[W]ith a family, a career and other group or avocational responsibilities making time for God must become a priority of the desperate.
When we listen to a lecture … listening and language is engaged … [which] …doesn’t seem to be very discriminating in how [we prioritize memorizing information]. So crucial information is treated exactly the same way that trivia is treated
I use a journal to keep track of people and prayer requests although I don’t go to it every week. This isn’t a “do it or else you’ve not done enough” exercise; it’s more rooted in:
- when I tell someone I’ll pray for something I’ll tend to forget pray about it unless I write it in a notebook
- writing something down helps me refine what I’m going to be asking God for or recounting to Him
The reality is that God doesn’t need me to pray for anything but He certainly tells me to do it.
Sometimes my prayers take the form of:
“Jesus, here’s a list of people who’s names I’m calling out before you because I want to remember them with thanksgiving in my heart and ask ….”
Sometimes it’s more intercessory:
“God, I’m calling out to you, lifting up X and his family. His wife Y and little A, B and C. God, I seek Your will. My request is that you [heal|bless|give a job to|whatever] this person and while doing it You glorify Your Son, Jesus. Please show me where I fit into Your plan for them ….”
Sometimes throughout a day it can be:
“Lord, X is on my heart. I just remember him/her/that specific prayer request to you right now.”
Some of these types of prayers are more demonstrably more time intensive. I don’t always fully follow prayer patterns like the Lord’s Prayer, ACTS or PRAY when I’m reaching out to God. Sometimes I make a short prayer, acknowledging God, His goodness and His direction for me to humbly bring my concerns to Him.
We’re not God nor are we even like Him. Prayer is something we need to do. Prayer is something God tells us to do throughout the Bible.
There are times to pull out the prayer journal and make sure I’m still lifting up everything I’ve committed to. I think God likes when I consider what I’ve promised and make sure I’m working on it and not carelessly tossing around “I’ll pray for that” without committing myself (not that my consistency has anything to do with His faithfulness but like a parent I think He revels in seeing me try to be consistent like He’s consistent). I know I enjoy reviewing requests I’ve made to Him and recognizing the answers He’s given. It’s a blessing when I can see some of what He’s doing change over time as He works out His plan. Sometimes there’s work to be done or I’m in a group and must be mindful of other people’s time. I’m thankful that I can trust God already knows the requests.
I believe God enjoys me spending time seeking Him in deep, personal prayer and I also believe that sometimes He wants me to seek Him, confess Him, praise Him, ask Him and then be about the work He’s put into my life in a timely manner. It’s a balancing act and, thankfully, I don’t have to get it right, I just need to try and then trust in His mercy and goodness. He is great and powerful as well as good and merciful.
Here’s how it can feel trying to fit time with God in sometimes.
The reality is that growing with God takes all kinds of times; some short, some longer; some where I let go of my burdens and some where I may be given direction; some where I’m set in motion on a task and some where I simply am still, enjoying my God and King.