Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Finding Time for Personal Prayer and Study

A few days ago I read this post and was very inspired by this mother's morning routine for personal prayer and scripture study. I've also been reading several journals and autobiographies of early LDS women and have been impressed that many of them all tried to wake up earlier than their families in order to have time for personal study, prayers and educational pursuits. That is impressive to me because this is one area of my life that really needs improvement lately.

I used to (before I had kids) be diligent about getting up early to study, pray and exercise but since I've had kids I've really let that slip. Lately I've been REALLY lazy in my personal prayers, to the point where I now count a hurried "chat" with God in the shower and a mumbled prayer into my pillow as I drift off to sleep to be sufficient. Yet I know, from experience, that if I want to be the type of woman I envision for myself, and the type of wife and mother I want to be, then I NEED to put my relationship with my Heavenly Father first in my life.

God won't give me the attention I want unless I give him the attention he deserves.

So I'm wondering... how do you find time for personal study and prayers? When do you do it? Do you have a routine? How do you discipline yourself? How do you stay focused? What sort of things have helped you?


  1. My family studies every morning at 5:30am. We read out of the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon. I am trying to make sure that all my children can say that they have read all the scriptures. I also study. Usually in the evenings and on the weekends. I find that if we start the day as a family, it makes it much easier for me to also study on my own. The biggest change in our family came when we all started getting up early in the morning to read together. It just has inspired us in all the right ways.

  2. This is something I've really been trying to get back into the habit of as well. Getting up early when you're already sleep deprived is hard to do. One of the sisters I visit teach and I joke because we both keep our scriptures in the bathroom since that's where we're most likely to have an uninterrupted five minutes. Now I also try to make sure I have them with me to read as I nurse or put the baby to sleep.

  3. Hi Heather
    Like minded individuals share the same Spirit. I have been thinking about the concept of time lately. I realize that everyone has their own mantra about time; such as " I don't have any time, ever". "I never have enough time"etc. So I thought about my own "time". I work 10 hrs a day, 4 days a week. It takes me 1.5 hrs each way to work. I set the clock to wake at 4:30 am but I snooze until 05:30 and rush around trying to make up time. I decided to stop this defeating behavior. I realize that I waste as much time as I have. I considered what our Heavenly Father teaches us about time.He himself is endless, with no beginning or end, but he has given us the concept of time,to choose to work within the confines and limitations and to make a choice. In D&C 25,the Savior challenges Emma Smith in verse 1.... "and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion."
    He is offering her an opportunity to choose that which is better. To spend a portion of her time "in the nurture and admonition" of the Lord.In verse 10 he admonishes her :"And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better"
    When Christ was on earth he counseled another handmaiden named Martha. In Luke 10 38-41,Martha is busy with the house and dinner and everything.Out of frustration she ask's Jesus to tell her sister Mary that she has chores also. He counseled her this way in verse 41
    41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
    42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
    What is that good part.Good is referenced in Hebrew as tov. That good part that is the part that functions well in the purpose it was designed for.
    2 Timothy 2:15 admonishes us to:"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth"

    What I decided to do was get out of bed when the clock rings. I get up and step away from the bed. I make it up quickly. I get on my knees and thank our Heavenly Father for another day,and a good nights sleep. As I drive to work I listen to inspirational music. On my lunch breaks I read inspirational blogs like yours that motivate me to dig into those scriptures. When I am finally home from work, my husband and I share what the Lord has done for us, read scriptures,work on lessons,etc.We have family prayer before he goes to work at night.
    Sorry for the length of this,not a sermon,just a thought.

  4. Wonderful suggestions, like always. I tried getting up an hour earlier this morning, before my kids woke up and WOW what a difference. I felt so rejuvenated and ready for my day. I can see how if I got into a habit of it it would become a necessity in my life. I'm going to keep it up-- I hope :)

  5. When I was single, I'd study for an hour before bed. Now that I'm married- even before kids- I study at work. I have an easy care giving job. But it gets harder and harder. I have to have a specific thing I'm working on- a book, a subject, etc for me to keep my focus!

  6. Great thoughts - I have been trying to get up earlier to read my scriptures - I find it makes a big difference! I have tried it at night and in the morning - I have found I personally need it in the morning to get me through the day!

  7. I have been trying to get up earlier... no distractions, no noise. And those days that I don't get up earlier than my 3 boys I try to make sure that I don't check email, read books, etc until I have had my scripture study.

  8. Hi, I recently found your blog and I'm so glad I did! I have also sought for women in the scriptures that I could learn from and relate to. Finding your blog is like hitting the gold mine!
    The only time I've been able to be consistent with my personal scripture study is right before bed; although lately it has been more just reading a few verses than really studying. Working on that!
    Just a thought on use of time: whenever I start to feel like I don't have time for something--scriptures, visiting teaching, etc--I remember something one of my roommates used to say: "You MAKE TIME for the things that are important to you." So then I start to change my thinking--how can this task become more important to me? (usually involves prayer) and where/how can I make some time for it?