Do you think of your prayer life as part of your self-care routine? I didn’t. Until recently. I’ve always struggled with consistency. In fact, you could say that being inconsistent is the only thing I’ve been consistent with! I joke that I’m more of a hare than a tortoise and we all know how that story turned out …
But I was talking to someone the other day about some of my personal struggles and she asked me how much time I spent with God’s Word each day. My answer, “Not enough.” And then she said the words that really shook me and gave me a whole new perspective on my prayer life: “That’s because you’re bad at taking care of yourself.”
After I recovered from the shock of her insight, I started to digest her words. A part of me had been viewing time with God as a luxury that I would squeeze in when my schedule allowed. It was like a visit to the spiritual spa where I would wrap myself in a soft robe of God’s love and soak in His Word. It’s a wonderful experience but not one I could afford to do on a daily basis.
I spend a lot of my time trying to introduce people to God and His love. It’s not only part of my parish job, it’s a calling that all of us have to spread the Gospel. In fact, I spend so much time helping people see their own need for God that I forget that it’s also I need I will continue to have throughout my life on earth. I will always need God and time with Him. I will never have that need completely filled until I am with Him in heaven. Until then, I have to get my daily fill-ups to take care of myself and remind myself that I am called to be His daughter.
My friend’s words helped me to see a weakness in myself and what that weakness was doing to my prayer life. I’m still trying to figure out how to take care of my needs without being selfish. I know it can be done but it will take practice to make it comfortable for me. Until then, I will try to remember to take my daily “God Vitamins” to stay spiritually healthy instead of handing them out to everyone I meet and forgetting to take them myself.
What about you? Do you struggle to prioritize prayer because you put yourself as a last priority? What is one way that you can change your perspective or your actions to help you move toward a need-based view of your prayer life?
Copyright 2019 Laura B. Nelson