Monday, August 24, 2015

Dear Mama, How to Fill Your Cup When Your Hands Are Full: How Does a Busy Mama Find Time to Pray? {and a giveaway}

I think I left the hardest part of this series for very last.
Do I hear a collective guilty sigh when that word is read?
If you are anything like me, prayer is something you desire to do.
But somehow, it seems to get pushed out of the way far too often.
When your hands are full, who has time to pray?

As a mother of young children, I know I need to pray.
I start my day knowing I need God......
But then the first one wakes up, or I need to change a diaper, or take a trainer to the potty, or turn off that pot that's boiling over on the stove, or answer the door, or break up an argument, or haul a child out of the mud, or plunk another muddy one into the tub, or get started with school, or answer the gate, or hang the laundry, or wash the dishes.
Soon my day is over and I fall into bed exhausted, a prayer that never gets finished on my lips.

I try to pray through the day.
These are quick prayers, usually prayed in desperation ~
God help!
God, I need to keep my mouth shut!
Please help me stay calm!
Forgive me for my anger!
I don't know what to do. Show me!
Help me love _______ {whoever needs it most at that second}!
These prayers do help me in those moments, but they do not constitute a prayer time.

At times I've tried prayer lists, but they often turn into a rote series of names that I just try to "get through". By the time I'm done, I feel like I can cross it off my list, but I don't feel like I've communed with the Lord.
I'm surrounded by needs. So many people who need to hear the gospel, others who need to grow.
Decisions that need to be made for God's glory. These children I've been given to parent who need instruction and godly wisdom. A husband fighting on the front lines needing the Holy Spirit's filling. Family and friends and supporters far away who need encouragement.
If it was just others I wasn't praying for that would be one thing, but I need to pray for myself too.
God tells us that without Him we can do nothing, yet most days I manage to slog through it all on my own.
I want to pray about all these things.........but I rarely do.

I want a time to talk with God, not just shout emergency messages at him.
I desire a prayer life.........a life.
Not a moment, or a time, but a life.
I want to pray in such a way that I actually live out those words about 'praying without ceasing.'

I'm no good at praying.
I'll be the first to admit that.
But I desire to be.
I think over these words from John Chapman:
"The only way to pray
is to pray;
and the only way to pray well
is to pray much.
If one has no time for this,
then one must at least pray regularly.
But the less one prays,
the worse it goes."
How can I make this desire, this yearning, into something more than wishful thinking?
If "the only way to pray is to pray," then I have to find a way to get started praying, and I need to put into place a way to keep praying once I've started.
God given responsibilities never conflict, so there must be a way that I, a mama with my hands full, can make time to pray.
I often hear the suggestion to just get up earlier.
If you are able to do that, that's great!
For mamas who are already running really low in the sleep department, that's probably not doable at this time.
I've recently come across some helpful resources that are slowly changing my prayer life.
In hopes that something here might be the catalyst you need, I'd like to share a few ideas with you...

When It's Hard to Find Time for God & Prayer ~ an excellent post on why we don't pray

How to Build a House of Prayer ~ some excellent thoughts on making prayer a part of every day life

Kari's Prayer Binder is something I'm working on putting together right now.

Gina's video has been a great help in setting up my prayer binder, and she will email you a packet with directions and specific things to pray for if you email her at the listed address under the video.

The biggest blessing to me recently has been the book, The Hour That Changes the World. It's practical, insightful, and doable. It outlines how and what to pray for so that you can spend an hour each day in prayer {or half hour, as Kari suggests in her tutorial}.

*I've been hesitant to write about his, because I'm not a prayer warrior.
I feel so often, though, that us young mamas know we are supposed to pray, and know we need to pray, but don't have much practical advice on how to make it work during this busy season of life!
Maybe some of these thoughts will be a blessing to you?

*Our last giveaway then, is the awesome book, The Hour That Changes the World.
You are free to enter wherever you live, but if you live outside the US, you must be able to receive a Kindle copy of the book. Just leave a comment here or on facebook. The winner will be chosen on Thursday night/Friday morning depending on where you live.

**The winner of Kari's Doodle Bible Studies is Kari Showers!


  1. I'm so excited to have won the Doodle Bible Study 😀. I look forward to checking out these resources on prayer. I needed this post tremendously. Thank you, Patty, for sharing this blog with us. You are a blessing.

  2. I'm working on a prayer journal, too! I think I'm going to focus on one page at a time since the project as a whole is a bit overwhelming to me. Little by little!

  3. Would love to read this book! It's a subject I have been thinking a lot about lately. Thanks for the info.

  4. Thank you for being open and honest! As a mom to 6 awesome kids and a husband in full time ministry, I feel so overwhelmed at times. It is encouraging to know there are those who feel exactly like i do and want to have that prayer life, but just seem to struggle trying to juggle it all. I'm looking forward to looking up those resources you listed. Thank you for be being willing to be real with us!