Prayer Is Like Date Night

In our last podcast, I talked about how I struggle with keeping prayer on vacation. When I go on vacation, I pause a lot of my routines and schedules to free myself up to be more present in the moment. I was noticing that I was pausing too many things, one of those being prayer.

I am a routine oriented person. I have found that routines help free space in my mind to think and not get bogged down with mundane questions like, “where are my keys…wallet…kids…” etc. One of the issues with routine is that they can become dry and boring.

Actually, that’s only true if you are doing routines incorrectly. See, I have a tendency to make the “if one is good, more is better” mistake regularly. I will have a routine and see that it benefits me, so then I take everything in my life and try to make it a routine. If we are staying at the macro level, that still isn’t a problem. I go way past macro and try to do routines in the micro and then I try to get everyone around me in my routine. That is when something good chokes the life out of me.

Routines are necessary for success though.

I have been thinking about our conversation and the advise that AJ gave me and came to this conclusion. Routines are like date night.

Date night is something that is scheduled and on the calendar. Even though it is planned for, it still has room for spontaneity and freedom. We don’t have to do anything specific on date night, we just have to do something together. Scheduling it and writing it on the calendar just ensures that it happens.

I believe that is the proper approach to prayer on vacation. My prayer doesn’t have to look like it does at home. I’m not going to have the same things available to me. For example, I don’t travel with my 1500 page study Bible. It’s okay for my prayer to look different, I just need it to happen. One of the things I like to do on vacation is get up early and spend some time by myself. In NYC I used this time to go get breakfast and bring it back to the hotel. When I was in Syracuse, I used that time to do some fishing on the river. I scheduled that time and made it happen. In the future, I will be incorporating prayer in those moments.

The last piece I want to incorporate in vacation is journaling. I have started journaling a few minutes each night. That is something easy to do in lamp light while the kids are dozing. Journaling will help me process my experiences and allow me to express gratitude in prayer then, but also give me some specifics to pray about the next morning.

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