Too Busy (not) To Pray

I have a confession to make. There have been days that I have said to myself at the end, "I was too busy to pray today." As if this were some kind of excuse the Lord would make an exception for in my life. My so-called "busyness" is often the culprit of my lack of joy, lack of flexibility, and lack of a peaceful heart. But, still, even knowing this, I say things like "I have too much to do," and then scurry past the most importance task of just sitting with the Lord. I have allowed Satan to rob me of one of the greatest gifts that God has given us as His children: prayer

I've come to a place where I am no longer okay with busyness that pushes out prayer, rest, and abiding in Christ. I've heard this statement said before that hits home every single time - "If Satan can't make you bad, he'll make you busy." We are a people who love to be busy. Why is this? For me, it is mostly because I find my worth in what I do. I want to be noticed and to feel as if I am contributing and making a difference in this world. When I was in college, this was a constant struggle. Every hour of every day, from dawn to dusk, I was busy, busy, busy. I rarely got enough sleep or saw my closest friends because I was just "too busy" doing everything on my list. My busyness caused me to miss out on some of the greatest joys of life: fellowship, stillness, and faithfulness. 

The truth is, our busyness should drive us to our knees. We can't accomplish anything worthwhile, make wise decisions, or live with fervent passion apart from being people who pray. Prayer isn't something to check off a list, it should be a way of life. Martin Luther once said, "I have so much to do I shall spend the first three hours in prayer." Three hours?! My first three hours of the day look more like hustling and trying to catch up on what I already feel behind on. But I can't help but wonder, how different would my days be if I bathed them in prayer?

trade hustle for prayerful

Prayer reminds us that we are not God. We are not in control of this life, no matter how much we try to be. We are not all-powerful, all-knowing, and or all-sufficient. Only God is, and we can tap into His grace, wisdom, and endless mercies through prayer. Busyness falls flat on its face before the throne of God. I am not so important in this life that I can't stop for a few minutes or hours each day to approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). As a matter of fact, the busier I become, the more prayerful I should be. This is the way of the kingdom of God.

We are really too busy not to pray. It's time we stopped believing the lie that prayer doesn't do anything or is a waste of time. Throughout Scripture we see God's people praying as they go and God answering in mighty ways. It's a glorious mystery that the God of the universe hears us and answers us, but it is one of the most important truths we must imprint on our hearts! God wants to speak to us and He has made a way through Jesus!

Let's be women who pray...like Hannah who came to the Lord weeping bitterly for a son. God answered her in His perfect timing with the desire of her heart and with hope that never fails (1 Samuel 1:1-28). 

Like Job who came before the Lord in his brokenness and desperation and found mercy and a greater worship than he had before. Like Nehemiah who prayed in his heart for guidance and instruction. God answered his prayers and HIs hand was upon him in his pursuit to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:4-8...the rest of the book of Nehemiah!).

Like Jesus who prayed with such intensity in the Garden of Gethsemane that He sweated drops of blood. His prayer was simple, yet it changed the universe: "Not my will, but yours, be done" (Luke 22:39-46).

Like the apostles who prayed with such belief that the place they were in was shaken and they were filled with power and boldness by the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31).

Like Paul who prayed fervently for others and for the advancement of the gospel when he sat in a prison cell, awaiting his eventual death (Ephesians 6:18-20, Philippians 1:3-7, Colossians 4:18). His prayerful ministry was used by Jesus and still affects us today.

These examples only skim the surface of prayer in the Bible. All of these people were busy. They had many things to do, they had requests burdening their hearts, and they were in tough situations like you and I face each day. But they prayed. They prayed with boldness and humility. They prayed with longing and fervor. They prayed right where they were and they went to the temple to pray. They prayed for others and they prayed for themselves. Their busyness didn't stop them from praying, it pushed them to pray at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

We are really too busy not to pray. We've been given the greatest gift and the most powerful weapon. Start right where you are. Go to the Lord with your questions, your heartache, your longings, and your needs. Go to Him with incessant praise and adoration. Look for Him, talk to Him, and pray to Him. May busyness be the arrow driving us to our knees each day. 

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

your sister, 

Gretchen


I would love for you to join us on March 1st in praying the Psalms! Purchase the new "Breathe" study here and join us in spending 40 days in the Psalms leading up to Easter!