“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
“You shall meditate on [the Bible] day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it.” Joshua 1:8
Going through my iPhone the other week, I found an interesting report—it said that I had used my phone for 1 day and 19 hours. At first I thought the phone was broken because I had been using my phone for months. Then I realized that the counter was calculating how many hours I had spent talking on the phone. In the short time of owning this device I have spent almost two full days of my life talking on it. The cumulative effect of short conversations was startling.
I wonder if it would help if we approached spiritual disciplines like praying and reading scripture the same way. Often the biggest hurdle to prayer is the feeling that it has to take a while and have all the right words. And often the hurdle to reading the Bible is that it is a really long book, and not always that interesting.
However, what if we started with just small conversations with God. A brief prayer at the start of our commute before we turn on the radio. Reading a few verses—maybe what was read from the pulpit that week—of scripture before checking email.
By building in just a few moments into your day, over time the cumulative effect will probably be startling. Also, my guess we may not notice the impact immediately, but suddenly find ourselves being drawn to prayer in certain circumstances or finding scripture bubble up from within. We may discover that we pray constantly, and reflect on ideas from the Bible without realizing it.
Don’t those two scriptures at the top sound dauntingly impossible? Yet are we willing to make a small effort to spend a few moments in prayer or reading the Bible? What holds us back? Who can encourage us to try?
No one wakes up and runs a marathon; it takes small efforts to accomplish what seems impossible.