When I sat down to write an article about prayer for this magazine, I heard a little inner voice say, “You can’t do that. You don’t pray enough!”
That set me back a bit, and I had to think about it. It’s certainly true that I don’t pray as much as I could and probably should. So instead of writing, I closed my laptop and went to the kitchen to prepare the dough and start slicing toppings for a pizza dinner. Meanwhile, I couldn’t shake that thought. Do I pray enough?
As seems to be the case with most people these days, my life has gotten steadily busier until I don’t have time for a lot of things I know I should do.
Lord, what do You think?I asked as I rolled the dough.
Well, aren’t you talking to Me right now? That’s a form of prayer too. I recognized that inner voice as Jesus’.
I thought about it some more. It’s true that I don’t seem to find much time nowadays to stop everything else and “enter into my closet to pray,” as Jesus taught in one instance.1 But on the other hand, it’s also true that I try to pray about each thing I do, whether it’s my work or routine activities like running errands, doing housework, or cooking. I also sometimes talk to Jesus about a situation I’ve encountered, or a book I’ve read, or a movie I’ve seen, to ask for His perspective on it. I hadn’t really thought of all this as prayer before, but more like talking with a friend.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this communication is something that was ongoing throughout my day. Perhaps this is what the apostle Paul meant when he said we should “pray without ceasing.” It may not be prayer in the formal sense, but it’s me talking with Jesus, passing on my requests, my thanks, or whatever is on my mind at the time, and receiving His guidance, all of which are elements of prayer.
Of course there are times when we can and should spend time in focused prayer, but I believe it’s also important to Jesus that we allow Him to be a part of our daily lives. He understands the modern age and our busy schedules, and I don’t think He minds if we sometimes do a little spiritual multitasking.