In the midst of our fast paced, stressful lives, prayer is often the first thing we cut back on when it should be the last thing to ignore. In fact, a lack of prayer may well be the reason that our days are so stressful. There is no activity in our day, no issue that we face, no troubles we encounter that cannot be made better when it is bathed in prayer. Still, we often say, “I am too busy to pray.”
When we come to realize that God is powerful, just, holy and loving, and is willing and able to help us in our time of need, our perspective on the importance of crying out to Him in prayer changes. We find that true prayer—prayer that changes us and allows us to participate in God's work in the world—can't happen on the fly. We learn to slow down and put our attention on Him. We realize that in our over-scheduled lives, the better perspective is to understand that we are too busy NOT to pray.
The adult Bible Reading Plan is listed in detail below. To read the daily passage, simply click on the Bible reference.
For a printed version of the adult plans, click this link: Too Busy Not to Pray
For the Preschool & Children's Bible Reading Plan, click here.
Adult Bible Reading Plan
Prayer flies in the face of what we learn early on in our lives: independence, self-sufficiency, self-reliance. To those who are flying down the fast lane of life, prayer can seem to be nothing but a distraction. While prayer can feel alien to our human nature, at some point in our lives, most of us fall down on our knees, bow our heads, and cry out to God. There are lots of by-products of a life of prayer, but the most important is the qualitative difference it makes in one's relationship with God.
Day 1 Exodus 17:8-13
Reflect: How did Joshua overcome the enemy army? What did everyone involved
in this battle learn?
Apply: In what area of your life do you most need a supernatural release of God’s
Pray: Lord, I praise You that You are all-powerful. Even when I can’t see a
solution to my problem, You not only see the solution, but are powerful
enough to make it happen.
Day 2 Matthew 7:7-11
Reflect: What does this passage say about God and His relationship with us?
Apply: What parallels can you draw between God’s generosity to us and a parent’s
generosity to their children?
Pray: As a child of our Heavenly Father, list at least five blessings God has
given you and thank Him out loud for His generosity.
Day 3 Matthew 21:18-22
Reflect: What was Jesus teaching the disciples in this passage? What is the
relationship between prayer and faith?
Apply: Where are you on the spectrum of believing that God provides for us
through prayer? Why?
Pray: Lord, I want more of Your presence and power in my life and circumstances.
Increase my faith and strengthen my prayer life.
Day 4 Psalm 145:1-21
Reflect: Take note of all the accolades David gives to God. In this season of your
prayer life, which of these do you relate to the most? Why?
Apply: Re-read verses 18-20. Which of these verses describe you and your
current relationship with God? Which do you need to work on?
Pray: Lord, I pray for an ever progressing hunger for Your presence and the
desire to draw near to You.
Day 5 Acts 12:1-19
Reflect: How did the people involved in this account respond to the situation?
(Peter, Rhoda, and others in the home) What did God accomplish in
response to their prayers?
Apply: Who do you most relate to in this story and why? How will this help
your prayer life?
Pray: Lord, I want to experience Your approachability, faithfulness and
trustworthiness as I grow in my prayer life.
In all of the Gospels, we see numerous mentions of Jesus’ prayer life; we find Him praying regularly, privately, sincerely, and specifically. The fervor and frequency of His praying was not missed by His disciples; in fact, after seeing Him praying privately they asked Him to teach them how to pray. To have the kind of intimate relationship that Jesus had with God takes persistent effort. We have to make a decision to pursue the Father through reading and meditating on Scripture and through consistent, passionate prayer. How we do that is different for each person. We each need to approach the discipline of prayer in a way that works for us.
Day 1 Luke 11:1-4
Reflect: How is an expectation to pray revealed in this passage? What would you
say are the key components to the prayer Jesus recited?
Apply: Which of the lines of this prayer do you focus on the most? Which do you
need to incorporate more in your prayers?
Pray: Lord, I don’t want to pray on auto pilot but rather learn to come before You
boldly with my concerns and requests.
Day 2 Matthew 6:5-8
Reflect: What are the do’s and don’ts Jesus taught about prayer in this passage?
Apply: What does your current prayer time look like? Do you have a specific time
and place for prayer? Do you pray more for what you want or what
you need? What needs to happen for you to create a habit of prayer?
Pray: Lord, I want to get serious about regular prayer—time alone with You
to freely converse and to hear Your voice.
Day 3 Genesis 32:22-32
Reflect: Why do you think God rewarded a wrestling match and a verbal demand
from Jacob? What does God’s response reveal about His nature?
Apply: When have you gone to the mat with God? What answers have you
received by wrestling with Him?
Pray: Authentically and earnestly share with God those things that You are
wrestling with. Write out your prayer.
Day 4 Philippians 4:6-7
Reflect: How are we to present our requests to God? Why do you think a sovereign,
omniscient God wants this type of specificity from His children?
