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Too busy to pray?

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Too busy to pray?

‘If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy.’

… So the saying goes, but it’s a bit of a harsh line, isn’t it?  Yes, there are many things that need to be done today, and a great many things that we won’t get done today, but we do seem to be able to get the crucial things done.  It’s a matter of priorities.  God is a patient and forgiving lover and it is occasionally tempting to neglect him because of that, but here’s another thing to bear in mind: He will never, ever be outdone in generosity.  If we are habitually too busy to pray – if we find ourselves saying again and again, ‘sorry I’ve had so little time for you, God, I’ve been so busy’ – we need to be courageous and do something to reduce our busy-ness in order that we might rediscover that time to give to God.

So we look honestly at our lives and pray that we might find a prayer-shaped window.  When you lose something, you look for it initially where you last had it.  So too with that prayer-window. It might be hard to spot, as there may be something standing in front of it now.  If so, move that something or – if it’s a necessary fixture – move the window.  You don’t need planning permission from God (even though your soul is definitely Grade I Listed – not that I’m saying you’re an ancient monument, but that your soul is a work of the ‘principal architect’) .  Put the window where the view won’t distract you, somewhere quiet and somewhere you will be able to visit at the same time each day.  I don’t know why it is, but it does seem to be the case that if one habitually prays at the same time, in the same place, then praying there becomes easy.  We are creatures of habit, I suppose, and like every good habit, building a good habit of prayer is hard work yet well worth it… but easy to let slip.  It is comforting, then, to remember this comment of St Benedict’s about prayer life:  ‘Always, we begin again’…

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