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!