We were sitting around the campfire. The retreat facilitator was talking about praying through his day. He sits down with his schedule and the appointments and projects. And he prays for each one in advance. He invites God to be present – to show up at his meetings.
He told a story about this guy whose life was falling apart. The guy’s business was collapsing and his need for control was driving his wife and daughter away. And on top of that, he wanted to give up smoking.
Our facilitator’s advice to the guy was, “Don’t worry so much about quitting smoking right away. But every time you want to smoke, just pray about it. Be present to what you’re feeling and respond with prayer.
The guy began to follow the advice. He began paying attention to his life. One day, he noticed a tree outside his window. He found himself present in that moment. He noticed a squirrel on the tree.
He began to have more and more success praying not only about smoking, but about other little things in his day. And slowly, things at home began to change. He said, “I became more present to my wife and kid. It didn’t change overnight, but they began to like me again.”
I thought about that story and realized that, too often, I just go through my day and don’t invite God into the individual meetings and projects I’m in. Sometimes I’ll have days where God is an afterthought.
When we pray through our day, we invite God into it. We become aware of the supernatural implications of ordinary events. We begin to understand how Paul’s exhortation to pray continually
is perhaps possible.
We stop reacting to life and become intentional in choosing our actions. In effect, we find freedom.
I tried it yesterday morning and my day went pretty well. I think this stuff works.
So I have a proposal: Why not join me in creating this new habit? Let me know if you want to try it for the next week and then we can report back about our experiment in another post.