(It’s guest post Friday! Here’s one from Taleena Sinclair. If you want to write a guest post for SCL, here’s how!)
Parent Prayer Closets
If you have children, you may have a hard time finding a “prayer closet” without literally crawling into a closet and closing the door. If you have children like mine, they would take that as a signal you are playing hide and seek and shout “FOUND YOU!” just as you are trying to move on to the petition part of prayer time. If you’ve got kids, here are four ways to find time to pray:
1. Wake before your early riser.
4:30 am? Nice thought, but I have a day to get through without falling asleep behind the wheel. I have tried praying early in the morning and had to ask God to forgive me for falling asleep when I woke up. This early morning prayer only works if you are a morning person or part of a men’s prayer breakfast. I have never been to one of those, but I have always pictured men punching each other to stay awake as they gather to pray.
2. Pray at night.
You put the kids to bed, then you and your spouse join in prayer instead of watching So You Think You Can Dance and marveling at the pop and lockers and breakers. This could work, except that the 7-year-old has the amazing ability to look cute while asking for a glass of water, a trip to the bathroom, help with her covers, killing a spider, evicting the cat from her room, and an emergency prayer request for her class at school’s guppies. It’s a lot easier to pause the TIVO on Mary Murphy’s screaming than to find your prayer groove after every single one of those interruptions.
3. Pray during exercise.
My Dear Husband and I recently started running and completed our first 5K. I thought run time would be a good time to pray, and I was right. Mostly I was praying, “Dear Lord, give me renewed strength as I run, help me not to have unloving thoughts at my husband for suggesting this. Help me to resist the brownies next time I make them for the kids.” Not exactly intercession for the missionaries and orphans.
4. Pray in the Shower.
This is my prayer closet. The time when it is just God and me and Suave’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo. It is not spikenard, but it has a pleasing aroma all the same. With the water running, I can’t hear the kids whining at me outside the door. My praises sound better bouncing off the shower tile. I am literally naked before God, and that does something to strip away the phony baloney pretensions I have about my character and need. It makes my prayer focused because I have a limited supply of hot water. I strive to listen for God’s voice, because whether or not the water turns cold when He is talking, I need to let Him in on the conversation if it turns cold while I’m still talking.
Bonus: I get to use my hair dryer as a microphone when I finish my prayer session with more praise. I can let my inner gospel singer come out and no one is the wiser.
Where do you pray the most?