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Not  too long ago, I found myself, once again, sitting on the balcony of my hotel room, listening to the calming sounds of the rain coming down and staring at the silhouette of Volcan de Agua. The internet was not so good this day, so the calls home to family kept dropping, which left me to my own thoughts. My mind was racing about the workday that had just finished and the workday ahead the following day. What was the next step going to be? How was I going to make the deadline? How was I going to be everything for everyone that needed me?

An unfortunate reality for me is that this question runs through my mind a lot, as I am supposed to be the steadfast rock of my house. I am to be the provider, the protector, the loving husband, and the father, as well as the spiritual leader. So often, I find myself in the same predicament as that day on the balcony; always worrying about tomorrow and what is in store for me. At these times, I realize that I am taking too much on and need to slow down. For me, slowing down means turning on worship music and reconnecting with God. By doing so opens my heart to receive His word and calm my mind and soul.

By slowing down and reconnecting, it empowers me to have a more powerful! prayer time. One that is fiI led with rejoice, an honest regret, and an openness to becoming a better version of myself. You see, prayer is an important part of my life and who I have become since turning my I ife over to Christ. It has not always been easy, and I am definitely sure I could be better at it. However, the real truth is that I am miles ahead of where I was all those yea rs ago when I first started.

When I first started, all I could remember was The Lord’s Prayer (I am referencing Matthew 6:9-13). You know how it goes: “Our Father, who art in heaven….” So, this is where I started; a simplle beginning to me asking for forgiveness and praising God for all that he has done and will do in my I ife. As I grew older, my prayer time has morphed into something greater, and my time spent in soliitude and reverence has led me to the place where II am today. You see, The Lord’s Prayer is a guide for all of us to follow in our alone time with Him. We are to acknowledge God for who and what he is. We are then to ask him to come into our liife and take it over so that His will is what is driving us. We then ask for Him to provide for that day and that day onlly, as welI as to forgive others just as he has forgiven us. Lastly, we need to close it out with his help to overcome temptation and evil.

It is really that simple, yet it still remains difficult for most of us. Prayer time is your time to reenter your heart, body, and minds, as well as to connect you to the father who created you. It is your cha nee to tell Him that you love him. More importantly, it is His chance to tell you that He loves you. Today, as I pen this reflection, I have a new peace throughout my heart. I have a greater understanding of what my prayer life means to me and how much it affects who I will be today. Take the time. Connect with our father. Pray first. Pray always.

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, ad forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:9-13