• Esther J Thomas

Where Do I Find The Time To Pray?



It would be dishonest for me to say that my prayer life is exactly where I’d love for it to be. I would be naive to force myself to believe that I have arrived...spiritually.

Between having a family, a full time job, pursuing multiples degrees, running a business, maintaining several leadership positions, and ensuring that I maintain my wholeness and sanity, there is one constant that undeniably keeps me grounded. This constant is prayer.

For quite a while I doubted it; but I have realized that even after having properly placed things into perspective regarding my day, vision, and plans, things just doesn’t go as smoothly as they do when I actually pray. Perhaps you may be wondering, what exactly led me to this observation.

Religiously, at the end of each day, I take time to reflect and introspect. This self-time allows me to determine perhaps some areas in my life that require improvement, identify best practices, measure my growth, productivity, and impact, based on the objectives which were established at the beginning of the day.

It was not until a few years ago as I sat on my bed check-listing the successes of my day, simultaneously performing a weekly comparative analysis of my productivity (yes...I actually do this….lol), I observed that the days on which I took time to pray and totally submitted my day and plans into God’s hands that everything fell into its correct place. I was not scrambling. I was not frustrated. I did not feel unaccomplished. I did not feel exhausted by midday, and I actually managed to have lunch and spend time with hubby (while catching a movie or a engaging in an intimate conversation), in what would normally be considered as ‘just an hour’.

Although, I had been taught about prayer and its power from an early age, it continues to amaze me as I personally experience its results for myself.

Breathtaking….Can I say that’s how it feels?

However, while my perception of prayer is breathtaking, I am quite aware that there are many others who do not share the same sentiment. For some, it is hard, makes no sense as they do not know what to say, does not seem to work as their prayers often go unanswered, and the like. I’ll even tell you this: some persons are of the opinion that they do not know how to pray because they would have heard someone else praying and convinced themselves that that’s what prayer is, and because they are unable to pray like that, feel unworthy and unable to.

To you who constantly question your worthiness and ability to pray, I beckon you to stop. And you’re asking ‘why’, I’m sure.

I’m about to share with you a chapter from my upcoming book: The Conversations on Her Pillow. In this chapter, I devote a section to speaking on ‘desire’. In my prayer time and personal time I have realized and confirmed that for anything to be effectively pursued and subsequently successfully materialized, there must be some measure of desire and the performance of its required actions resulting in decision making, that fuels its purpose.

Desire

The word desire refers to a longing, a strong feeling of pursuit, passion, a craving.

Let me share a truth with you that will set you free right now. All of the technicalities and mind disturbing things they told you you would need in order to have a relationship with God, it was all a lie. When I found this truth, I could not believe that for so long I was imprisoned by ignorance, yet constantly nudged by an inward, incomprehensible desire; the one which provided that inclination to read the scriptures.

Matthew tells us, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled” (5:6 KJV). The same book says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (6:33 KJV).

In the scripture above we see that God’s righteousness which is received through relationship with Him, first starts with a desire. That desire requires action. The action is a result of a decision made based on that particular desire. However, what I have realized is that many of us do have some measure of desire, but a decision is never made to materialize that desire. Desiring is the easy part, decision-making is the hard part.

If we would be honest, we often are clueless as how to satisfy our desires. We have an idea of what we think they may want, but in actuality, we often get it wrong before we get it right. And the constant defeats and failures are the measuring tools we use to determine whether we should take another shot, or settle for the ability to just desire. But from today, we no longer employ such practice.

Before we continue, let me establish that there are different levels of desire, and your desire should never be compared to that of another. Desire comes in different forms. For some it is one’s frequent inclinations to find a quiet place to read a scripture, or a book of the Bible. For another, desire may stir up questions in their minds and they may be propelled to seek guidance from a faith believing individual, or initiate conversations with close friends, coworkers, or family members, surrounding the topics which their desire may have peaked some interest in. Some may experience a change in their behavioural patterns and lifestyles - they seemingly become uncomfortable with the wrongs which were once their normal. Others may be led to go to a church meeting, find themselves calling on God for help more often than usual, or feel a need for a change in their lives as a result of introspection, natural disaster, or a family crisis. We should never place a limit on how one’s desire may be initiated.

Those are just some of the ways we experience desire and how we may react as a result of them. However, we would be naive if we did not speak about the many ways we often fight against the desire for a relationship with God.

Scripture tells us that the flesh wars against the Spirit and that in itself is contrary. This obviously means that every time the Spirit intends and subsequently decides to take a step forward, the flesh rises up to step in the way in order to retard the growth of our Spirit man. But how does the flesh really war against the Spirit, you may ask.

Just as we are able to identify changes in our behaviours and lifestyles as well as the inclinations we experience, that suggest a desire for relationship with God, so does the flesh. But how? The flesh knows what is normal. The flesh has a comfort zone. Any behaviour or activity that suggests deviation from its modus operandi triggers its defenses. It immediately seeks to fortify its walls by allowing us to become distracted, question whether this ‘desire’ is all in the mind, or a mere emotional imbalance. The flesh speaks negatively to us about abandoning the desire. It reminds us of our old ways that we love and have made to believe that we cannot do without. The flesh reminds us of the many times we tried and failed and the possibility exists that if we try again, we’ll just end up failing again. However, we must believe and always remember that the devil does not possess the ability to tell the truth. The Bible calls him the father of lies.

As a result, we have to make sure we feed the desire. The more we pour into it, the more it produces. The less we pour into it, the less it produces. No matter how significant or insignificant you deem that desire to be, always remember that a mustard tree - though one of the largest trees in the world, comes from one of the tiniest seeds in the world. The size of your desire does not matter, it is its potential and purpose that do.”

Now that you have been equipped with the purpose role that desire plays in attaining anything. I encourage you to employ this practice when cultivating your prayer life. Perhaps, you may say to me…’I think I have lost my desire’. But guess what? It can be restored. All it takes is a simple prayer that may say: “Lord, rekindle in me the desire for the things of you which I once had but can no longer feel”. If you have the faith to believe, then it will happen.

Still thinking you’re too busy to pray? We can start praying as we:

  1. Roll out of bed

  2. Make breakfast

  3. Iron our clothes

  4. Bathe the baby/children

  5. Comb the children's hair

  6. Pack the children’s lunch bags

  7. Do the laundry

  8. Sweep the floor

  9. Take a shower

  10. Drive to work

  11. Transport the children to school

This goes to show that there is always time to pray. I guarantee that if you take even a minute to pray, it will make a difference in the 23 hours and 59 minutes that remain, not just for you, but those around you.

Love,

Essy


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