For a long time, I thought that having a “successful” prayer life would require me to spend hours at a time with the Lord. I thought that to really pray effectively, I needed to get better or improve my prayer time. In my imagination, having a healthy prayer life meant I would never get distracted and I’d be disciplined enough to make it through my prayer list and prompts. I would sing psalms of praise to God without being interrupted. 

And yet, no matter how hard I tried, my prayer life never, ever looked that way. 

Perhaps it’s the four kids that I have the honor of mothering, or maybe it’s that I’m often forgetful and easily distracted. Or maybe, like you, I have a busy work life. The truth is, each of us has our own obstacles to spending time in prayer. But I’m here to tell you that a healthy prayer life isn’t just possible—it’s necessary for the Christian life. 

So what changed? I can tell you that it was not my external circumstances; it was the way I viewed prayer.

Rather than focusing on formal, lengthy prayer times (which are still incredibly valuable), I started focusing on having multiple honest conversations with the Father throughout the day. I prayed with my kids in the mornings before school and in the evenings before bed. Throughout the day I developed the habit of talking to God about different things. Sometimes I thanked Him or praised Him when I saw a beautiful sunset. Other times I talked to Him about things that concerned me. Sometimes I prayed through Scripture with my Bible open, other times I talked to Him in the car.

But what changed most was that I started viewing God the Father like a dad who simply looks forward to conversations with His child, rather than a King that requires a perfect sacrifice. 

I am extremely fortunate to have an earthly dad who loves Jesus dearly and has been a great dad to me and my brother. But, unfortunately, we live in two different states so, to stay connected, my dad and I have multiple conversations throughout the week. Sometimes it’s a quick phone call while I’m out running errands. Other times, I call him when I’m home and have the time and brain space for a long conversation. But the point is, my dad loves to hear from his kids, and I don’t have to come to him all put together with the perfect conversation planned out to communicate with him. 

Paul Miller in A Praying Life says it this way, “Prayer is asking God to incarnate, to get dirty in your life . . . For sure we know he washes feet. So take Jesus at his word. Ask him. Tell him what you want. Get dirty. Write out your prayer requests . . . If you try to seize the day, the day will eventually break you. Seize the corner of his garment and don’t let go until he blesses you. He will reshape the day.”

What I learned was that although I wanted to please God, God’s plan for prayer was to be in a relationship with me. As I made space throughout my day to talk to God, I got better at getting away for extended periods of time. 

Our Scripture for the day shows us that even Jesus needed time away with the Father while He was here on earth. If the Messiah needs that time, so do you and I. So let me encourage you to look at your day and find pockets of time to talk to your good Father because, as Miller wrote, it will reshape your day and the way you look at Him. 

Week 2 Challenge:

This week, set a time and place in your day to get away and intentionally pray like Jesus did. The time and location will look different for many of us, but the goal is to slow down and intentionally spend time with Jesus each day. 

Week 2 Reading Plan

Week 2 Memory Verse




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Brittany Salmon

Brittany Salmon

Brittany Salmon is a freelance writer, an adjunct professor of Global Studies, and an equipping minister for her local church. She is also an orphan care and prevention advocate, and a doctoral student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She spends her free time eating Chick-fil-A and exploring her new home state of Texas with her husband, four kids, and their dog, Mr. Tom Hanks. You can see what she’s up to on Twitter or Instagram.

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