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Thursday, July 3, 2014

PRAYING ON VACATION

My blog this week is about praying on vacation. Many of us have taken prayer retreats that were glorious. But I am thinking about something much more difficult. I want to talk about praying on a family or recreational vacation.
So many things contrive to disrupt our prayer lives when we go on vacation. I am on vacation visiting relatives as I write this. And my my prayer times have hardly been complete a single day. The first problem is simply in the purpose and preoccupation of vacation. We are usually focused on recreation. Also the rhythm of our routines are broken. We have to catch the ferry at 4:00 A.M. Or we sleep in until 10:30. And we have to coordinate our schedule with family, extended family and others. If you have ever been on vacation, you know several more things that interrupt regular prayer.
What do you do about it? The very best thing I have ever heard about was done by my close friend and associate. From the time his children were small he planned devotions into their vacations months in advance. He prepared a fun personal devotional guide for each member of the family that went together with what they were going to do each day. I'm sure there was a time he faced the natural and spiritual opposition of instituting this program. But the children grew to be excited about this aspect of their vacation. And they treasure those devotional guides well into adulthood. I suspect this would be too difficult or impossible for most of us. But I wanted to plant the idea for some of you to think about.
A similar and less involved tactic might be simply planning a specific time for personal prayer and devotions for each day and talk with the family about the next day's prayer time.
I also think it worthwhile to continually remind yourself to pray for each family member and every other person you see or come in contact with through each day.
The most important thing you can do is pray about it in advance and during your vacation. If you read my blog at all you know that I believe the most important thing you can do to develop an extraordinary prayer life is to pray and keep praying for God to help you do it. Pray for God to keep you in communication with Him every day of your trip. I think you will find nothing brings more joy to a good time than prayer.

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