I came across a question on a board that I visit often. It was posted by a busy mom who really had a hard time spending serious time in prayer. It reminds me a lot of my own life. Busyness sometimes gets the better of me, and I find prayer-time hard to come by. (Wake up before your kids is a great idea unless one surprises you at 5am, teething!) I posted some of this on that thread. The following comments are just a personal reflection on my prayer life.
For me it is a lot like Practicing the Presence of God. It is a book by Brother Lawrence, written sometime in the 1600's I believe. It is involving God in your everyday. Here is how it works for me:
In the mornings when I wake (usually around 5 with a baby) I say a prayer similar to what was mentioned before, dedicating my day to God, asking for His hand to guide me, to focus on what is important, open my eyes to those who need my help, and I pray that at the end of the day my day will be something I can present as pleasing to God.
During the day I whisper prayers here or there. I heard a suggestion of leaving your Bible open on the counter, say to Psalms, and read a quick line or two before you load the dishwasher or fold the laundry. Meditate on the scripture while you scrub, cook, fold etc.
Pray that God opens your eyes to his works. A beautiful bird on your tree in the front yard (while you whisk your children to the grocery store for the milk and diapers that you desperately need) can be a reminder that God is there, and that He loves you and cares about you. I love flowers for that reason. They do nothing but grow (hopefully) and declare the wondrous works of the Lord.
Words of thankfulness offered up to the Lord when you get a big hug from a child, or a big fall ends with just a little bruise instead of a broken bone . . .(not that the trip to the ER the other night has anything to do with this thankful thought) that conversation is a wonderful thing to have with the Lord.
Grand times of meditation and long conversations with God are very important, as are study in His Word, but for the times when a few moments of silence is hard to come by, or you fear that taking 15-20 minutes while your children are awake will result in cleaning up a sticky gooey mess, practicing that conversation is a great discipline to develop.