How A Longer Commute Strengthened My Prayer Life

7633664078_8212c46e2a_zSometimes God uses annoying things to bring us closer to Him. In fact, when I think about it, he probably uses those things much more than things we’re happy about. He’s certainly used disappointment, pain and frustration to improve my character over the years and to remind me of his own grace and faithfulness.

In any case, a few years ago my employer’s office relocated much further from my home. Suddenly my pleasant 20-30 minute commute was an hour, each way. Spending two hours each day on the road became a huge routine loss of time and reduction in what I could accomplish day to day.

Initially, I started listening to podcasts like Fighting for the Faith in the car so that it wasn’t a total waste of time. At some point I realized that if I spent time in prayer while driving it would ensure that I was praying regularly and get me focused on Jesus before starting my work day. Listening to a few hymns, worship songs or most recently old gospel music and then praying the rest of my drive has been so beneficial for my relationship with Jesus and certainly kept my mind and heart more regularly fixed on the cross and the gospel than it would have otherwise been.

It also had the added benefit of cutting down on my frustration with other drivers. No small feat considering DC consistently ranks at or near the top for the worst drivers in the nation.

The Word Palm Sunday Edition: Matthew 21:1-11

TriumphalEntry

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.

They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Matthew 21:1-11 ESV

The Word: Psalm 63:1-4

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you,

my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,

beholding your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love is better than life,

my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you as long as I live;

in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 63:1-4 ESV