Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Increasing Prayer for a Closer Relationship with God

My prayer frequency has its ebbs and flows.  The times in my life that I am at the most peace and have the most strength is when I am in constant conversation with God.  I am not talking about saying a prayer before meals and at bedtime or even at "quiet time."  By "constant conversation" I mean that as I go about my day, I am constantly praying and praising Him about various things.  For example, as I am driving and Luke is singing a precious song in his sweet voice, I say to God, "Thank you so much for your wonderful blessings, including my precious children."  Or, if another vehicle almost runs into me, I say, "thank you God for keeping us safe."  I will admit I am pretty good about praising God-especially these past 7 months or so, because I really feel so thankful and blessed.  The part that I struggle with most is communicating with Him constantly about "life".  For example, if I am having a parenting struggle with one of my children during the day, I sometimes forget to just stop and pray about it.  Instead, I may let frustration build.  I can tell you this though:  the times that I just take a break and pray about the situation go SO MUCH better than those situations that I try to handle "solo."

I long to be in constant conversation with God, but sometimes "life" gets in the way and takes over my time, energy and priorities.  So, I began something recently to get me back into the habit of having regular conversations with God throughout my day.  It is called the 60/60 experiment.  A local pastor, John Burke, wrote a book called, "Soul Revolution."  In this book, he challenges readers to do a simple 60-day experiment in faith.   Set an alarm--either on your phone, your watch or other timer--for one minute (60 seconds) every hour (60 minutes).  Use that minute to talk to God.  This gets you into the habit of the "constant communication" that I mentioned above.  I simply created an "event" on my smartphone calendar for every hour of the day.  I set the event to recur each day.  I plan on doing this for 60 days.  I remember one of my friends who I worked with went through this experiment.  Honesty, each time I heard her alarm go off (hourly) in the office, it reminded me to talk to God (even though I wasn't even part of the experiment at the time.)  So, I know it works.  :-)

John writes on his "Soul Revolution" site:

A big misunderstanding people have doing the 60/60 Experiment is that they’re supposed to stop and “pray” when their watch beeps every 60 minutes. Please—don’t just “pray!” I mean, prayer is great, but so often prayer becomes stopping to tell God what’s up or what we’d like him to do—this is different. It’s not that any kind of prayer is bad, but in this 60-60 Experiment, we’re trying to do much more than “stop and pray” every hour. The watch beeper going off every hour and other creative reminders (like “60/60” post-it notes everywhere) are just that—reminders to interrupt our habit of ignoring God most of the time. We’re seeking to develop a new habit (using this spiritual discipline of a simple watch beeping). The goal is minute by minute communication with your Creator—in both a “talking over” and a “listening” posture. You’re seeking to develop a habit of including God in on all your thoughts, pure and sinful, all your decisions, all your lustful looks, all your victories, all your judgmental pronouncements, all your stresses, all your celebrations, talking it over with Him. See, this is living in reality (where God lives). Just because we ignore God doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what’s really going on inside us—now, we’re just getting brutally honest with ourselves before God and talking it all over with Him. And…we’re trying to trust Him enough to take risks to do it His way and just see if His way isn’t actually what we longed for all along. God wants to do life—all of it—with you. “Cast your cares on Him (all of them) for he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Want to try the experiment with me?  You can start today including God in your "life."

Go to for information on the book, "Soul Revolution", as well as other helpful resources.  

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