How can one make prayer more meaningful when they are so tired after working a late shift and all they want to do is sleep.
I hear you. And unfortunately, if you’re trying to say a meaningful prayer right after a really long shift, it would probably be nearly impossible to say a meaningful prayer. But I have some ideas to help.
Say a short, but meaningful prayer.
There is an urban legend about Pres Hinckley praying. Supposedly, he was staying at the home of a stake president when he was in the area on Church business. He came to his room late one night. The stake president’s wife happened to see him go to his room. He seemed to be moving very slowly from the long day he had in meetings all day. He was most likely going to go straight to bed.
She thought how nice it might be to hear what the Prophet prays about in his personal prayers. She walked slowly up to the door and quietly pressed her ear to the door. She heard the following:
Dear Heavenly Father,
I am tired. But I am thankful.
Then he closed his prayer and went to bed. Just an urban legend as far as I know. But it illustrates a valuable principle. “Long” does not equal “meaningful”. And “short” does not equal “meaningless.” Just be sure it is sincere and at least give thanks.
Set apart some time during the week or day to say a longer more in depth prayer.
It doesn’t have to be at night when you’re dead tired. It could be at lunch hour. You’ve already prayed to give thanks for your food. As you’re eating lunch, ponder the blessings of the Lord. Have a conversation with Him. Express your gratitude. Express your concerns. Ask for guidance over difficult things. Ask for strength to continue doing what you’re doing that’s right. Talk to Him about things for which you need to repent.
It could just be on a weekend or another day off where you really stop and give the Lord your undivided attention.
Short, informal, frequent prayers
As you’re going throughout your day or week, whether at work, home, or play, notice the little blessings in life and just look up to heaven and say “thank you.”
Now, get some sleep. You’ll thank me later.