Practical Advice on Prayer

by Andree Seu

I picked up a little pamphlet from the rack in the foyer of a church I was visiting titled “Squeezing Prayer into a Busy Life.” I could imagine various possible directions for the six pages that would follow. The writer could tell us that if we really loved God we would find time to pray. He could tell us that he himself loves praying more than football. He could tell us that if we don’t pray a lot, maybe we ought to examine ourselves to see if we’re really even Christians at all!

This particular writer, Jim Auer, takes a different tack. He gently invites us to consider that the problem of time management might mask a few deeper blocks to prayer that we’re unaware of, which he then proceeds to deal with helpfully. At one point he comes up with the idea of using any of the day’s small happenings as grist for the mill of prayer. Example:

Trash littering ground“Prayer Over Empty Beer Cans Discarded on the Sidewalk: ‘Lord, please be with whoever left these cans. If they drank from sorrow, heal their hurt. If they drank to escape, help them to face their difficulty. . . .”

I like that ... Sometimes we spiritual slackers can be helped immensely by a concrete suggestion or two.