When Do I Pray?
by Stephanie Nickel
There is always so much to do:
- Get up – often before we want to.
- Get ready for work.
- Drive to work . . . or plop down in our home office.
- Perhaps, pop by the gym on the way to work (or on the way home).
- Accomplish what is laid out for that particular day – or, at least, do the best we can.
- Pop onto our social networks from time to time. (Certainly not everyone can or does do this during the day, but it is increasingly common.)
- Drive home . . . or close the door of our home office.
- Prepare supper, eat, and clean-up.
- Prepare for the following day.
- Snatch a few minutes for ourselves.
- Get up and start again.
- Head to bed.
Of course, your day may look different. Perhaps you’re a student with classes, exams, and projects or, like I was, you are a stay-at-home mom and your work entails caring for your precious sons and daughters. You may not leave home, but you understand busy.
Some of you are even disciplined enough to include daily devotions in your routine. Kudos!
No matter what your day looks like, I encourage you to add two specific times of prayer, if you haven’t already done so.
When you awaken, commit your day to the Lord.
Offer every aspect of it to Him. Ask Him to have His way in and through you. Pray for those people you will encounter, particularly those you find difficult. Take a deep breath – and thank Him that you can do just that. Deliberately, give thanks and you will find your attitude will be immediately more positive. You are now ready to get up – hopefully.
Of course, you can offer up prayers throughout the day – and it’s a wonderful way to deal with each and every situation and individual you encounter, but that’s a topic for another time.
The second time of prayer I want to mention is as you lie in bed at night.
(I admire those who still take the time to kneel beside their bed before crawling under the covers.) It’s OK if you fall asleep while praising and thanking Him and taking your needs and the needs of others before the Lord. Prayer is also a much better alternative to tossing and turning when you are having trouble falling asleep. (This never used to be a problem for me, but I find I am restless a lot more these days.)
Beginning and ending each day with prayer is not a magic pill. It doesn’t ensure that everything will go our way or that our attitude will always be as it should be.
Since we are to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), this is an effective way to do so. It reminds us we are not alone. He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). It reminds us there are things beyond our control – and that’s all right. Our sovereign God will not be surprised by anything that comes our way – and He is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
Steph Beth Nickel
Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
- Can Prayer be a Single Word? (underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com)