Health experts say we should walk ten thousand steps a day to be fit, so I bought a pedometer. You wear it clipped to your waist and it counts your steps. It is clever enough to know the difference between times you jiggle it doing other things and what are real steps. Then it works out how far you have walked, how many calories you have burned, and how much time you have spent walking.
I was quite shocked at the end of the first day to find that although I had walked over four thousand steps, I had only spent 22 minutes walking – out of a whole day! We take many steps in little ways, but need to spend dedicated time going for a walk to get anything like the right number of steps.
It is the same with prayer. If our thoughts turn to God occasionally during the day, we may feel that we have spent quite some time with Him. But if we had a spiritual pedometer – how much time would it actually add up to?
Just like incidental walking, there is scriptural encouragement to pray all the time, whatever we are doing. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess.5:17), and this links to what he wrote to the Corinthians: "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor.10:31). But Jesus himself said, "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret." (Matt.6:6)
Just as it is vital to your health to do some dedicated walking, it is vital to your spiritual health to do some dedicated praying. What are the results of your spiritual pedometer?
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