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Prayer: Time Well Spent

Fr. Joel God & Faith

“You’ve just won money for life!”, says the sweepstakes envelope. The prize is $1440 every day for the rest of your life. It comes with a debit card linked to an account that will fill up just after midnight each day. No matter how much or little is left at the end of the day, just after midnight the account resets to $1440. You can spend it any way you want but you can’t save it or transfer it to a bank account. You do the math and you realize that you’re suddenly making over half a million dollars every year. How would you spend it?

If you are like most people, you would first think of all the wonderful things you could buy for yourself. Then you’d probably start thinking about loved ones and ways you could make their lives better. Then you might start musing over ways you could use your newfound riches to help the poor and make the world a better place. You want to plan your spending carefully each day so nothing is wasted.

Money Is Time

All of us have something even more precious. It’s our time. Every one of us receives 1440 minutes every single day of our lives (except daylight savings and that weird leap second). They aren’t rollover minutes; you can’t bank them. We don’t “find time” or “make time”, we receive it as a free gift. You can spend your minutes any way you want, or let it slip through your fingers. You’ve already spent a couple of them reading this post.

Most of us don’t think of budgeting our precious time, because we rarely reflect on how precious it really is. We want to spend our minutes wisely. So what should you spend your time on? Like the money in the example above, we probably first think of spending it on ourselves. Then we might start thinking how we can make others’ lives better. The most precious thing we have are the people in our lives. Each one is irreplaceable. Time spent with people is not so much spent as it is invested.

Invest In What You Care About

I’ve heard people say, “I’d love to pray more but I just can’t find the time.” The truth is, you had 1440 minutes today just like yesterday and every day of your life. We should be investing our time in the people and things we value. If you aren’t investing time in your relationship with God, you are saying God is not valuable to you. But we all know there is no more precious relationship than our relationship with God. He’s the one that gave us all the time in the first place. He knows exactly how much we have left (none of us knows that), and He wants us to use it in the best way possible. There’s no better way to invest our time than to invest it with God.

You’ll spend eternity with God; you certainly don’t want the conversation to be awkward. Start investing now in the people that truly matter to you. And start by investing a little more time in your relationship with God. The best part is, prayer can happen anywhere. We can pray when we are traveling, stuck in traffic, waiting for the bus, or falling off to sleep. Next time you think you’re too busy to pray, ask yourself, “Am I investing my precious time in people and things I actually care about?” Prayer can allow us to fill our minutes with love, and turn time into time well spent.