As a child, my parents told me I should always pray before I go to sleep, but now I'm often so tired that I drop off almost immediately. Am I offending God by not praying at the end of the day, like I was taught?
Your parents wanted to establish good habits in you, and learning to pray every night before you went to sleep certainly was one of them. The Psalmist declared, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you…. On my bed I remember you” (Psalm 63:1,6).
But prayer shouldn’t be something we do just because we think we ought to, or because we’re afraid we’ll offend God if we don’t pray. Prayer is simply talking to God, and that’s something we can do all the time. Remember, God is our loving Heavenly Father, and He wants us to come to Him and talk with Him. We know this because He sent His only Son into the world to give His life for us and make us part of His family forever. Have you asked Christ to come into your life?
Yes, it’s good to set aside a specific time during the day to pray and also read the Bible when we’re alert, and I encourage you to do this. But we can pray in our hearts as we drive or walk down the street or talk with a friend. Even if you’re tired at the end of the day, you can still pause to thank Him for His blessings.
Prayer is one of our greatest privileges as believers; make it part of your life every day. It should be as natural as eating and sleeping — and as necessary. No wonder the Bible tells us to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).