Intimate communication with the Lord is a privilege often neglected and undervalued. I’ve gone days without getting alone and praying to the Father. It’s difficult enough for the busy believer to find the time each morning to study and read the Scriptures, much less devote an hour to prayer.
Nevertheless, prayer is powerful. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:14).
Consider what the apostle John is writing in this epistle— that the sovereign Lord of the universe bends his ear to you; that the almighty creator of all things hears your petitions above all other sounds in creation. That’s a humbling thought.
So, what are we, as believers, to do if we simply just don’t have hours on hand to spend talking to God? Take advantage of the spare moments we do have and spend that time at the feet of Jesus.
Here are seven daily moments to spend in prayer:
1. When You Wake Up
“Father, I need You today. I need your grace and wisdom to be a better husband, father, employee, and neighbor. I want to thank You for your rich mercies that are brand new this morning. Keep my gaze fixed on You today. Amen.”
Before you get out of bed and make your coffee; before anything is able distract you, ask God for help. Take the time to declare dependency upon God adjusts your perspective for the day ahead of you. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. The idea is to shift the focus from inwards to outwards. What better time to make that shift than as soon as your eyes open?
2. After Saying Goodbye to Your Family
“Father, thank You for the blessing of a family. Today, please keep the enemy at bay. Increase their faith. Protect them from falling into temptation. Grant them the opportunity to shine a light in the darkness and lead others to you. Whatever is making my family anxious today, I ask that you comfort them, and that they can rest in your complete sovereignty. Amen.”
Children are a blessing from God. Praying over them daily is being a good steward of that blessing. Carve out a moment after you say goodbye to petition the Lord on their behalf. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” (Psalm 127:3-5)
Likewise, a wife is a blessing that husbands are called to love sacrificially. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” The way I see it, if Jesus took time to pray for His bride (John 17:9), then you can do the same. Take a few moments and lift up your spouse to the King.
3. During Your Commute
“Father, I still need You today. Allow me to decrease while You increase. Keep my affections and thoughts on the cross of Christ. Grant me the opportunity to share Your Gospel with someone. Place someone in my path today and use me to glorify your Name. Amen.”
Whether we’re commuting to work or school, the mission is still the same. Sometimes, the morning “hectivities” can distract us from our daily purpose. Take a few moments to simply reflect on the Gospel. It is wise for us to remind ourselves just how sinful our hearts naturally are, the grace and mercy that was displayed on the cross of Christ, and how we stand righteous before the Father because of Jesus-not our own works.
One fruit of reminding ourselves of the good news of Jesus is that we are inclined to share it. Ask for that opportunity. I think You’ll be surprised at how often God answers that prayer. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
4. During Lunch
“Father, help me to notice the needs of others. Grant me the sympathy and opportunity to help someone today. All my time and money belong to You. Use them for your purpose. Allow me to see less of myself, and more of others that I might help them for Your glory. Amen.”
Whether it’s a work luncheon, meeting some friends in a busy restaurant, or simply a sandwich in the park, we’re prone to ignore our surroundings. We might not notice the hurting people around us. Rather than notice the weeping woman at the bus stop, or homeless man begging for a break, our faces might be buried in our smartphones.
Take a minute and ask the Lord to grant you to see more. How will others see in the darkness if the light of the world doesn’t shine?
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see Your good works and give glory to Your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)
5. Home with the Family in the Evening
“Father, help me lay my stress and anxiety from the day at Your feet. Allow me to not let that stress carry over into the evening with my family. Give me the stamina to disciple them and ground all our worries and cares in the promises found in Your Word. Help me to love my family by giving all of myself to them tonight. Amen.”
Husbands, if we’re not careful, we can bring the office-stress home and take it out on our family via anxiety, anger, or even reclusiveness. It important for us to fight through that tendency and disciple our families.
In your home, adopt a “kitchen Bible.” It’s a designated Bible for the kitchen table because a spaghetti noodle or two will likely be found somewhere among the Gospels. The idea is to do a small family study over dinner. Instead of the routine bickering between our daughters, it’s amazing to see the Holy Spirit soften all our hearts towards each other around the dinner table at the reading of God’s word.
Take a few minutes and ask God for the patience to lead your family after a long day.
6. Before You Go to Bed
“Father, thank You for holding me together today. I needed You, and You were there for me. Thank you for every bit of love, mercy, and grace that was shown to me though I did not deserve it. Thank You for Your faithfulness even in my suffering. To You alone be the glory. Amen.”
Honestly, it’s easy to praise God for the good days. The real test of faith is to praise Him for the bad days. Consider Job’s words after satan, with permission from God, took essentially everything Job had, including his children: “Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (Job 13:15a) It’s important to remember God’s sovereignty in our prayers, especially on the bad days. He Holds it all together by the power of his Word.
7. All Day, Every Day
“Father, help my unbelief. You are my counselor and my redeemer. I owe it all to You. Outside of You, I am nothing. Apart from You, I can do nothing. Strengthen my faith to face whatever you have planned for me. Keep me close to You. Keep me from drifting from the Truth found only in your Word. Amen.”
This prayer is a constant reminder of who we are, and who God is. Our thoughts naturally drift away from the Gospel, and towards wickedness. Praying consistently is a defense against this pattern. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for You.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
It is God’s will that we talk to Him. He wants our cares, our anxieties, and our desires (1 Peter 5:7).
Even if we don’t have hours at a time to devote to prayer, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a deep and rich prayer life. Take advantage of the small windows throughout the day to boldly go before the King as a son or daughter and lay everything at His feet. “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).