Yesterday I was driving down the highway to work thinking about the things on my to-do list. It didn’t seem that everything would fit into the hours before me, so I turned on the classical music station and started praying. Not for God’s guidance in prioritizing my time, but because this was one of the items I needed to finish.
Maybe it would have been better to wait until I got to campus, shut my office door, and quietly prayed. But I was already running late for a weekly Bible study with students and the rest of my day was scheduled. So there I was praying on I-75.
But does this really count? I wasn’t in the quiet of a church or felt particularly drawn by God’s spirit. I didn’t feel especially holy. But I was praying. Remembering students I’ve talked with over the past week, reflecting on the Bible passage I read in the morning, and being honest about my own failings – like praying at that moment in order to cross out an item on my task list. And then when it’s crossed off, is that it for the day?
Some days that is the extent of my intentional praying as I get so wrapped up in other activities. But many times, because it is on my task list, I will make a point to pray between student meetings. Every so often I even shut my door and pray the hours or just take time to be silent.
As I read the biblical admonitions to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess. 5:17) and to ‘seek God’s face’ (Psalm 105) – images of a calm and focused prayer life enter my mind. A life in which I make time to engage with God throughout the day without having to be prodded to remember. However, that’s not reality for me at this time. Thus, prayer remains on the list so it can remain on my mind.