How do you keep from falling asleep when you pray in the morning? And how do you resist hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock? I want to be able to pray in the morning because I don’t have time at any other part of the day.
Whether you are tween or twenty-something, a newly working woman or a seasoned mom, this question captures the daily struggle of most believers. How do you find time to pray? Moreover, how do you find time to do so when you can stay awake and concentrate on being present with the Lord?
The crux of the problem is that we live in a fast-paced world driven by the tyranny of the urgent and hurried by over-packed schedules and looming commitments. We’re too tired for not only God, but just about everything else we have to carry out in a given day. Yet we manage to stay awake for homework, TV shows, time with friends, sports, surfing the internet, and Facebooking, because the nature of each requires some sort of active participation on our part. Our bodies are either physically in motion, or emotionally engaged by fear of failure or an overwhelming sense of guilt if we don’t follow through on a commitment.
In contrast to our busy activity, time in prayer tends to be quiet and restful. It is a complete juxtaposition to the normal speed our bodies are accustomed to moving at throughout a week. In other words, we have trained our bodies to believe that sitting still is license to sleep as opposed to an active time of being refueled. We’ve lost the art of being still while still being awake and engaged.
It is possible to stay away during prayer, but it will require a concerted effort to train your body to respond accordingly. First, ask God to help you. He is willing! Second, consider this practical suggestions,
- Get More Sleep
If you are falling asleep during morning prayer, it means your body is still tired and needs more hours of rest. Try to get in bed even a half-hour earlier each night by looking at your schedule and seeing if there is time in the day you might be wasting. If you are managing your time well, but can’t get to bed any earlier, try to catch up on the weekends. Choose one night to spend with friends and another night to go to bed super early. And make time to take a nap during one of the weekend afternoons. And by all means, try to make Sunday an early night, so you start the week rested.
- Get Awake
In order for you to stay awake during your prayer time, you most likely will need to get out of bed and change positions or locations. It may also mean you should take a shower and get dressed first, simply so you can feel more refreshed.
- Get Motivated
This may sound silly, but bribe yourself out of bed. For some, this can be the promise of a cup of tea or coffee. You may also want to reward yourself with a sweet treat, an inexpensive piece of jewelry, or a new pen or journal, for getting up 4 out of 5 weekday mornings to pray.
- Get Active
Prayer can take on may forms. It doesn’t always have to be silent with your eyes close. Use a journal to write down your prayers. Turn on worship music to get you going. Speak your prayers out loud. Get on your knees. Take a morning walk and pray on the go. God is more interested in communicating with you, and not the format, so change it up to keep yourself going.
Making time to pray is not only good for you, it is Biblical. God desires to meet with you, one on one, each day. He longs to speak to you and for you to listen to Him. He is waiting to refresh your soul, carry your burdens, and encourage your heart. It is well worth the effort to spend time with the Lord in prayer. May you find the strength to persevere in this spiritual discipline.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.