Time Alone with God–You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me!
Face it! When you have young children squeezing one more thing into your day is hopeless! Even if that one thing is spending time alone with God.
Have you heard the story of Suzanna Wesley who had (I believe) 18 children? She had her prayer time alone with God in the middle of them, in her rocking chair by pulling her apron over her head. Yes, that was more than 100 years ago. But Suzanna taught her children from the time they were tiny that Mama could not be disturbed when her apron was over her head unless someone was bleeding, unconscious or on fire.
When my children were young I found it almost impossible to do like Suzanna Wesley. But I came close to consistency. These are my tips if you’re trying to consistently have a daily time alone with God.
- Lower your expectations. God doesn’t have a timer on you. Five minutes of earnestly seeking the Lord each day honors Him and keeps you in touch with Him. Five minutes.
- Do teach your kids – toddlers and up – that Mama can’t be disturbed during certain SHORT times. It’s not easy but it can be done. Be sure they are safe and occupied with something that will hold their attention for 5 – 10 minutes. When my boys were little I went into our half-bath, closed the door and kneeled before the “throne” to have five minutes of earnest prayer. STOP LAUGHING! IT WORKED.
- Pray while you nurse-especially at night. It’s such a peaceful experience that it lends itself to prayer and meditation anyway.
- Whisper your prayers for your children on your knees by their beds after they’ve fallen asleep. Think: Which is more important—folding one more load of laundry, or 3 minutes of prayer for each little one? P.S. They can hear those prayers while they are sleeping, you know.
- Pray in the shower or tub. I know—that and toileting are the ONLY times you are alone all day. God isn’t embarrassed because you’re naked, you know. We all stand naked before Him anyway. He sees what is inside us instead of how we look on the outside.
- Buy one of the many packets of small cards with Bible verses on them. Tote a card in your purse. Post one on your bathroom mirror, above your kitchen sink and in the laundry area. Put one under a clip on your car visor. When peace is running madly out the door of your mind focus on that card for 10-15 seconds. Breathe a prayer for sanity. When Peter was going under he prayed only 3 words—“Lord, save me!” And it worked.
- Sitting in the car at ball practice, or in the school car line? Take ten DEEP inhales and slow exhales. Then tell God about your crazy day. Ask Him to be the peace-bringer in your vehicle and home.
- Remember—this is one of many seasons in your life; it will pass all too soon. You do NOT have time during this season for extended hours alone in prayer or meditation. And God knows and understands that. So, intentionally grasp MOMENTS with Him, instead.