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Asking Questions


5 moments to stop and pray today


One of the biggest reasons we say we can’t pray today is because we don’t have time or we’re just too busy. This can be an enormous mountain we feel we’ll never conquer! Essentially, the belief is that to pray, we have to figure out how to not be busy first. 

Today, I want to flip that thought and show you how the things we are going through in our day, the busyness we come up against, may offer us more opportunities to pray today than we realize. 

5 moments to stop and pray today by Valerie Woerner, desperation, what to pray, prayers for everyday, house prayer, springboard prayers

Before I had my first daughter, Vivi, I remember being terrified at how a child would disrupt the healthy rhythm I’d created for praying and Bible study. And while it certainly did look different, I actually began praying more consistently through my days, instead of just tucked into the mornings, because of her. I’d go on podcast interviews and they’d ask how I was adjusting to life with kids and I probably sounded a little phony, but there is one key ingredient we need to grow our prayer life. I talk about it all the time so if you know what I’m about to say, say it with me: 

We need a desperation. 

We need to know how needy we actually are. If we think a phone call, an errand or a credit card will solve our problem faster, we won’t pray. Or if we do, it will be last resort “well I guess all we can do now is pray” sort of way. Many of us in America truly want for little. It may be tougher to recognize our own neediness, but I’m convinced that studying who God is, how big He is and even the busyness in our daily circumstances can help us see it.

So I wanted to think through moments of our day, that instead of just feeling like they overrun our prayer time, can actually be triggers to pray. And I’m keeping it really simple and accessible by sharing a quick prayer that you can screenshot or come back and find in this blog post if the moment arises and you want to pray but aren’t sure what to say. 

These prayers are all found in my book Springboard Prayers, a book of 125 prayers for different places, times, emotions, circumstances and more. They include verses that are in the prayer as well as questions to keep the conversation going and a question to ask God at the end to give us a posture of listening as we finish praying. I’ve included what the actual prayer is called in the book and the page number to find it easily if you have a copy! We recently got more back in stock, so if you want to have these prayers and 120 more in a handy place, grab it here

When I wake up feeling like I have more important things to do than pray. 

Here is a prayer for passion. When we wake up feeling this way, let it be a trigger for the Lord to grow our desire so that we will want to choose prayer even when we have a lot to do. Martin Luther famously said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Oh to have that of approach to a busy day! 

5 moments to stop and pray today by Valerie Woerner, desperation, what to pray, prayers for everyday, house prayer, springboard prayersA PRAYER FOR PASSION – Dear Lord, I am so grateful for Your willingness and even desire to commune with me. I pray that You would help me to know You more and that that knowledge would spark in me such a passion for You. A passion so big, I can’t help but seek You first in all I do*. A passion so big, I want to meet with You every morning and walk with You for my entire day. Remove this heart of stone*. Ignite my passion for prayer in such a way that I don’t see it as a last resort or an “if I can fit it in” conversation, but one that FUELS me for my day. Become bigger to me than everything in my world and when something else tries to take Your place, put it back in right order. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation* and let that not become lost on me. In Jesus’ Name, amen. 

* Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
* Ezekiel 36:26And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
* Psalm 51:12 – Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

– Share with the Lord what stifles your passion.
– Reflect on God’s incredible character and let your heart swell with desire to praise Him.

– Ask: God is multifaceted, and though we know Him, there is still mystery. Today, ask:
What is a new facet I can discover about you, God?

When you find yourself wanting to pull out your phone in line or at a red light.

We have small moments in our days that can make way for prayer. I hope this one helps remind us of all that’s possible even when a day feels busy. 

A PRAYER OF AWARENESS – Lord, what a gift it is to get to commune with You in prayer. This little avenue of enjoying Your presence while I’m here on earth is a slice of heaven in a fallen world. In your presence is the fullness of joy that the world cannot compete with*. I don’t just long to pray more. I don’t long for the act or words of prayer. I long for YOU. I long to be in Your presence always. And You are always in my midst, Lord*! My prayer now is that You would make me so aware of You in every moment of my day. This heart of praying without ceasing is too incredible for me to really understand, but the idea of walking through my days so completely aware of Your presence CHANGES EVERYTHING. Shake me free and untether my heart to all the worldly things that distract me and the sin that clings so closely*.  Give me fresh eyes to see the miracle that is You in the atmosphere all around me. You are the greatest gift of my prayers I could ever receive. In Jesus’ Name, amen. 

* Psalm 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
* Zephaniah 3:17 – The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
* Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

– Read Psalm 23 and visualize what this means to live in God’s presence.
– Lift up the things that tether you to earthly things.

