On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. -Psalm 63:6
Today I’m sharing the last of my top 5 slacker tips for building a fantastic prayer life. And it’s a super easy one:
Bookend Your Days
Ideally, every good Christian will rise early in the morning to spend time in prayer before beginning his or her day. Jesus did it: “And in the morning, a great while before day, He rose up and went out, and departed into a desert place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35
We should all do the same. Seriously. One day I even intend to try it. The truth is that almost every single day of my adult life, I have gotten myself out of bed in the morning by promising myself that I’ll take a nap later. I almost never take naps, but because my brain is so stupid when I wake up, it really believes that it’s going to take a nap later. And that’s what gets me up in the morning. Every morning. Suffice it to say that morning isn’t really my thing.
So, despite the fact that it’s a wonderful practice that one day, I really should try, I do not keep a morning prayer time. But I do try to do a morning check in with God every morning. Nothing fancy. Usually it’s just, “hi, God. I guess I’m up now.” When I’m struggling it’s more like, “God, do I really have to do this being awake for another day thing all over again?” On good days, I can even manage a “thank you for waking me up to this beautiful world you’ve made for us. Please help me walk with you all through the day.”
My room’s too messy for it, but some people keep something on their bedside which reminds them of God so it will be the first thing they see when they wake up. (John Eldridge says he keeps a small sign by his bed which says “God is real.” Because we often forget that God is real during the night.)
Then, on the other end of the day, I try fall asleep praying. I know that falling asleep while praying has long been seen as a failure and a lack of discipline. It’s one of the reasons people give for not keeping a regular prayer time. What’s the point if you just keep falling asleep?
But for ages, I have used my drifting off to sleep time to pray. I find that it’s a particularly good time to engage in worship. As you drift off, your thinking gets slippery and the normal “I sound like an idiot” filters stop working. Keeping a stream of praise going comes easier during this time it seems.
It’s a very simple habit, but the result is that God is (close to) the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing I think of when I go to sleep at night.