Too Busy to Pray?

By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor

No worries, I get it. There is so much going on even weekly church attendance is a stretch. Because we are so busy the activity of just sitting there seemingly doing nothing feels odd. Therefore, it does not climb high on our priority list. When I was in seminary the professor from Spiritual Discipline class noted that pastors pray an average of 20-25 minutes a day. This stat came from the nineties. I bet it is much lower now. Imagine. If pastors do not pray much, how much less do lay people pray? (If I’m making a wrong assumption here, please shoot me an email.)

So, it is understandable that prayer is not the most sought out activity of the day. I get it.

But here’s the thing. Prayer does not have to be something artificial where you set aside special time to do it. Of course, it would be nice if you had extra thirty minutes or an hour a day where you could go and lift up your petitions to God. That would be so nice. And if you have the time, more power to you. Keep doing it.

However, if you are like most NOVA folks, you probably find it hard to even sit down and chat with your loved ones. Being too busy to pray is totally acceptable. However, deep inside you, there is this little voice that says, “you should pray a little bit more.”

Let me help. Brother Lawrence in his book Practicing the Presence of God makes this uncanny observation: we can communicate with God in the most common and mundane situations. You do not have to go to the desert and sit alone for years in order to commune with God. You do not have to drive yourself to a sanctuary. You do not have to set aside a swath of time and clear you schedule. You can just practice God’s presence when you are out and about doing your everyday tasks.

This insight has helped me to pray through busy times. I am in my car at least two hours a day for my commute. It has been one of the most blessed times for prayer. Yes. I pray while I drive! I do not close my eyes of course. During these long commutes, I often practice silence. Not all the time. I drive in silence and have a conversation with God. It helps me go through the day.

Too busy to pray? Try praying while you drive. Let me know if it helps.


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Trinity United Methodist Church is located in McLean, VA. Our weekly worship services are on Sundays at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. and on Wednesdays at noon. Sunday School is at 9:30 a.m. for children and adults. Children up to 6th grade are also invited to Children's Education during the 10:30 service. Adult Bible Study also occurs on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Please visit our website for more information.

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