got a minute?

Got a minute? We toss our minutes around like spare pennies. But pause and reflect: Your minutes matter. 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 on the test–by nearly half a letter grade. Another  group of researchers discovered that subjects who relaxed and closed their eyes, letting their minds wander for exactly eight minutes experienced a significant boost in short-term memory. Still another team of scientists (don’t you wonder who has time to do 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.

What can happen with a minute of prayer?  It might just change the trajectory of your life. That’s what happened to me when I began to pray this simple prayer:  “Lord, 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, a place where Christians were undergoing intense persecution.  In time, my feet found their way to the Sudan, and I met people like Ryan Boyette, the young American who is risking his life to tell the story of genocide in the Nuba Mountains.

Tuesdays, I prayed for the tiny African nation of Burundi, and I’ve now completed my fourth missions trip to the war ravaged country.   Soon, I’ll travel to India, also on my “Tuesday list.”  I set my cell phone to pray each day at noon for a persecuted pastor in Syria whose name I can’t mention.  And I lift my voice in a prayer of agreement with the thousands praying for the release of  Pastor Saeed Abedini a US citizen unjustly imprisoned in Iran.

Hebrews 13:3 gives us this reminder:  “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Friends, something miraculous happens when you give your minutes to God for prayer.  It’s as if the Holy Spirit carves out a pathway in your brain and begins to remind you to pray.  A minute here.  A minute there.  Day after day.  And prayer, God promises, can move mountains.

Got a minute? Are you willing to pray for a nation? Just a minute a day.  Then ask God to break your heart for the things that break His. Hold on tight…it just might be the ride of your life!

5 responses to “got a minute?

  • Kathy Martin

    Dear Marilynn,

    I was so encouraged to see you praying for Saeed!  Have you met Naghmeh, his wife?  Would you have a slot in your church for her to come and speak?  Let me know, thanks!

    In His Service, Kate Martin

  • Ellen Gwyn

    Hi Marilyn, Why do you always pray for people in other countries? I look at us, America, and see just as much to pray for here. And I do! Does it make us any better to pray for help for people in other countries than to pray for our own country, our mistreated people, our starving people, etc…? Just wondering, Ellen


  • marilynnchadwick

    Hi Kathy, Would love any information you have about Pastor Saeed and Naghmeh. We heard her speak in our city. Powerful. Together,

  • marilynnchadwick

    And great question, Ellen. You are so right. It is important to pray for the needs in our own neighborhood and nation. One reason I pray for those in other nations is because there are many who also love Jesus, which means they are part of God’s family. Many of them are persecuted for their faith, so it’s good to remember them, as Hebrews 13:3 reminds us.

  • bunnyb1802


    What a challenge! There have been times Ive felt “well I just can’t pray for it all” and that has been my rationale for not praying for the persecuted church or the poor in Haiti or the wartorn African nations.

    That was because I assumed I had to pray a long time for such places and I was already praying for a long list of people and my own homeland.

    Incredible how I never thought that actually I could take a minute of time and use it for such prayers.
    Thank you for this. This is doable and allows me to keep praying for my own nation but to also remember the suffering and lost in other nations.

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