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Prayer in Busy Lives

Many of us struggle to bring God into the busyness of our lives. Our busy schedule can squeeze out our prayer time, and when we do pray, we may find it difficult to bring our activities to God as prayer topics. We might think that God can't possibly be interested in our work life, or in our housework, or our leisure time. Yet the God who is the Lord of all of our lives, is interested in everything we do.

Brother Lawrence was a seventeenth century French monk who knew God's presence at all times. His writings, borne out of experience of the bustle of a monastery kitchen, have much to teach us today. "God is everywhere, in all places, and there is no spot where we cannot draw near to Him, and hear Him speaking in our heart." His central teaching is that we need to practice being aware of God's presence. "Whoever practices God's presence will soon become spiritual." "How can we be with Him, unless our thoughts are with Him? How can He be in our thoughts unless we form a holy habit of abiding in His presence, there asking for the grace we need each moment of our life?" Paul writes to the Ephesians : "Pray all the time, asking for what you need." (Eph 6:18)

Pointers for Prayer : Why not practice the presence of God today? If you have a watch that beeps on the hour, allow it to do so for a day or two, and despite the potential for irritating your colleagues or neighbours, use this to prompt you to become aware of God's presence at that precise moment.
Alternatively, put a coloured dot on your diary, or on your mobile phone. Every time you see it, pray a brief prayer for someone in your mind at that time.
As well as finding God in the activity of modern living, we also need to find time to draw aside. Yet this can be hard to do - for one activity leads to the next in ceaseless pattern, leaving the only opportunity for a quiet time, the moment when we climb into bed exhausted, and in no condition for productive prayer.

Pointers for Prayer : If you are often driven by your diary, with one appointment after another, why not let your diary help you? Book yourself an appointment with God for prayer - it may only be a half-hour slot, but you can guarantee that He will never be late for it, unlike some of your other appointments! Look back over your weekly pattern to identify some ten to fifteen minute periods that you can use to be with God. Maybe there is a TV programme that you watch regularly, but don't really enjoy.