Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. (NLT)
By any account, Jesus was a busy person, active in his service of God. And yet he found time to pray. Something we sometimes find difficult. So often, the phrase “I haven’t got the time” reflects other issues.
God is not incompetent: he gives us enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done. So it is more likely that we do have the time but perhaps do not see prayer as a priority. We neglect it because we figure we don’t need it, because other things demand our attention in a more obvious way.
We could simply be disorganised. So when we say we haven’t got the time, it might be more honest to say we are not able to make the time because we are constantly side-tracked by the urgent or by the demands of others. Jesus managed to resist such distractions, believing that time spent in prayer was the key to whatever time he spent doing other things.
And we need to recognise that prayer is more than just putting aside a set period of time each day, though that is vital. Prayer involves ongoing dialogue with God. We can certainly make the time for what we might call brief prayers throughout the day.
So we need to be honest and ask ourselves deeper questions rather than simply throwing up our hands and insisting we lack time to pray. We usually find the time to do the things we want to do and that matter to us. The basic question then becomes, “How important is prayer to me?” rather than “How do I find the time to pray?”