Whenever I ask moms what their greatest challenge is to praying (for their families), their answer is almost unanimous:
Finding time to do it.
Whether they’re asked directly, or just sharing a story with me, so much of their angst surrounding prayer comes down to this resounding question:
How do I find the time in my busy life to pray?
So we’ve decided to repost one of our past blogs, and we hope it will encourage all of you who are wrestling with this same question. (Refresh your memory or read the blog for the first time - here.)
Since writing this original blog post, I’ve discovered something - although prayer is simple, simple is not the same as easy. Prayer is simple in that it’s supposed to be like a conversation with a best friend, a beloved father, or a trusted counselor. Prayer is not easy, however, because it takes planning, prioritizing, and discipline. In order to say yes to prayer, we have to say no to something else. To be honest, sometimes I just don’t want to stop what I’m doing, or I don’t want to have that conversation right then.
The truth is, nothing that is “worth it” is easy. Everything I have ever done as a faithful Christian - doing that which is good and pleasing to the Lord - has come with incredible hardships, painful lessons, and feeling nearly defeated. When I was single, my faith called me to live counter-culturally and not conforming to the world. In marriage, my faith calls me to put my marriage first - before all things/relationships - so that we can live out the Sacrament fully, faithfully, and fruitfully. And as a mom, the hardest challenge for me has been growing, bearing, and raising another human being.
But each one of these callings has been worth the hard. Each required sacrifice and letting go of my own wants. I’ve had to alter my expectations. Ultimately, I’ve had to lean in to the hard and completely surrender. Some days I just have to force my flesh to do the difficult task(s), even if my heart and head tell me otherwise.
What I’m trying to say is that finding time to pray, even if it is made simple, is still hard. I read recently that “hard is not the same as bad.” I’m learning that the right time to pray is infusing prayer into all of my daily activities. From working out, to cleaning up kid’s pee or throw up - I pray. I pray while I wash dishes and fold clothes. I wake up before the kids do in order to pray. I have literally stepped over the piles of junk that need to be put away in order to sit myself down in a cozy corner and pray.
I love to break open my MPC, because the prayers inside are written for me, and I don’t need to think about it. I just begin. I simply pray.
Prayer has become routine, because I memorize scripture and prayers, and I’m able to pray them over my children out loud or quietly. His Holy Word becomes my holy offering for my children. I’ve whispered these prayers over sleeping children. I’ve sat in a dark hallway while they are asleep behind closed doors and prayed silently for each one of these I’ve been given.
Start today, friends. Let go of the way you want prayer to look and feel. Let it simply be a conversation, and accept that finding time is going to be hard and challenging - what in your life (that is important to you) doesn’t require time? Yes, you will have set backs, but hold on to the truth that this is worth it. Jesus’ life is a testament to this truth. Nothing He did was easy, but we know that His offering and His sacrifice was worth it.
“Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you...
I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Mark 14:36 NLT