Tired and worn out from a busy day at work, I fret about what I’m going to eat this evening, when I will get a chance to check my emails or whether I ought to give that a miss and just head straight to the gym. I remember all the patients I saw at the hospital during the day and think about their treatments.


By the time my mind becomes focused again in the present, an hour has passed. I worry about the fact that I only have four more hours left of the evening before I ought to sleep if I am to be alert during the ward-round tomorrow. I manage to cook some food to eat, but by the time I finish that I only have three more hours till bedtime.  I get a phone call from a friend after which I am one hour closer to bedtime. With two hours remaining I ask myself, ‘Should I kneel and say a prayer to the Lord?’. I convince myself that it will be better to do so in an hour because then I can fall asleep directly afterwards. So I’m left now with an hour to spare. I find anything and everything to distract myself – books, mobile phone games, even staring into space, anything…

Wow that hour went quickly. In fact, so quickly that when I look at my watch I have only half an hour till bedtime. It's time to say a prayer I tell myself, but only once I’ve gotten myself ready for bed. So I have a shower, brush my teeth, wash my face and put my pyjamas on. Oh dear, ten minutes before bedtime! But I’ve not said my prayers.  With little effort, I get into bed, rest my head on the pillow and close my eyes:  ‘Thank you Jesus for today.  Thank you for my family and friends, and all those I’ve come across today who need your help… zzz… zzzz…. zzzzzzzzzzz’.

I wake up to my alarm clock – it’s a new day, and I only have 10 minutes till I have to be back on the ward!  ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  Amen.’ (30 seconds).  I quickly get dressed, run out of my flat and onto the ward ‘ready’ for a new day at work.

Here are a few things I’ve picked up over the years – Prayer tips for people with busy lives:

1.    Make a decision to get to know God better.  Ask Him to help you pray.

2.    Commit some time everyday to spend with Him (think about how much time you spend with your friends during the day – relationships take time to build!).  Dan 6:10.  Try first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed for as long as is realistic for you to commit to (20 minutes – 1 hr).  You will find that this time will increase over time.

3.    Choose a place to pray that is away from distractions! Mt 14:23; 6:6  

4.    Choose a posture that will make you more alert (avoid lying down!).

5.    Find a prayer buddy.

6.    Write down everything on your mind to put forward to God during your time with him.  Be honest with Him. Keep a prayer diary.

7.    Mix set/taught prayers with spontaneous prayer.

8.    Thank Him for this quality time you have with Him.

9.    Make a conscious effort to talk to God during the course of the day. Tell him how you feel.  Thank him for the love you’ve witnessed during the day.  Tell him about your anxieties.  He’s ALWAYS here ☺