One minute prayer
I felt certain I had already blogged on this, but I couldn't find it this morning. So if this is redundant, I apologize. But then again, some things bear repeating!
I read a book a while back called Mini Habits. It affirmed something the Lord had already been teaching me about prayer: If you want to start a new habit in your life, start small. Real small. Start with something so utterly un-overwhelming that you won't find your willpower caving in on you or fighting against you.
It all began for me when I was asked to share a brief 3-5 minute presentation on the persecuted church. At the end I challenged us all to spend just one minute a day praying for those who are being persecuted. That day, I began to do that, establishing a new habit in my life. One minute. So easy. Even if I've not gotten to it all day and I come to the end of the day dead tired, one minute is doable.
Often that one minute has turned into several minutes. It has also spurred me to read articles on persecution so I can pray from a more informed position and more specifically. Not only have I grown in my awareness of persecution that is happening around the world, but my heart and burden for those who are persecuted has also enlarged.
Then the Lord began to expand my prayer life with other one-minute prayer burdens. If it worked to get me praying consistently for the persecuted church, couldn't it work to get me praying consistently for other things I was burdened about? Yes, indeed.
I had the privilege of leading a prayer time at a women's retreat this past spring. We had about a 45-minute time slot for group prayer. Normally, I ask people to get in groups of 3 and we spend the whole time praying together in small groups. But this time I wanted to try something different that might encourage women in their own individual prayer lives at home.
Before everyone came into the chapel, I arranged all the chairs in groups of 3 facing away from each other, chair backs to the center. I could see some questioning looks when the women first started coming in. Is this the way the chairs are supposed to be? Yes. There's a purpose here. I briefly shared about the one-minute prayer idea as a means of overcoming the overwhelmed, daunting feeling we often have toward prayer. So for the first 15 minutes of our time, I led them through 15 different prayer topics, giving them just one minute to pray for each of them.
Guess what? That time went by SO fast! The most exciting part of it all was the way women caught a vision for their own prayer lives. They were going to go home and begin one-minute prayers. YES! New habits were beginning. Hallelujah!!
Lord, make us people of prayer, one minute at a time.