I am not a person who finds it easy to pray for an extended period of time. For me, an extended time of prayer is hard work because I have difficulty sitting still and quieting my mind.
Because Jesus Christ is the center of my existence, this area of my life has caused me much anguish. I have taken time to read about prayer, study prayer and practice prayer. I have dissected the prayer experience and have created prayer times that people have found transcendent and transformational. In fact, people tell me that I am an excellent prayer coach.
I feel like a fake! I’m a great coach, but I want to be a player!
I recently found out that the participants in the opening ceremonies at the Turnin Olympics (2006) did daily drills for over a year. By the time the games began, they had practiced their routines more than ten thousand times?
Experts such as Daniel Levitin, the author of This Is Your Brain On Music, and Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers: The Story of Success figure that it takes ten thousand hours of practice to become an expert in almost anything.
So what does this mean for me? I guess it means that I will have to pray for at least half an hour every day for almost a year to become a player.
The fruit of this effort is that each half hour spent in prayer translates to 30 minutes less time for me to be “doing something productive.”
Thus, the act of praying will mean that I will be forced to rely on God.
Please Lord, give me the faith and patience to rely on you. “Not my will, but your will be done.”
© [The Center for Prayer & Spiritual Growth; a ministry of First Presbyterian Church,Norfolk,Virginia] and [www.thewayofprayer.com],