You don’t always have to be on your knees, head bowed, eyes closed.
Every time I hear that phrase from Paul, “pray without ceasing” or “pray continually” as the Common English Bible puts it, I think he’s asking the impossible. Really now. It might be one thing for a monk in a cloistered cell, but what about me? What about you? We’re too busy for that!
Unless…unless. Unless I’m thinking too narrowly about prayer. Why do I think that keeping connected to God can only be done with my eyes closed and my head bowed? Aren’t there other ways? Sure there are. Here’s a list:
1. Get a song in your head.
There’s a slew of them in my memory and a half-dozen new selections get logged into my larynx every Sunday. Got a song can get stuck on the hard disk of your brain? Might as well be a holy one. Let it do the praying on your behalf.
2. Wear a prayer.
A couple years ago my wife, Carol, was wearing this beaded bracelet that didn’t seem like her style at all. “What’s that?” I asked. She explained it had made by a friend who was in the hospital, part of her therapy. “Every time I see it,” Carol said, “it’s a reminder to pray for her.”
3. Have a Bible verse handy.
The one I’ve tried recently is that commandment Jesus repeated, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind.” I’ll just tell myself: heart, soul, strength, mind. That’s enough.
4. Put a prayer on your phone.
If you’re like me, you’re checking your phone all the time–for messages, emails, news, Facebook updates. Might as well put a prayer there too. There are some great prayer apps. OurPrayer has an easy one to use. It’s free too! NOTE TO SELF: Read the prayer app before getting sucked into the latest news.
5. Look at a tree.
Okay, I know this sounds silly, but when was the last time you really looked at a tree? Notice how the branches spread out, look at the color of the bark on the trunk. Any buds pushing through, any leaves popping out? See God in a blade of grass, a leaf, a flower, a tree.
6. Flash a prayer.
As you listen to someone at work, as you talk so someone on the phone, as you read a friend’s text, as you respond to a family member’s email, flash them a prayer. Think of how much you love them. Zap that thought through cyberspace. It’ll be God at work in both your lives.
7. Write down three things you’re thankful for.
Scribble them on a Post-It note. Scrawl them on the back of an envelope. Send yourself an email. Every moment of thankfulness is a reminder of God’s blessings, a prayer without ceasing.
Rick will be hosting a live chat “How To Pray When Busy” on Facebook on Wednesday, April 5 at 3pm EST.