6 Ways to Pray on the Run

Standing in line? Pray. Put on hold? Pray. Driving a long way? Pray.

Posted in , Feb 3, 2015

Man put on hold. Photo by Blend Images, Thinkstock.

We all want to pray more. We want to make prayer a priority in our lives. We want to spend more time worshiping God and enjoying His presence.

We want to be more faithful in praying for others. But in spite of our desires and resolutions, most of us find there are just not enough hours in the day.

But what if I told you it is possible to enlarge your prayer life–considerably–without changing your schedule? What if I said you can increase the time you spend praying each day by a half-hour or more with just a few minor adjustments to the things you already do in a given day?

Not only is it possible, it’s fairly easy–if you learn to pray on the run:

1. Pray while you wait.
I have always hated to wait in line–especially at the grocery store. I would tap my fingers, count the items of the person ahead of me in the express checkout lane, browse any magazine or tabloid that happened to be at hand. But not anymore.

Now I use time spent waiting–in bank lines, traffic jams, airport terminals, or doctor’s offices–to pray.

2. Pray in the car.
Once upon a time, music, talk radio, or audiobooks were my constant companions in the car; now God is. I make it a priority to use car trips–whether I’m running a short errand or driving between cities–to draw closer to God and stay faithful in intercession for others.

In fact, on one cross-state road trip, I surprised myself by praying and worshiping for nearly four hours! Not only did the time pass quickly, my prayer life received a major workout.

Man put on hold. Photo by Blend Images, Thinkstock.3. Pray on the phone.
As a small businessman, I spend more time “on hold” and talking to voicemail than I like. Until a routine phone call to the office of a friend changed my prayer life; while on “hold,” I remembered that I had earlier promised to pray for the friend for whom I was waiting.

So I did, and by the time his voice came on the line, I had not only passed the time purposefully, I was also able to tell him that I had fulfilled my promise to pray for him.

4. Pray during commercials.
I’ve heard preachers propose that I shouldn’t be watching television if I’m not “all prayed up.” Well, that’s just fine, except I guess I’m not that disciplined.

But I have developed the occasional habit of muting the television during commercial breaks to pray–sometimes for whomever’s on my heart at that moment, sometimes for friends and family members who may be watching the same show and sometimes even for people I don’t know (such as that show’s actors, writers, and viewers).

5. Pray while exercising.
If you maintain a regular exercise regimen, why not merge it with prayer? You might even consider dividing your workout into prayer periods; for example, you may decide to praise while stretching, confess while warming up, intercede while working out, and give thanks and praise while cooling down.

After all, “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8, NIV)

6. Pray what you see and hear.
I’ve also tried to cultivate the habit of infusing prayer into as many waking moments as possible, by praying short prayers in response to the world around me. When I hear an ambulance siren, I may utter a brief prayer for the victim.

When I see a funeral procession, I pray for the bereaved. When I open a card from a friend, I sometimes pray for the sender.

There are times, of course, when I don’t know what to pray, but I’ll still say something like “Lord, help,” or “Lord, have mercy,” and let the Holy Spirit fill in the blanks (Romans 8:26).

As you try to squeeze more prayer into the odd and mundane moments of your life, you may discover that prayer starts to take over. And soon, perhaps, instead of trying to fit prayer into your life, your prayers will fit more and more God…into your life.

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