Although we have 24 hours in a day, it seems as if we come to the end of a day and find ourselves crawling into bed without having spent time in prayer. The thought of spending time in adoration is an appealing one that soothes the soul, but just does not seem to fit into our already tight and hectic schedule. After all, between work, Mass, soccer practice for the kids, homework, dinner, bedtimes, baths, school projects, music lessons, laundry, house cleaning and volunteer work, it seems there is no time left for prayer. No time left for God. Even the most well intentioned individuals can find themselves carried away by the busyness, noise, and tornado of the schedule most of us maintain.
Consider these top five ways to begin spending more time with God, more time in prayer, and increasing your relationship with God in spite of the daily hustle and bustle of life.
1.) DVR is your friend- In spite of the appearance, and the feeling, of our lives being overwhelming busy, the large majority of us would have to admit we spend at least an hour or two a day watching our favorite reality shows, soap operas, news programs, or sitcoms on TV. If you have DVR, you can always set your timer to program your favorite show and watch it at a later date, after you have spent time with God. For example, the hour you spend watching that program, spend that time in prayer and scripture reading. After recording the program, you can watch it on the weekend or the following day when you have more time.
For those who do not have DVR, no worries ! Almost every major television show can be watched online for free after the program airs. Even if you cannot watch it online or DVR it, missing a television show will not have a lasting impact on your life or soul, but missing prayer will have an impact.
Replacing the hour of your favorite TV show with adoration is ideal. After all, is spending time with God more important than watching a television show?
2.) Put God in your schedule- Consider the appointments you make every day. From appointments for work or social activities, most of us have a calendar full of activities penned in, sometimes in a variety of different colors, and we seem to think there are 32 hours in a day instead of 24. However, no matter how many appointments we make, we seem to find time to make ourselves available for each appointment.
Take 10 or 15 minutes to take a glance at your calendar and appointment book. Take note of the most available time in your day, on average, for each day and make an appointment to spend that time with God. For example, if you have time between 3 and 4 p.m. each day, just before leaving work, then pen God in for that time and make it as important in your day as any other appointment. Perhaps you need to make the appointment later in the evening, for 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., and you make an hour to spend with God. If God was truly coming to your house or office at that time each day, would you make time and keep the appointment? Here’s news for you, if you give him the appointment, God will show up. Make an hour for adoration as an appointment in your schedule. Mark it in your calendar as you would any other appointment.
3.) Rise and Shine- Instead of getting up with just enough time to eat breakfast (or cook it), shower, dress for work and get to work, try setting your alarm for an hour earlier. Even if you oversleep or hit snooze a couple times, you will still be able to give yourself 30 to 45 minutes with God.
4.) Take advantage of alone time- Your commute to and from work can be a wonderful time to pray. Say a prayer while you are in the shower or doing the ordinary chores of the day such as cooking or laundry. You can also place notes on your mirrors with scriptures and prayers to help keep your focus right throughout the day. In addition, reading the prayers will remind you to pray. Reading the scriptures will assist you in learning scripture while keeping your focus on God.
5.) Make a lunch date – Instead of going out with co-workers to lunch 5 days a week, take that hour at least once a week and get alone with God. Pack a lunch, close your office door or drive to a local park, and pray the rosary, read scripture, and spend that lunch break with God. Not to mention, it is a welcomed and fantastic relief in the middle of your busy and hectic day. You might just find you will get more accomplished.
The reality is we do not have a life that is too busy for God. We have allowed God to be placed to the side of other things we deem ‘important’ or ‘priority’ and yet our priorities are out of place. If we make God a priority, we will soon learn 24 hours is plenty enough time to get everything we want accomplished….including prayer.