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9 prayer hacks: A cheat sheet for the spiritual life of leaders

| by Margaret Marcuson

Do you think you ought to pray more? Do you have trouble finding time for prayer? Here are nine time-saving ways to develop spiritually.

1. Don’t make yourself pray.

I’m all for a spiritual discipline of regular prayer. However, if you are struggling with prayer, try this as an experiment.

2. Pray your favorite Bible text.

Maybe this is a passage you already know from memory or nearly so. You wouldn't even need to look it up on your phone, let alone have a Bible with you.

3. Ask someone else in your church to pray for you.

Result: more prayer without any more time from you.

4. Pray the “Jesus prayer.”

“Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.” Six words, a whole prayer. This is also a great prayer for one minute of meditation—inhale, “Lord Jesus,” exhale, “have mercy.” Four words.

5. Sing a favorite spiritual song as a prayer while you are driving.

Next week, try a different song.

6. Thank God, right now.

Start with something you can see (your computer or smartphone, to start). Even better, write down, with a pen, five things you are thankful for.

7. Breathe.

The Holy Spirit is as close to you as your breath. Remember that in the biblical languages, the word for spirit and breath is the same.  

8. Read the words “In God WeTrust” from a dollar in your wallet.

Pray for trust, for your finances and the rest of your life.

9. Pray at least during the first minute you exercise.

While a prayer practice isn’t simply about saving time, any prayer is better than no prayer. Choose one of these nine practices, the one that seems the easiest or most appealing. Do it for a week. Repeat.

Photo source: istock

Margaret Marcuson

Rev. Margaret Marcuson helps ministers do their work without wearing out or burning out, through ministry coaching, presentations and online resources. Margaret is the author of Leaders Who Last: Sustaining Yourself and Your Ministry and MoneyandYour Ministry: Balance the Books While Keeping Your Balance. She served as a pastor for 15 years.

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