Making space for prayer

A friend recently shared a quote from Paul Miller that I liked. It’s from a book on prayer. “Every minute spent in prayer is one less minute where you can be doing something productive. The act of praying means you have to rely more on God.”

To make space for prayer, we have to stop what we’re doing. But we don’t just stop what we’re doing. We have to stop thinking about all the things we think we need to do. We have to train our minds to be quiet and still before the Lord. It’s a submission. A humility.

It’s an attitude that shifts from proud self-sufficiency to dependence.

But we don’t like dependence. We want to be able to do it on our own.

But we can’t. We always eventually stumble and fall.

I read a book recently, called Quitter, written by Jon Acuff. It talks about changing your perspective on finding your dream job and finding contentment in your day job. In it, he says, “You have the perfect amount of time each day for the things that matter most.”

We wear ourselves ragged to prove that we can do it all. But we can’t do it all. We can do the most important things. We sometimes forget what those are, but we always have time for them.

The most important things are always related to the things that last. People, for example.

The God who created the calendar and designed the human body, allowed for 24 hour days and night. He rested as a model for us.

There is purpose in the mundane chores or work that you’re gifted to do. There is even beauty in routine. Cleaning the bathroom, washing the dishes. Doing the laundry. Balancing the checkbook. Checking your email. These things must happen. But they don’t always have to happen fast. And they don’t always have to happen first.

Busy is a sickness. It’s a distraction from the things that really matter. It’s medicine that won’t heal emotions that don’t want to be seen. Busy is tired every night. With energy only for mindless activities like Candy Crush Saga and bad television. (Or at least that’s what my friends tell me.)

Busy is focused on the wrong things. On filling the schedule. On having more to do than the next person. On sacrifice beyond what is needed. Hustling. Worrying. Disregarding the humanity that is a part of Christ’s legacy to us.

Jesus, the God-man. He is fully divine. Fully human. Fully sovereign. Full of feelings. Full of purpose. Accept the tension.

Full is not busy. Full is satisfaction. Losing track of time, but not tired at the end of it. Trusting. Giving and receiving. Space for spontaneity. Contemplation. Adventure.

The full life is not the perfect life. It’s the take-risks-and-throw-yourself-in-the-deep-end kind of life.

Perfection isn’t possible. A full life is.

Busy isn’t worth it. Busy is dramatic and self-sufficient.

Praying in the quiet moments. Carving out the quiet moments. Taking in the story of Christ in all his glory and all his humanity. Being changed by it. It’s worth it.

2 Replies to “Making space for prayer”

  1. You can’t see me smiling, but reading your thoughtful blogposts not only draws me to Christ, but brings you closer. Though not quite a coffee date, I get a glimpse of your heart!

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