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Prayer and my toothbrush

I started a new job recently, and it’s got me at a flat run. For the past couple of years, I’ve worked from home, which means I could get my work done and still have time for errands, breaks and odd hours. Now, they expect me at work. Everyday. For the WHOLE day. I know what you’re thinking–welcome to the real world, Laura. And it’s not like I haven’t done this before. It’s just that I’d gotten spoiled in recent years.

I started a new job recently, and it’s got me at a flat run. For the past couple of years, I’ve worked from home, which means I could get my work done and still have time for errands, breaks and odd hours. Now, they expect me at work. Everyday. For the WHOLE day. I know what you’re thinking–welcome to the real world, Laura. And it’s not like I haven’t done this before. It’s just that I’d gotten spoiled in recent years.

Working such flexible hours meant I could wake up when I wanted and still take an hour (or two) for my quiet time. I could stop during the day for extended prayer, or take a couple of hours off to attend a Bible study. While I had to get my work done, I could piece together my hours in any configuration I wanted. 

Now, not so much. I’m busy, and rushed, and exhausted when I get home. I stuff errands into my commute, and have ignored all domestic duties for the past week. The temptation to squeeze out time with God is strong, too. It’s not that I want to, of course, but I have so much to do, barely time to brush my teeth, and so rushed, and, and, and…

And then there’s Daniel, who was  a biggie in government and whose days were packed with responsibilities. Yet Daniel 6:10b says "he entered his home, where the windows in his upper room opened toward Jerusalem. Three times daily he was kneeling and offering prayers and thanks to his God just as he had been accustomed to do previously." (And this is when his boss had outlawed it.) Then there’s David, who had luxurious time with God as a shepherd, but still had time to write psalms as a fugitive, then as a king. 

I hear you. Daniel didn’t have to make dinner for the family, and David didn’t have to do the dishes. So then I think of Suzanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley and 17 other children. Uh huh–19 total. This woman was so overworked and without privacy that she’s put a towel over her head to pray. The kids knew that when Mama had that towel on, they better not interrupt. The priority of prayer rubbed off on them too. It was John Wesley who said, "I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it." 

The funny things is that he’s right. When I spend the time praying, things fall into place. When I skip it as a shortcut, I feel like I’m swimming upstream all day long. As shortcuts go, not praying is about as effective as not brushing your teeth. You might save a couple of minutes up front, but the whole rest of your day stinks. 

So I pray that God will help me to pray, to connect, to tune into His will. Yes, it’s not as convenient as it used to be, and there are more commute-time-prayers than prayer-journal-prayers. I’m back to listening to the Bible on CDs and "checking in" with God throughout the day. I’ve committed to putting prayer on the Toothbrushing List, not the Ironing List
(wait, do I even have an iron? I think I remember buying one a few
years ago…or was that an egg poacher…). 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go find my towel…

 

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Laura Singleton

Laura Singleton’s passion is the transformation that happens when women get access to God’s Word and God’s Word gets access to women. She was twenty-five when her life was turned upside down by an encounter with Jesus Christ. With an insatiable thirst for scripture and theology, she soon headed to Dallas Theological Seminary to learn more about Jesus, and left with a Th.M. with an emphasis in Media Arts. She, along with two friends from DTS, travel the nation filming the independent documentary Looking for God in America. She loves speaking and teaching and is the author of Insight for Living Ministry’s Meeting God in Familiar Places and hundreds of ads, which pay the bills. Her big strong hubby Paul is a former combat medic, which is handy since Laura’s almost died twice already. She loves photography, travel and her two pugs.

3 Comments

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    Sue Bohlin

    My new favorite bumper sticker!

    >>As shortcuts go, not praying is about as effective as not brushing your
    teeth. You might save a couple of minutes up front, but the whole rest
    of your day stinks.

    Laura, this is hilarious. . . and true!

    And I love the idea of the Wesley children shushing each other: "Cool it! Mama’s got a towel on!"

    Thanks for a great blog post.

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    Gaye Austin

    Good Morning Laura
    What an

    Good Morning Laura
    What an interesting post. It is obvious that you are as you say “running flat”. Been there done that and doing it still. But I think this thought encapsulates it in a nutshell when you said: “When I spend the time praying, things fall into place” I note that when my quiet time is cut short, or my prayer time is put on hold for a bit, my day is a mess. I just can’t get it together. It all boils down to putting God first and then the rest falls into place. I was in Daniel 1-3 this a.m. and I noted his and the 3 Hebrew boys resolved to seek the face of God in all kinds of circumstances. We see them in chapter one seeking the face of God that they might not be defiled, chapter two seeking the face of God for His compassion and wisdom, and chapter three the 3 Hebrews seeking the face of God that they might be found holy, pure and steadfast. The secret seems to be that they resolved to be set apart for His service no matter the cost. And that is where I think our daily routine needs to be honed so that we too might be wholly devoted to Him. And that comes with a price and it is that we plan our days accordingly so that He becomes the priority each morning.

    Thanks for a reminder that we are all walking the same road and seeking His face moment by moment.
    Gaye

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