|We have apps now that will measure most of our activities during the day. Our steps are counted and calories calculated. I get a weekly report on how many hours of screen time I’ve wasted. I get a morning reminder from our office suite about my tasks and what projects are left undone. However, I haven’t yet found an app that tracks my time spent in prayer.|
That might be a good thing. I’m not sure I am always as faithful in prayer as I think I am or want to be. For a Christian, prayer is one of those keystone habits we hear so much about. Keystone habits are those routines and practices that we use to operate our lives. There are certain routines we do so often that they become regular habits. Most of the time those habits make life better.
At the beginning of a New Year, we often think about resolutions or goals that we have for the year ahead. It’s the 4th of January and you may already be behind. But don’t give up. Making prayer a regular part of our lives doesn’t need to be hard. We do need to be intentional, but we don’t have to make it difficult. No one starts off by praying for an hour each day. Many times, our prayer takes place over the course of the day in little bits here and there. The main thing is to start a practice, find a time and keep the routine. We are counselled to devote ourselves “to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)
Some of the best advice on prayer comes from the Alpha course. In the session on prayer, a priest offers these three pointers: Keep it simple – no need for formal or fancy words Keep it honest – be yourself and share from the heart Keep it going – make it regular, even when it’s tough Starting with that routine should be easy enough for all of us. Building spiritual practices into our lives isn’t meant to burden us, but rather place us before God where he can speak into our lives and do the work that only he can.