I just finished reading a little book called, The Ten Second Prayer Principle.
The concept of praying short prayers all day may happen naturally for you, but I was intrigued by a few things in this book.
It’s possible for prayers to become stale. It’s possible to say the same bedtime prayers and meal time prayers over and over. It’s possible to cry out, “Lord, help me!” over and over to the point that it becomes nothing more than words. When we pray short, life connected, relationship driven prayers – the connection with God the Father is more real. A morning prayer list routine is awesome, but short prayers many times during the day help us stay focused on God and His work in our lives on a constant basis.
The scripture teaches us to pray continuously. One way this happens is as we breathe short prayers throughout the day. Peter went from praying, “Lord, call me…” to “Lord, save me!” as he got out of the boat and again as he was sinking. Often circumstance reminds us to pray – for our family, for our work, for co-workers, for our neighbors, for situations that need supernatural intervention.
One great way to pray is to memorize and pray verses / sections from the Bible. Scripture memory doesn’t seem to be as important as it used to be for people, but the verses we memorize come back to us at the right times to help us pray. What scripture verses come to your mind that you have memorized? How do those come up when you pray? Here are some great scriptures: Phil 1:6 | Rom. 8:28 | Eph. 2:8-9 | Jer. 29:11 | Jer. 33:3 | Is. 41:10 | Matt. 28:20 | Rom. 1:16-17 | Phil 4:6-7 | 2 Tim. 1:7 | Prov. 3:5-6
What if we said a short prayer when certain things happen – when you see your family in the morning, when you arrive at work, when you encounter a problem or bad feeling? The author suggested creative triggers, such as praying every time you hear your phone ring or you switch programs on your computer. These triggers help us create a habit of prayer. I remember hearing a guy speak once who said he spent a few minutes in his driveway, just before going into the house after work, praying that he could leave his troubles at work and focus on his family for the evening. Pulling in the driveway was a reminder to pray.
PRAYING FOR OTHERS
Pray for others. Don’t feel badly if you don’t have a huge structured prayer list. Instead, remember to pray for others as you encounter them or something about them. When you see or read the news, pray for those involved: the nation’s leaders, stars and others issues facing people. When you get a text from someone, pray for them and their life. When you have a conversation with someone from work, pray for them. None of these have to be long prayers – they can be short, simple, one sentence prayers. When someone asks you to pray for them – do so right then, either quietly or aloud.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 to “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” In this little book, the author indicates that each of these may build on one another. Sometimes in prayer, we ask. Other times, we seek it out (adding action to our words). Then there are times when we are banging on the door of heaven – crying out to God in desperation. This made me think about the fact that there may be something going on in your life or in the life of a loved one that requires sacrificial, heartfelt prayer on your behalf. Others may be praying a short prayer, but you are investing everything, seeking and knocking for hours on end.
God invites us to pray. It’s difficult at times to wrap our minds around prayer, but God calls us to do it, partnering together to bring about the work. We must trust that God can and God will be at work in our lives and in the lives of others as we seek Him.
There are a couple things I will do as a result of reading this book: 1) I’m going to intentionally add ten second prayers to my prayer life and 2) I’m going to teach my kids about this practical way of praying continuously.
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