This question is common for sincere people desiring a relationship with God but living in a fast-paced culture. The breathless pace of our lives only seems to accelerate as we take on more responsibilities, more expectations, and instant everything! So yes, we are rushing from thing to thing — rushing through our lives — and don’t have time for God and our inner world. Is prayer a waste of time when you could get more pressing chores done? Imagine how that pause for spiritual refueling and the grace God could enrich you and impact all the lives you touch!

Prayer should not be just one more thing on our already packed to-do list, any more than breathing should be. Prayer is every bit as ESSENTIAL to the life of our soul as breathing is to the body. If we could believe how deeply it affects our well-being, in every way, we would see prayer as a non-negotiable. Perhaps we still think of prayer as something we owe God, or something we do so God won’t be upset with us or give up on us. That scenario is impossible — God giving up on us. Our prayer does not ensure God’s favors, nor keep God from feeling lonely or forgotten. The real purpose of prayer is to connect us with our own deep soul and with the deep heart of God. Prayer is our lifeline to the truth. In prayer our vision gets clearer and we see things more as they truly are and not through the distortions of an egocentric world — which confuses and blinds us. How can anything else be more important for our real health than prayer? It should be the one thing we can’t live without.

I used to think of prayer as more of an obligation, a "should do" task, until I grew to realize how much I needed that daily tuning into my own inner world. Prayer eventually became less about talking at God, and more about listening and receiving God’s guidance and gentle support. Just recently I came across a quote from a wise bishop: “I always pray one hour a day. When I’m too busy, I pray two hours!” Or the familiar sign declaring: “A week without prayer makes one weak.”

The busier your life gets, the greater your need for the grounding and remembering of prayer — remembering who you are and remembering who God is.

What practices help you set time aside for prayer?