– Ask: You are here, God. Will you make Yourself known to me today?

5 moments to stop and pray today by Valerie Woerner, desperation, what to pray, prayers for everyday, house prayer, springboard prayersWhen the afternoon slump sinks in

It’s that point in the day when you start to lose any momentum and a place where we can definitely let our desperation and weariness bring us to our knees before the Father. 

A PRAYER FOR AFTERNOON – Lord, as afternoon comes in full swing, I wrestle with so many things that only hours before I felt strong enough to stand against. As the day wars on, I lose steam, and my flesh cries out to take over. Yell at my kids, collapse on the sofa, ignore my studies, hop on social media instead of honoring my work time, ditch my healthy eating habits. Denying myself and surrendering to You are daily, if not hourly, choices to make*. I release again the things I’ve picked back up even within this day and give them back to You. I feel like a little kid determined to take all I own on a walk around the block, but You, my gracious Father, willingly take what I shouldn’t have tried to carry in the first place. You relieve my load,* and this afternoon hour seems to be the time I need it most. Thank You, Father, for being so willing to carry me through. I rejoice that I get to do my days with You. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

* Luke 9:23 – And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
* Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

– Take three deep breaths in and out. Be as still as possible.
– Share with the Lord specifics of what you need to let go of to God. What would lighten your afternoon load? What is God actually calling you to do and what have you taken on yourself?

– Ask: We know God gives us strength, but too often we aren’t looking for it. So ask: How are You giving me strength in this weary hour of my day?

When I’m picking up around the house, doing dishes or laundry

One of our most beloved free downloads are our House Prayers. It’s a little guide to help pray creatively around your house as you walk through rooms. This doesn’t have to be a time that seems to steal from our prayer time. It can be an ideal time to pray!

5 moments to stop and pray today by Valerie Woerner, desperation, what to pray, prayers for everyday, house prayer, springboard prayers

WHEN I’M CLEANING MY HOME – Father, I invite You into the small, everyday tasks that warrant no fanfare. This is when I do the work that must be done and that will need to be done again very soon. I have a choice right now to see the mundaneness of these moments and grumble and complain, or I can recognize the opportunity I have to turn them into mountain-moving moments with You. I pray You’d give me fresh eyes to see the value of the work I’m doing. 

Remind me that these moments aren’t a waste but a precious opportunity You’ve blessed me with to not only love and serve my family well, but to also serve and glorify You*. I pray as I clean surfaces, You will create in me a clean heart, Lord*. Draw my attention to areas of unconfessed sin so that I can shine a light on it and be washed whiter than snow*. I am Your beloved, and You see me even in my most unseen moments. What a joy and blessing that is! In Jesus Name, amen.

* 1 Corinthians. 10:31bSo, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
*Psalm 51:10Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
* Psalm 51:7 (NIV) – Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

– Pray over specific rooms in your house.
– Let each item your hand touches inspire praise and
shout to the Lord what you are grateful for.

– Ask: Am I okay in the unseen moments? Or do I need fanfare to work? Reveal to me even
the hard truths.

When I feel rushed to the next thing

As you transition from one busy thing to the next, take two minutes and let this prayer slow you down so you can enter the next thing less flustered.

A PRAYER WHEN I FEEL HURRIED – Father God, I know You’re calling me to slow down, but my soul feels so hurried. Help me! Breathe Your calm, steady breath in me. Release me from the demands I place on myself that I assume You placed on me. Your load is so much lighter than the load I think I’m supposed to carry*. Give me wisdom to determine the difference between things that are good to do and things that I am called to do. Remove any pride in my heart that desires to be the hero, and help me to accept my limitations and even find joy in them. And when temptations or opportunities come to do more and more, may my default response be checking with You first, Lord, knowing that Your ways are higher than my ways*. How grateful I am that I don’t have to do this on my own. I’m Yours! And as I spend more time in Your presence, may the beat of my heart sync in rhythm with Yours. 

* Matthew 11:28-30Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
* Isaiah 55:8-9For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

– Take three deep breaths in and out. Be as still as possible.
– Thank God that His love for you isn’t based on what you accomplish today.
– Share with God what is specifically making you feel so hurried.

– Ask: What are You calling me to do today?
– Ask: What can I let go of?
– Ask: What truth am I forgetting about me or You today that would help me to slow down?

There you have it! 5 moments to stop and pray today with the actual words to say. I hope this encourages you to pray throughout your day no matter what task is at hand because He is right there with you even in the mundane. Through our busyness, we have more opportunities to pray than we realize!

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