Are you one of the many people who wish they could spend more time in prayer but are concerned about squeezing it into an already crowded calendar?

Make prayer a priority - those hoping to find time for prayer will likely fail. You have to make time. We need exercise to keep our bodies healthy. We need prayer to keep our souls healthy.

Make an appointment with God - set aside a specific time to pray. It may be first thing in the morning, in the evening, during your lunch break, your commute, or time spent waiting for others. Be creative. Then put the appointment in your calendar and keep it.

Turn off the television - remove distractions and pray. We often spend at least 20 min a day doing insignificant things — checking emails, puttering around the house, watching TV, surfing the internet, etc. We could instead invest that 20 minutes in deep communion with God.

Keep your Bible and prayer journal handy - people miss exercise classes because they cannot find their yoga mat or car keys in time. We can also significantly cut into our prayer time while looking for what you need. Keep your Bible, journal, and other tools where you can quickly locate them. Keeping a prayer journal is your tool to review the blessings you and others receive from God. The journaling does not have to be perfect with spelling and grammar; it is your personal record.

Keep the conversation going all day - pray throughout the day. Short prayers throughout the day are a wonderful way to increase your prayer life.

Pray your calendar - if you are concerned about having time, pray for it. Pray through what the day ahead will bring — your meetings, events, doctor's appointments, and the likeo A few moments in prayer may be just the right medicine to still your spirit despite a hectic schedule.

Experiment with different methods - there is no right way to pray, as there is no right way to have a conversation with your best friend. Experiment with fresh ways to connect with God. You and to hear everything about your life. Change your mindset from having to spend time with God, toward getting to.

Keep going - change takes time. There will be days when you will fall short. When that happens, forgive yourself and keep going. Remember the benefits of the deeper prayer life you seek. Reflect on the need in our hectic and busy society, to slow down, let go of frustrations, anxieties, and any of the crises we might be facing in our lives, and reconnect to God.

Setting aside more time for prayer will change every other part of your day.

Shalom,

Pastor Gordon