Got a minute? We toss that question around like a spare penny. But I want you to pause and reflect on this thought: Your minutes matter. Think about it. Your life is made up of minutes. Minute-after-minute-after-minute. So what can you do with a minute? Apparently, lots. One university study found that students who listed their anxieties for just ten minutes prior to taking a test performed better–by nearly half a letter grade. Another group of researchers found that subjects who closed their eyes and let their minds wander for exactly eight minutes experienced a significant boost in short-term memory. Still another group of scientists (don’t you wonder who does all this research?) discovered that when people practiced “sustained gratitude” for five uninterrupted minutes, their bodies produce disease fighting antibodies! And the list goes on.
Did you know that you can pray the entire Lord’s Prayer in about a minute? That’s right, I timed it. Jesus gave this “prayer recipe” to His disciples…so it’s user-friendly enough for a bunch of fishermen and profound enough for the seasoned prayer veteran. It’s designed to help us include all the nutrients we need in our daily “prayer diet.”
So what can happen with a minute of prayer? When practiced day after day, it might just change the trajectory of your life. That’s what happened to me when I began praying for the needs of the whole world after the events of 9/11. I told God I was willing to pray for His world, and asked Him to “Break my heart for the things that break Yours.”
I began praying for people in places I’d never met…just a minute a day here and there. Monday, it was a minute a day for the Sudan. In time, my feet found their way to the Sudan, and I met people like Ryan Boyette, the young American who risks his life daily to tell the story of persecution and genocide faced daily by believers in the Nuba Mountains. Something happens when you commit to praying day after day. It’s as though the Holy Spirit carves out a pathway in your heart, and you begin to be reminded to pray at the most unusual times of day. And prayer, God tells us in His Word, can move mountains.
Got a minute? Are you willing to pray for a nation? Just a minute a day. How about starting with your own country….and then ask God to break your heart for the things that break His. Hold on tight…it could be quite an exciting ride!