Monday, December 14, 2015

How Three Extra Minutes Changed My Prayer Life

I’ve never read the book, Too Busy Not to Pray, but often its title has flashed through my mind and convicted my heart.  The busier I am, the more I need to pray.

But because many of us have only windows of time here and there when we can enter our closets and kneel at His throne, how can we take advantage of those prayer times most effectively?

Recently, I learned the importance of three extra minutes.

Sometimes it’s less. Sometimes more. But my prayer life has changed.

When God gave instructions for building the Temple, the stairs leading up to the entrance were to be structured unevenly, so the worshipper was forced to take each step with caution, slowly and thoughtfully.

This is how we are to approach prayer. Not running into His presence, whipping out a prayer list, and rattling out our requests like a To-Do List.

We need three extra minutes—sufficient time to remind our hearts what prayer is all about and to acknowledge to the One we are trusting that He is much more to us than a friend and a loving Father.

When we pray, we’re entering a throne room, where a curtain has been pulled back so we can come boldly into the presence of the One who is waiting to hear our voice.

So I’ve been starting my prayers by reading others’ prayers. The Psalms. Out loud. As worship to the God who will be answering my prayers. And as a comfort to my heart as I remember who He is.

Think of yourself as a worshipper ascending the stairs slowly as you approach His throne. As you come, pray a Psalm, such as this one: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God . . . I shall yet praise Him. The help of my countenance and my God.”  (Psalm 42)

The stairs are ascended now. Your heart is prepared. You can go through the curtain, kneel, and lay your requests before God.

We’re too busy not to pray.

But when we pray, let’s not be too busy.

Let’s give it three extra minutes.

“In this manner, pray:
Our Father in heaven.
Hallowed be your name. . .”  (Matthew 6:9)

Next post: How the Message of Christmas Changed My Prayer Life

Photo credit: Veri Ivanova (


  1. I have been doing this same thing, beginning each prayer time with Psalm 145, which we memorized last year in our Bible study on the character and attributes of God. This psalm is so full of Him and prepares me for coming into His presence with a proper attitude and mindset.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Bethany, powerful post! Thank you for the reminder.