Purposeful Faith

Pray Without Multitasking

By: Angela Parlin

We are two weeks into the new year, and I’m ready now to declare my word.

Near the end of last year, I thought it might be strength—as in living in God’s strength and not my own. I wrote it on the front page of a new journal, but it didn’t feel like “the one”.

As I studied strength, it took a backseat to prayer.

Because there’s no living in God’s strength without wholehearted, earnest prayer.

So this year my commitment is simply to Pray–in a consistent, intentional, wholehearted way.

I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but I think some prayers are easy. Many years ago, I read about practicing the presence of God, and started a habit of talking to Him throughout the day, believing He’s near.

I whisper lines of thanks or requests for help to God throughout the day. I ask Him regularly for wisdom, especially as a Mom. I keep a list of family and friends’ needs, knowing He waits for us to come to Him, and He listens.

I trust that God is able to do more than all we ask or imagine. 

We have needs, and God is able to meet them. Furthermore, we are busy, so these throughout-the-day, on-the-go prayers work for us.

But other times, prayer feels hard, even unnatural. Other times, prayer requires us to put down everything else we’d like to do at the same time.

That’s the kind of prayer I struggle with. To put that more honestly–that’s the prayer I often don’t pray. The one where I close the door to my world, and enter the presence of God, with only God and nothing else.

What about you? Do you regularly slow down to be with God alone?

I don’t think it comes naturally to most of us, to make a full stop in our lives and stay with Him a while.

We tend to do everything in our power, first.

We rely on ourselves instead of relying on God.

We value self-sufficiency, and pride ourselves on independence.

Or we’re rarely alone, and when we are, we turn on something noisy, so we don’t feel alone.

In my quiet times, I love studying books of the Bible. But the hard part? Pouring out my heart to God and listening for Him through the silence. Which is to say–I like to learn about God, to get to know Him through His Word, but I struggle to just sit with Him.

Back in December, I wrote down a few goals for this year. Since then, I’ve realized my goal above all goals for 2015 is to spend time each day, praying without multitasking.

I commit to daily adore God, thank Him, confess my sins, and lay my requests before Him. And then to wait in the silence for His Holy fire to fall upon my heart.

At each and every sunrise you will hear my voice as I prepare my sacrifice of prayer to you. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and wait for your fire to fall upon my heart. Psalm 5:3, Passion Translation

Will you join me? If the Spirit is calling you to spend time daily, praying without multitasking, let me know and I’ll be praying for YOU. Come, Holy Fire…

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Angela Parlin

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.


                        

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Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

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17 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I want to lay the pieces at the altar. What a beautiful verse Angela that I have never seen. Thank you for pulling this post from the bottom of your heart. God is faithful to your prayers. He hears your calls. He loves you so. We are all blessed for it. Cheering you on!

  • Thanks, Angela, for a lovely piece. I too practice His presence throughout the day like you and have a set aside one on one time. But the hard part for me is in stilling to LISTEN not just TALK in prayer. That has been my building goal since last year. Thanks.

  • A song immediately jumped into my heart which says, “Fresh fire, fresh fire fall on me. Fall on me.” Yes sister I join you in praying for fresh fire, fresh oil, a fresh touch, fresh breath, not old stale recycled cabin air but fresh air. I was outside today and as you are talking about intentional prayers without multitasking, I said to myself breath intentionally, long deep breaths. It was so cleansing. And pray is that way too isn’t it? The cleansing in pray brings insight and clarity. My issue is having little people (bless their hearts my 5 young children) interrupting me during “MY” quiet prayer time. I swear even if I wake up at 5am, my baby wakes up then too. I try not to get frustrated. Then I’m slightly annoyed with God because I’m thinking, “Lord help me out here. You know I wanted this uninterrupted time with you. Couldn’t you just let the little boy stay asleep?” Committed nonetheless.

    • It is SO hard with little ones. I totally understand. Quiet time turns into crazy time. God knows you heart and he sees your desire to reach out to him. Often, it becomes about the “little moments,” doesn’t it?

  • “Pray without multitasking”. It is more difficult than one might imagine. I find that journaling my prayers is one way to do this, although it doesn’t happen everyday. I pray when I exercise…when I am out walking these north Georgia mountains, I talk to Jesus as He walks with me. I live for those times, and He has spoken to me most clearly over the years in those moments. Prayer is probably the spiritual discipline that most people struggle with the most. Thank you for a clear, compelling post on prayer!

  • I am just now getting over here, Angela, but I absolutely love this post. It hits me right where I’m at. I, too, rarely make time for the type of prayer where I’m not multitasking and trying to do everything else, but those are the prayers where the Spirit speaks into my heart the most. So why would I not make more time for it? Thank you for this. Much love to you, friend.

  • This hits the nail right on the head for me, Angela! Thank you. Like Abby, above, I rarely make time for just sitting to do nothing but prayer. I keep a prayer list that I carry around most days, and I do prayer walking at the park most days. I’m a closet ADD sufferer probably! But I can see the value of making time just to pray. I want to grow in this. Will share on twitter and facebook because I think this is so important. Thanks Kelly, for making space here for Angela.

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