Unless you're really an exceptional person, or someone who has learned to integrate prayer into everything you do, it's very likely not the case. Not by a longshot.
And...this is okay. We live in a world that God set in motion, and our trip through the years we have is supposed to mean something. It deserves our full attention, because properly serving the world is also serving the Almighty. In that sense, working with a sincere and focused heart, without saying God-this or Amen-that every two sentences, is the right thing to do (as well as being a lot less irritating to your co-workers).
But it's still a good idea to take time with the Man, to set aside a few minutes for prayer, to read the Bible, to meditate, whatever. Here are some thoughts on how to make that practical.
- Be up-front about what you want to do - prayer time is something a lot of families just don't 'get', and both spouses and children can look on it as a kind of self-indulgent way to have private time, with a divine imprimatur. This leads to a temptation to hide what you're doing...don't. Say what you're going to do - don't ask permission! - clearly, and don't leave it open for argument, or even negotiation. This is your right. And consider the snide comments and the passive-aggressive guilt trips to be part of the sacrifice you make for Christ. It's a lot more fun to think of being crucified alongside Him...but if you can take insults on His behalf, I'm sure that works, too.
- Decide how much time you need, and where you need to spend it - if you need an hour a day - dinnertime - in the master bedroom, say so. If you need to be undisturbed, say so, and mean it. But if you can pick a less confrontational time and place, do so. The aim is time with God, not to pick a fight to prove your worth. And...make sure you aren't trespassing on another family member's activities. Not fair to say, "I'm praying here, so clear out!" hardly a Christian message.
- Be consistent - nothing's going to build respect faster than consistency, or erase it faster than a sloppy approach to your practice. The prayer time you miss because your dog's having a seizure is fine - only an ogre would call you on that. But missing it because you wanted to see the finals of "The Voice" says a lot about your priorities, none of it good.
- Develop time-saving strategies - if you get your daily duties done, you're less likely to be hassled. On the other hand, if you decide that your wife and kids can start mowing the lawn because you're communing with God, you've just introduced a huge amount of resentment, and you've done any evangelistic efforts that might be needed in your home a great disservice. Make time in other ways...for instance, in repetitive chores, like mowing the lawn, try to do it the same way every time, so you have a 'tempo', and need not think your way through it. Likewise, try to organize supplies or tools you'll need so they're in the same place every time, and easily and logocally accessible. Do a time-and-motion study on your routine. I bet you can shave minutes, which can add up to hours, every week.
- Be normal - the fact that you pray doesn't make you better than anyone else. God decides who goes to heaven - we don't. You're praying to improve your relationship with your creator, not to build a taller base so that you can lord it over your family, friends, and community.
What do you think? Any suggestions for ways to make time for prayer?