Adjustments are never easy. When Valerie and I first got married – I now had a new role as a husband. Hmm… What does this look like? What am I supposed to do? On top of taking a new position at a church in the city of Angels where we’ve never lived before, let’s say it took some time to develop a routine. There was so much ‘new’ coming in at us it was hard to acclimate to one another in an unfamiliar environment.
Now that we have a child in our care, we have to adjust accordingly. Developing a schedule around the little one while still working made me realize some changes are needed. Time is valuable and more precious when the demands are greater, are they not? We may not be as ‘free’ as we once were, but that’s understandable. I began taking inventory of what my week was going to be. As I started contemplating my quiet time with the Lord, an alarming thought raced through my mind:
“I’m too busy to pray.”
Wait… was that thought from me, or was the enemy trying to tempt me? It was said with a relinquished tone – in essence, that I didn’t have a choice but to concede to a prayerless life. I would have to resign to a passive response to God and go through the motions in my walk with Christ. No way. Wherever that came from, I rebuke it in the Name of Jesus!
I believe the enemy saw an opportunity and pounced on it – with all the adjustments taking place, it’s only natural that I would be busy. So here’s a little thought from the enemy to solidify a lifestyle change from a temporary placement. Nice try… but I’m not falling for it!
The truth is, when we are busy, we need a proper adjustment to our mentality. Prayer should never be the last resort, a plea to God solely when our world falls apart. Prayer should be the first line of defense before we fall into the pit, get into relational friction, or when we start our day. If we are buried in responsibilities and burdened, then I suggest a different phrase instead:
“I’m too busy NOT to pray.”
In other words, if you realize you’re going to have an intense week coming up, your week should be lathered in prayer. Lift up your meetings, duties, and the people you will interact with. Since there is more going on, we need to release to God our burdens with the busyness. Simultaneously, we receive from the Lord His what we need, His support and strength. The great reformer and theologian Martin Luther had this to say about the subject:
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
Wow! Don’t get me wrong – I’m not at that level of praying each day – that amount of prayer can seem daunting! However, Luther had a proper understanding of priorities by dedicating time to God in prayer. Instead of running to his tasks, he ran to the Lord first. There’s a power that comes upon you when you give the reigns of control to God. There’s a peace that surpasses the chaos of thinking through a thousand to-dos for the day. There’s a confident expectation that builds up inside of you as the Holy Spirit is there to comfort you, strengthen you, and give you the wisdom to help you.
Don’t just take my word for it… try it today! What better time than the present to prioritize and reorganize your daily routine by having a greater focus in prayer? Communicating with God not only draws us nearer to Him, but He is willing to help us overcome all things, including how we should tackle our day.
Below are a few verses on prayer I have found helpful in my walk with the Lord.
Have a blessed week!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” – 1 John 5:14-15
“’Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘I tell you the truth. If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:22-25
“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray.” – Luke 5:15-16
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Of if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:9-13
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” – Jeremiah 33:3
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:17-18
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7