Apply: When have you received peace after crying out to God about your needs?
What do you need to pray about right now that is causing worry or anxiety?
Pray: Lord, I surrender my worries to You. In Your presence I don’t need to be
anxious or afraid of anything. Your peace and power give me strength
Day 5 Hebrews 4:14-16
Reflect: How are we to approach God in prayer? Why?
Apply: What is one bold prayer request you are compelled to make known
to God today?
Pray: Father, increase my faith daily so I can pray in power, believing that the
situation can change.
Most of us would agree that prayer is an important discipline; we would also agree that it often feels hard. Sometimes we even think, “What's the point?” especially when we've been praying and not getting the answers we're looking for. Once we understand how God answers our prayers, and the attitudes and prayers God honors, everything changes. We learn from Scripture how to approach God in prayer. We also see that there are hindrances to our prayers being heard and that motives and postures matter to God.
Day 1 James 5:13-16
Reflect: What is the underlying theme of this passage regarding prayer? When is it
appropriate to call out to God in prayer? Why?
Apply: Would you describe your prayer life as wholehearted or hit-or-miss? When
have you experienced prayerlessness? Who is most impacted by this?
Pray: Lord, help me to pray purposefully, persistently and expectantly.
Day 2 Isaiah 58:6-14
Reflect: What hindrances are given to God hearing us and answering prayer?
Apply: Why did God establish a strong connection between our commitment to
selfless living and our receiving answers in prayer? Where are you on this?
Pray: Lord, through prayer, show me the needs that surround me and convey
how You want me to respond.
Day 3 Matthew 5:23-24; 1 Peter 3:7; Romans 12:18
Reflect: What is the common situation given in these passages that stands in the
way of our prayers being heard?
Apply: Are there any broken relationships or unresolved conflicts that you need to attend to right now?
Pray: Lord, I confess my sin that resulted in this broken relationship. I ask You to
forgive me and to show me next steps in restoring this conflict.
Day 4 Lamentations 3:40-42; Isaiah 59:2
Reflect: According to these verses, what separates us from God? Why?
Apply: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any unconfessed sin or areas in which
you need to repent and take to God in prayer.
Pray: By the power of Your Holy Spirit, help me to hide Your Word in my heart
so I will not sin against You.
Day 5 Isaiah 1:16-20
Reflect: What is God’s advise to the nation Israel? How does this relate to prayer?
Apply: Based on this passage, what is your role, and what is God’s role, in the process of getting your life back on track when you have neglected to go His way?
Pray: Lord, create in me a clean heart and teach me to seek Your presence in
prayer, praise and worship. Enable me to live according to Your ways.
Success in an endeavor comes only by hard work, and that includes prayer. Once we strengthen our prayer muscles, determined to make prayerfulness a way of life, we begin to hear more and more from God, not just answers to our requests, but promptings from Him as well. Our goal should be to become people of prayer, people who believe in both the nearness of God and the immensity of God; people who
depend on God at all times and are ready to respond to His majestic whispers.
Day 1 Acts 10:1-20
Reflect: What were both Cornelius and Peter doing in this passage? What was the
result? What does this say about them and their relationship with the Lord?
Apply: What would change if you made an effort to commune with God throughout
the day? How do you usually respond to promptings you hear from God?
Pray: Holy Spirit, I pray that that I will hear You speaking to my heart and obey
Day 2 1 Samuel 3:1-10
Reflect: What was remarkable about the time when Eli and Samuel lived? Why do you
think Samuel did not recognize God’s voice? How do you recognize Him?
Apply: In solitude and stillness, what might God say to you?
Pray: God, help me set aside time each day to meet with You alone.
Day 3 1 John 4:1-6
Reflect: What does John warn us about in this passage?
Apply: How can you be sure a particular prompting is from the Lord? What are some ways to test what you hear in prayer?
Pray: Lord, teach me to recognize Your promptings so as not to be deceived by
counterfeits and distractions.
Day 4 John 15:7-17
Reflect: How do verses 7 and 8 work together? What impact does God’s Word abiding
in your heart have on your prayers? If you are a “friend” of Jesus, what other
things would you be doing? What would the Father do?
Apply: How willing are you to do what God asks of you in response to your prayer
time with Him?
Pray: Lord, my heart wants to obey You in all things. Help me to always be
learning about Your ways through abiding in Your Word and spending time
with You in prayer.
Day 5 Isaiah 6:1-8
Reflect: What did Isaiah experience in his solitude with God? What were
Apply: Have you ever prayed the prayer “What’s mine to do, Lord?” Might you be
willing to pray this prayer now?
Pray: Lord, thank You that as a Christ-follower, I can live in Your presence,
knowing that You are faithful to answer and guide me.