When to Pray When You Don’t Have Time to Pray

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I’m a big believer in the importance of lingering long with Jesus.

Taking time to savor.

To enjoy.

To bask in His presence without hurrying to the next thing.

I learn about this from God’s Word, which tells me that in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11), that it is good to be near God (Psalm 73:28), and that being with Him is in fact what I was made for (Psalm 41:12).

I also learn the importance of concentrated prayer from Jesus’ example. He withdrew by Himself often for prayer, in part to set an example for you and me.

Yes, I believe in dallying with God. But I also believe in the importance of building a faith that works in real life. And real-life experience has taught me that some seasons are more conducive to lingering than others.

Devoted time with God should be a priority. But during those seasons when my time with God is not as long as I’d like it to be, He has graciously taught me the beauty of His invitation to “pray without ceasing.”

It turns out that I have far more opportunities to pray than I ever realized.

And it’s very likely that you do, too.

Life is busy! While devoted time in prayer is best, it's not always possible. Here are 12 ways to "pray without ceasing" - when to pray when time is short.

When to Pray When You Don’t Have Time to Pray

1.)In the shower. Can you believe that this one habit gives me at least ten minutes of extra prayer time every day? That’s more than an hour over the course of a week. What a blessing to be able to redeem that time for eternal value!

2.)In front of the mirror. I’ve found it helpful to tape a few Bible verses on my mirror so I can spent time praying the Scriptures for myself, for my family, and for others God brings to my mind as I’m getting ready in the mornings.

3.)In the car. As much as I love listening to Christian music in the car, what I love even more is turning the music down and talking with God, especially when I’m alone.

4.)In line. This is a great time to pray for the needs of the people around me. I ask Him to use me to bless them, as He sees fit. God has used times like this to help me see people as He sees them, instead of overlooking them because I’m so intent on my own agenda.

5.)In waiting rooms. As a bonus, praying while I’m waiting in line at the grocery checkout or the post office helps me practice patience.

6.)At the ironing board. This is my least favorite chore, and to be honest, I don’t do it very often. But when I do, I find that it’s a great time to pray for the person whose clothes I’m ironing – usually my husband.

7.)While changing sheets. It’s not unusual for me to pray over the bedrooms while I work.

8.)While cooking. By dinnertime, I’ve usually been made aware of several prayer needs throughout the day. God often brings some of these back to my mind, and I pray for them in between answering my kids’ “What’s for dinner?” questions and helping with homework.

9.)While cleaning. Vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting, cleaning bathrooms…All of these rather mindless tasks are great opportunities to commune with God in prayer. While I clean, I devote my home and the people who inhabit it to the Lord.

10.)While folding laundry. I love to pray for family members as I fold their clothes. Sometimes I’ll choose a single virtue to pray for each person. Other times I’ll focus on specific burdens each person is carrying.

11.)When I see a need. If I get a text or an email with a prayer request, or I find out about a need in some other way, I stop what I’m doing for sixty seconds and lift that request to the Lord. It doesn’t need to be lengthy to be effective.

12.)While breastfeeding. As far as I know, this season is over for me, but the countless, cherished hours spent nursing my babies were used to nourish their bodies and nurture my soul, as I chatted with God about all kinds of things that were on my heart.

With a little bit of intentionality, unceasing prayer can become a way of life for God’s people.

Where are your favorite places to pray on-the-go? I’d love to get some fresh ideas from you, so please leave a comment below!


Want more encouragement in your Christian walk?

My 30-day devotional, Drawing Near: 30 Days Toward Intimacy With God, is now available on Amazon! Drawing Near 3D cover
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16 Replies to “When to Pray When You Don’t Have Time to Pray”

  1. Ceil

    Hi Jennifer! I am coming over from Jerralea’s blog.
    I love the idea of praying in the shower! I do a lot of creative thinking in there, but I never thought of praying. That is an inspired idea.
    Seems like every day has its challenges and jobs, and prayer doesn’t always make the list. But I see now it can be so simple! I just need to be attentive to those moments…
    Happy Leap Day, and nice to meet you 🙂

    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Nice to meet you, too, Ceil! Thanks so much for stopping by. And what is it about the shower that gets our creative juices flowing? I’ve noticed the same thing. 🙂

  2. Sue

    Thank you for sharing. Among the places listed, I like to speak with our Lord before even putting my feet on the floor as I look out my window at the beauty and wonder he has allowed for me for another day.

  3. Adrian V

    I truly appreciate the suggestions that were given. Our church recently began Lenten studies til 40 days are up prior to Easter. And one of our group leader suggested praying upon waking up first thing, then reading something from the bible. He suggested wherever it opens up to. I must say since I’ve been doing this , my days are somehow easier ones.. No stress !

  4. Tammy Kennignton

    Hi Jennifer.

    I’m stopping by from Grace and Truth and want to thank you for the reminder to pray with intentionality!

    I’m a teacher and often pray for my students–and other needs of family and friends–while setting up for my classes and during planning time.

    Have a great day. 🙂

  5. Aimee Imbeau

    I do all of these hacks, Jennifer! Isn’t it great that we can come to the Lord anytime, anywhere? Ummm…even during other bathroom duties! Or when I wake up in the middle of the night…I’m awake anyway. Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth friend!

  6. Amy Hayes

    Thank you! I needed these reminders as I tend to get stuck in praying only in the mornings during my quiet time, when the bible clearly states that we should pray at all times! Glad I found you through the Grace and Truth link-up.

  7. JenM

    I really didn’t like the idea of “prayer hacks” but I see it’s an effective way to get across the point of praying without ceasing. I liked your article a lot. I often pray throughout the day in an ongoing conversation with the Lord. The shower and the car are some of my most effective prayer times! One thing I can’t get behind – for myself – is praying (or Bible reading) on the toilet. For myself it just seems disrespectful.

    I’ll add that I had an MRI done once. I was in there for awhile and found it made a great prayer closet. Plus it helped take my mind off the cramped space!

    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      I can imagine that an MRI would be a fantastic prayer closet! Plus, I would imagine that praying during that time also helped you remain peaceful during the procedure. Thanks for chiming in! 🙂


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