How the “Stop Doing List” Changed my Prayer Life

If you know me, even a little, you know that prayer is very important to me. However, that wasn’t always the case. Like everyone else, I am busy and have a lot of responsibilities. It is easy to make excuses as to why I don’t have time to pray. However, prayer is something that I know I need to fit into my schedule regularly so I went on a quest to change my habits and make more space for it in my life.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Thus, I decided to finally create and stick with a morning routine. If you are a long-time reader, you may remember me gushing about Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Morning Course. I’ve mentioned the course several times because ever since I’ve started implementing the strategies outlined in the course, I’ve been able to make time to pray in the morning almost every day. I kid you not. Sure, I’m not perfect and I’ve missed once in a while; however, skipping my prayer time is now the exception, not the norm!

The strategy that helped me most is the reminder that “the mornings start the evening before.” I created my 3-5 non-negotiable things that I wanted to get done each evening, started doing those things, and I was good to go. Therefore, when Crystal created the Make Over Your Evenings course, which I received as a free gift because I am an affiliate, I didn’t think I needed it. I mentally thanked her for the gift and promptly put it aside. Big mistake.

As usual, life got hectic and our evenings became busier. We were out of the house a lot during the evenings because of Andrew’s activities and my evening routine started falling by the wayside. Sadly, taking the time to pray before bed was one of those things that got dropped.  I knew things needed to change so I decided to go ahead and check out the Make Over Your Evenings course. At best, I figured I would get a couple of reminders reminders and get a little accountability.

I went through days one and two and completed the required exercises. Great. Then I started working through day three and – boom – MIND BLOWN!

On day three, Crystal encourages us to look at our calendar conflicts. She borrows from Alii Worthington, author of the book Breaking Busy, and challenges us to creat a STOP DOING LIST. What is that, you ask? A stop doing list is “a list of items you intentionally decide not to do so you can focus your time and energy on your greatest priorities.”

Reading about the stop doing list reminded me that I have a choice in how I spend my time. Just like with my mornings, I can determine what my evenings look like – not my schedule, not other people and their priorities – me. Crystal goes on to ask some pointed questions that really made me think. She challenged me to reexamine the breathing room (or lack thereof) in my schedule, my sleeping habits, and my present commitments. Even more importantly, she challenged me to look for areas in my life where I have lost my joy.

I won’t lie: making my stop doing list was hard. Saying no is hard. Saying no to good things is even harder. However, if I want to keep it real and make time for the important things, letting some other things go is a must. Thus, I made the list and started weeding things out. It hasn’t been perfect but I’m taking baby steps and taking each day as it comes. The best thing is that I am now able to get some time for prayer in the evenings. Not every day, YET, but a few times a week at least, so YAY for progress!

Are you looking to add some prayer time into your life? Are you looking to make some changes to your life and schedule, especially with school starting up again soon? If so, I encourage you to make your own stop doing list. Better yet, I highly recommend that you take either the Make Over Your Mornings or Make Over Your Evening courses. Both courses have made a big difference for me and I am sure they will do the same for you.

And, since each course is only $17 a piece, you get a great bargain. Well worth the price, for sure.


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(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.)

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