On the days I’m the most busy, it seems God is the first thing I forget.
Raise your hand if you can relate to this.
It’s not uncommon for me to go an entire 8 hour work day and not have a single thought about my creator. My to do list is long, my coworkers are counting on me, and my tasks take concentration. Before I know it the day is over and I haven’t said a word to Jesus.
One of my dear friends has a perfect saying to describe this phenomenon. In her working years, she said she was famous for “leaving Jesus in the car.”
She would pray on her way to work and ask God to use her throughout the day, but then she would go to work and forget all about him until she got in her car at the end of the day and remembered she left Jesus there to sit by himself all day!
This is a brilliant illustration. And something I’ve been terribly guilty of many times. When I’m really busy, it’s easy for me to forget that I’m a Christian.
Prayer is Not Wasted Time
One of my strengths (or annoying habits depending on who you ask) is my love of hyper-productivity. I do not like to waste time, I like to get as much done as possible in a day. I hate distractions and time wasters. I want to move. I want to complete. I want to accomplish.
Martin Luther famously said this, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
If I’m being completely honest when I first read that quote by Luther I was taken aback. Really? When you have the longest to do list, you spend extra time in prayer? Doesn’t that take away from the time you have to get all those things done? This is the inner dialog of my results-oriented personality.
Of course, most of you reading this understood his reasoning much faster than I, and it’s a beautiful picture isn’t it?
He recognized his complete dependance on God. He knew if he was to be productive at all that day he would need to rely on the strength and grace that God would grant him. And the only way to acquire this strength is to ask him for it and spend time in his presence enjoying who he is. If Luther ran himself ragged all day to accomplish his tasks he would not have been as productive than if he took time at the beginning of the day to remember it was not his own productiveness that he needed, but God’s presence.
Prayer is not wasted time. Prayer is one of the most productive ways we can spend our time.
But to a go-getter/self-starter/entrepreneur, whatever you want to call me, I sometimes struggle with that. I want to cross things off my list. I don’t always want to carve out time for prayer.
How to Remember God Throughout Your Day
I love reading thoughts like Luther’s but I hate when they only leave me feeling guilty and not knowing what to do about it.
Here’s my suggestion to you. Right now, think of one moment during the day that you know you’ll have two minutes to your thoughts. And use that time simply to acknowledge that God is with you and that he loves you. Thank him for bringing you this far through your busy schedule and ask him to stay near you the rest of the day.
Here are a few examples of small spaces during a typical work day you could use for prayer:
- As you gather in a room waiting for a meeting to start
- As you pack up your belongings on your way to lunch
- As you walk down the hallway to the bathroom
- As you power up your computer in the morning
- As you cross one item off your to do list and before you start thinking about what’s next
- As you hang up the phone and before you make your next call
- As you walk to the copy room to pick something up off the printer
If this is new to you, only choose one thing to get started. Make it a habit that each time you’re doing that task you say a quick prayer and glorify God. The more you do this, the more you will gain control back from your busy schedule.
Push Back the Busyness
Busyness is one of Satan’s favorite things. It makes his job easier. We keep our hearts distracted from pursuing God so he doesn’t have to.
Friend, I beg you to push back the busyness even for just a moment.
Because the days you have the most to do, the days when God seems to be the first thing you forget, those are the days you need him most. Don’t let anyone (yourself included) convince you otherwise.
He is Still Good
And here’s the most beautiful, most important, point of this entire article.
Even when you forget God. He remains faithful to love you.
Your forgetfulness in no way reduces the fierce, burning desire he has for you. He wants to be near you whether you praise him 24/7 or you only thought of him once at lunch. You are so incredibly valuable to him.
So do not for one second believe you need to work harder to be closer to God. That’s not the point.
The point is, the more space you make to acknowledge him and love him throughout your day the more you will know him. And knowing his presence, knowing his character…well that’s what we were made for. That’s what brings us freedom, peace, comfort, purpose, joy. So pursue him, not so that you can prove you’re worthy of his love, but so that you might enjoy his faithfulness.
We need him, and he is faithful to provide what we need.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73:28 (NIV)
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
We will also live with him;
If we endure,
We will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
He will also disown us;
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful,
For he cannot disown himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 (NIV)
What other spaces have you found helpful to pause during your day to remember God? If your daily routine is different than mine, what small moments do you find you’re able to take to connect with Jesus during the day? Leave a comment to encourage someone else who might be in your exact situation. Your idea might be just what they need to hear!
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