrible task of doing laundry creeps up on us every day it seems like and it must be done. Some of us allow it to pile up to a small mole hill while others wait for Mount Everest to form in the laundry room before we tackle the chore. However, this is a great opportunity to use as prayer time. While you are sorting, sifting, washing, drying, and folding use that time to pray for those who do not have clean clothes. Pray for those who do not have clean water to wash their clothes. Pray for the homeless who only have one or two sets of clothes. Pray for those who do not have a washer and dryer and have to spend coins at a laundry mat to clean clothes. Do not forget to thank God for the blessings of being able to wash, dry, and have clean clothes (and a mountain of them if you’re like most of us).
- Commute to work: Regardless if you commute via car, train, or bicycle, many of us have a daily commute. Some choose to pray the rosary while driving in the car and this is a highly recommended practice. I also want to suggest you use your time going to work, to the store, to church, or wherever you find yourself traveling, to thank God for the gift of your legs to walk, your arms and hands to drive, and pray for those who have lost limbs or who are unable to drive for various reasons. If you are using public transportation, pray for the train driver or the people sitting next to you. Pray for those who have to walk for miles because they do not have money for the train or have access to public transportation. If you are traveling to work, pray for those who are unemployed and are looking for jobs. Then, as always, do not forget to thank God for the blessing of being able to travel to work, the store, church, or wherever you find yourself heading.
- Lights on: When you turn on a light switch in your house take a minute and say a short prayer for those who have no electricity. Pray for those who have their electricity turned off because they don’t have money for the bill. When you turn the light off at the end of the day, say a quick prayer of thanksgiving to God for providing you with electricity.
- Bedtime: Most of us would agree we need to pray at the end of the day. Few of us probably would say we actually get around to it. While you are changing into your bedtime clothes, pulling the covers back and sliding into bed, say a quick prayer for those who have no bed to go to sleep in or those who have no blankets to keep them warm. Pray for those who are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage and who are worried about being able to provide a home for their children. Just before drifting off to sleep, thank God for your bed, nighttime clothes, warm blankets, and a roof above your head.
Try these simple ways to implement prayer into your daily routine for 30 days. See if it makes a difference.