My family is incredibly busy. Right outside of our kitchen, we have a 3-foot by 2-foot dry erase calendar which is completely full.

We have a one-page document detailing everyone’s morning routine connected to the refrigerator with magnets. There’s a second document next to it that includes the entire after-school routine for each day of the week, including who is walking the dog, emptying the dishwasher and setting the table.

My family has our schedule down to a science and it’s considered normal for my sisters and me to have four activities within two hours.

The insane truth is that level of activity has become common. Everyone has something to do from the moment he or she wakes up to the second his or her head hits the pillow, and even then it’s often difficult to fall asleep with all of the not-yet-accomplished activities resonating back and forth in a mind that isn’t quite ready to shut down for the night.

We feel compelled to make time for everything, often pushing aspects of life which are decidedly “not vital for daily life” such as prayer to the side — a problem addressed in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

The problem of time management is thousands of years old, and the answer has remained constant: there is a time for everything, even prayer.

Prayer often isn’t viewed as an essential part of daily life because it is difficult to measure its benefits. Prayer doesn’t make dinner nor does it clean the house nor finish a project for school. Furthermore, traditional prayer often seems to have a very limited effect. Prayer is one of the most personal aspects of life, and there is no solitary model for prayer that works for everyone.

Mother Teresa said, “Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.” Just as everyone’s friendships are unique, everyone’s friendship with God is unique.

The traditional method of praying when you wake up, before meals, and before bed may work for some people, but not everyone. It is vital to maintain a friendship with God to find a genuine way to be with him.

I find it easiest to feel God’s presence when I’m walking, and that most often occurs when I’m on duty for walking the dog that day. Like any friendship, praying is simply another conversation.

While walking the dog, I “talk” to God about whatever is going on in my life. If I have a need or concern, I share that with God. I use prayer as a chance to reflect on my life and say a quick “thank you” for anything that has been going well.

If I am thinking of people who need help more than I do, I offer a prayer for them. My prayer is simple, a conversation that continues my friendship with him. Others find God while doing yoga, reading Scripture, participating in mindfulness, or thinking while on the drive home from work. Wherever you feel closest to God is a valid form of prayer, and it is an important time to incorporate into everyday life.

It’s not necessary to completely rearrange your schedule to make time for prayer, but five or 10 minutes here and there works wonders to increase patience, compassion and happiness.

Friendship with God is like any other friendship: you get out what you put in. When you take the time out of a busy day to pray, you might find a 10-minute monologue about your sixth grade sister’s Egyptian project more humorous.

I haven’t experienced any result of prayer where I saw a bright light and all of my problems were solved, but prayer’s subtle effects have helped me handle some of those problems myself, in ways I hadn’t considered before I prayed about them.

Taking a closer look at our “February Morning Routine” document hanging on the refrigerator, a visitor might notice that even though our family schedule is pretty crazy, we have a plan to start every day right.

The first timeslot is “6-6:15 a.m.: Mindfulness and Prayer.” There is a time for everything and a season for everything under the heavens. Prayer is no exception.

(Liam is the second oldest of the four Scobey-Polacheck children. He is a senior at Dominican High School, Whitefish Bay.)