How to Pray When You’re in a Hurry
Your alarm didn’t go off this morning? You’re over-booked, and now you’ll be running behind for the rest of the day? Something unexpected popped up and overturned your usual routine?
How do you pray in these circumstances when the clock conspires to prevent prayer? Even in the most hurried and harried moments, prayer is not only possible but also more important than ever.
Here are four ways to pray under pressure:
1) Memory Prayers
Most of us have a few prayers that we’ve committed to memory. The Lord’s Prayer, of course. The Kyrie Eleison (Greek for “Lord, have mercy”). And a shortened version of the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” from Luke 18:13 and Luke 18:38). Or the cry, “O God, come to my assistance; O LORD, make haste to help me,” based on Psalm 70:1.
When you’re rushed and running around like you’re “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs,” memory prayers like these prove to be a great resource, allowing you to pray despite the panic.
2) Song Prayers
God’s people are often told in Scripture to “sing to the Lord” (Psalm 96:1 NIV), and the many hymns and popular songs can help you pray when you’re rushed, from “Great is Thy Faithfulness” to Lauren Daigle’s “You Say.”
When your schedule has derailed your usual times of prayer, turn to song and prove the truth of the psalmist’s statement: “How good it is to sing praises to our God” (Psalm 147:1 NIV).
3) One-Word Prayers
Among my favorite prayer practices is speaking and sometimes repeating one-word prayers throughout my day, a habit that can be especially helpful when I’m rushed and flustered. A prayer such as “Come” invites God’s presence. A whispered “Help” solicits divine aid. The name “Jesus” invites the Lord to fill in the blanks of my need, which I can’t always articulate.
4) Wordless Prayers
It’s possible to pray without words, a reality that can buoy and sustain our souls through the most distressing and distracting times. If you’re heading to a funeral or to help a friend, ask God to let your tears be a prayer to Him.
When you’re somewhere in which silence is called for, a nod of your head can turn into a prayer. An upturned palm can express your openness, even your desperation, to receive from God what you need and maybe can’t put into words.
A sigh, a moan or a smile can keep the lines of communication open between you and God in those moments when other forms of prayer elude you.
So, when circumstances push your prayer routine to the side, keep in mind that you can still pray even when you’re frenzied and frantic. Let memory prayers, song prayers, one-word prayers and wordless prayers keep the conversation with God going until distractions ease and focus returns. You may even find such prayers so effective that you’ll add them to your prayer repertoire at other times as well.