LAZY IN PRAYER
BY QUIGG LAWRENCE, SUFFRAGAN BISHOP
I confess, I am by nature a lazy prayer. Or you theologs might rightly say my sinful nature (sarx) makes me a lazy prayer!
The point is that some folks find prayer an easy discipline and grace to walk in, some really struggle and some don’t even struggle, they just throw up a few “now I lay me’s” as they fall asleep.
I am in the camp of those who honestly just made excuses for decades and said “prayer is important but it is just not my gift.”
Biblically I know prayer is a gift from God for all Christians but I am so ADD or lazy that I find it hard to sit in my chair and pray for more than 3-5minutes.
Prayers of the People is one reason I am an Anglican. I LOVE corporate prayer, love the BCP, love the Collects and love that in our worship services all people pray.
So those of us who are naturally lazy or not gifted to be intercessors rise with the corporate tide.
Recently I had a huge and unexpected breakthrough in my prayer life.
No it was not going to a monastery. Nor was it reading some great work on prayer (http://www.heartsandmindsbooks.com/booknotes/a_large_list_of_books_on_praye/)
Strangely the break though came in the form of a Fitbit. If you serve Holy Communion, you will know what I am talking about. About 1 out of 3 people between the ages of 15 and 50 have these black bands on their wrist. They look sort of non-descript and aren’t very attractive. At first I thought these people were in some sort of secret society.
But alas the Fitbit is just one of many “wearable trackers” that records the number of steps you take in a day.
Finally, two years after a major shoulder and bicep surgery and two years of super sedentary leather chair lounging, I joined the Fitbit club.
From a fitness point of view, the pounds have not exactly been falling off (I usually eat to whatever level of exercise I undertake!). But I have been walking 11,000+ steps a day and my Standing pulse rate is around 59.
11,000 steps a day takes a lot of time.
So guess what I do when I walk?
Well, sometimes I yap on the phone, and sometimes I listen to sermons or bluegrass music, but most of the time I enjoy being unplugged and use the time as a literal prayer walk. Nothing fancy. No King James Language. But heartfelt prayer and intercession.
You would be amazed how easy it is to pray in depth for all your family, friends and church while walking 11,000 steps a day.
Sometimes God will use a donkey, sometimes a worm, sometimes pain. But recently he has been using something as simple as a Fitbit to help me become a man of prayer.