For some, vacation is a disruption in their prayer lives; for others it’s an eruption!
It’s not always true that (as the Porgy and Bess song suggests) that in summertime “the living is easy.” But for some people, summer does include a vacation or two—maybe to the cabin or lake or beach. But because vacation is a departure from “normal life” (whatever that is), it can present challenges—or opportunities—for your prayer life.
I queried friends on Facebook about this. Sue, who lives in Pennsylvania, says, “It seems like prayer is always the first thing to go whenever I'm too busy (like vacation).” Can you identify?
Maybe you are more like Amber, a mother of three from Ohio, who says, “Vacation is amazing for my prayer life because I have more time to be free from all of life's expectations. I have time to think with the Lord and spend quiet time listening.” She sees vacation as a prime time to regroup and refocus.
Teri (also from Ohio) says a couple years ago she made a promise to read the Bible every day, no matter what. That commitment has helped her to find some consistency in her daily life, even when she is on vacation. “When on vacation, I start each morning with Bible Study and prayer time while my hair dries. I think it adds to my vacation. For example, when visiting the mountains in 2014, I took nice photos and posted them each day on Facebook with a Bible verse beneath. Though that was just part of the overall prayer and reading time, I found it to be a great way to witness, while sharing photos of God's beauty. I think my trip was made much better by starting each day with God's word.”
Dawn, who recently moved to London, says that vacations are a great time for prayer—“less distractions, more time.” But, she adds, “what is hard for me is when I travel for work and am scheduled all day long—especially because when I travel, I usually go across several time zones.”
Peggy, who lives in western Ohio, finds that “vacation time is better for our prayer time as a married couple. Normally, we work different shifts and don't have time to connect. Also, because we usually vacation at the beach or at national parks, we have more time to enjoy the Lord's creation.”
Another Ohioan, Cheryl, finds that “beach vacations always motivate my prayer life. Praying in waves like the rhythm of the ocean. Praying His Word (His thoughts) like the grains of sand.”
Robin, a South Carolinian, agrees. “If my vacation includes lots of nature, which it almost always does, I pray a lot—mostly thanksgiving and praise.”
And Maureen, from Rochester, New York, also cites the influence of nature on her prayer life during vacation. “I enjoy talking with the Lord while out in nature more than any other setting. Our vacations are usually at a cottage on a lake or at the ocean. I unwind internally and love spending time with Him praying and reading His Word. It reminds me of His sovereign control over the universe and its inhabitants. The ocean's vastness and might, sunrises and sunsets, the consistency of the tide's rise and fall and the unique creatures and shells it leaves behind all proclaim our Creator's existence and majesty. The heavens do declare the glory of God and the earth does shows forth His handiwork. I love getting to witness it.”
If your vacation plans take you to a busy family gathering, an urban setting, or an inexpensive “stay-cation,” it may be more difficult to stay regular or get renewed in your prayer life; such cases may require more intentionality to keep your vacation from work from turning into a vacation from God. But whether you go to the beach or the backyard, it is possible to take God with you on vacation this year.