by Lane Severson
Ever since the Disciples asked Jesus how to pray people have been changing up the pattern to work better for their schedule, personality, or just to get better results. In fact, prayer styles are a lot like workout routines. Take a look.
The Lord's Prayer - 8 Minute Abs
Jesus' instruction to his disciples is the 8 Minute Abs of prayer. The Lord's Prayer is super fast. It is consistent. And it will never, ever, let you down. In just a few short minutes you can cast your cares upon him, confess your sins, and bring a sacrifice of praise. If you want to cut up your spiritual abs effectively this is the way to go.
The Jesus Prayer - Marathon Training
In less than 70 years Paul left Jesus' short and sweet model and began telling his followers that he "prayed constantly." The Greek Orthodox in typical bad-ass fashion figured out a way to pray all the time. They called it The Jesus prayer. You just repeat a short prayer over and over and over and over for the rest of your life. It is just like running a marathon, except instead of putting one foot in front of the other in a never ending cycle you put one prayer in front of the other in a never ending cycle. Also breathing is very important for both.
Mass - Cycling Class
Cycling classes and Mass are great for the exact same reason, there are a bunch of other people there and no one can tell how hard you are trying. If you want you can prop your butt up on that pew/saddle and space out for a good 20 minutes and hit the showers. Now you could also get a really good workout and lots of people do. I'm just saying, it is a great place if you don't feel super motivated yourself.
Book of Common Prayer - Nautilus Machines
Nautilus machines were invented at least in part to kill the personal trainer. Each machine trains one muscle and it is easy to use them without hurting yourself. The Book of Common Prayer works in similar fashion. It is basically impossible to hurt yourself using it. It can also get pretty dull, so have a good playlist ready on your iPod.
Pentecostal Prayer - CrossFit
What do CrossFit and Pentacostal Prayer have in common? Intensity. you don't really need to know what is going on, you just need to get out there and give it everything you have. It is also not uncommon for someone to black out during a session of either.
Popcorn Prayer - Pick-up Basketball
Popcorn prayer is the Evangelical stand-by. Everybody shares their requests and then you spend a couple minutes popping some prayers up. You don't have to do much if you don't want to. But everyone is encouraged to take a few shots. There's not a daily requirement to show up like mass or anything. It's laid back and perfect for any time you and your dudes are hanging out and need to kill some time.
Lane Severson is a former child prodigy, current father of five, and Anglican. He blogs regularly at The Guilty Conscience. You can follow him on Twitter @_LxNx.
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