We live in a hectic world. Parents are hauling kids back to school. Our lives are filled with seemingly endless activities. Friday nights will soon smell like fall and invite people to cheer on their favorite football teams across our parish. Fall church activities are kicking off on our campuses. There is no rest in sight.
So where in our lives can we find time for God? When are we to pray during the madness? One of the excuses I often hear why people don’t pray is they are simply too busy.
Recently I read a book called A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller. There is a quote that has resonated with me during this busy season. Miller writes, “Learning to pray doesn’t offer you a less busy life; it offers you a less busy heart.” (23). What if prayer doesn’t always change our circumstances, but instead helps us reorient our lives to the one who can change everything. What if the end goal of prayer is less about getting something from God and more about intimacy with God?
Recently, my oldest son woke up in the middle of the night scared. He is four and is sometimes scared of the dark. When he starts crying, he doesn’t need me to come and logically show him all the shadows. He doesn’t need me to turn on the light and explain why the bed frame makes that shape on the wall. He just wants Dad. He desires to hug me, to hold me, to feel safe so he can go back to sleep. My presence settles his little heart.
What if we saw prayer more like my son see me in the middle of the night? My son wants his circumstances changed, but he knows that my presence is the only thing that makes that available. He also knows that even if the shadows don’t go away, he still has me there to make him feel safe and secure. Prayer offers us a less busy heart because it points us to the reality that Jesus is the one in control. His presence gives us peace.
During this busy season, find time to pray. Pray to God and seek His presence, not just what He can give you. Allow God to settle your heart, even during this busy season.