What cardiovascular exercise and strength training do for building a strong body, prayer does to build spiritual strength.
There are many similarities between exercise and prayer:
To be physically and spiritually healthy requires discipline. You need to practice them both daily and use this strength or you will lose it.
The effects can be both immediate and/or long term. You may see the results right away or the effects can be cumulative.
Both are significant in improving balance in your life, improving your quality of life and boosting your mood.
With a pure motive, they both delight God.
(Excerpt taken from Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health)
Follow the F.I.T.T. Principle
F. Frequency (how often?)
Myth: I have no time to exercise.
Fact: Exercise means active living. You can walk your dog, go for a short bicycle ride or take the stairs instead of an elevator. It all adds up. For a more formal program, schedule time for yourself to exercise with the same amount of respect and consideration that you would schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Myth: I must pray only in the mornings.
Fact: Like exercise, prayer is not a one-time thing. You can pray everyday, anywhere and anytime. It is important to spend time in private prayer each day – just you and God. It is important to not only find time for prayer, but to make time.
I. Intensity (how hard?)
Myth: Low-intensity exercise will not promote weight loss like high-intensity exercise.
Fact: The most important exercise factor for losing body fat is the total calories burned, regardless of the rate at which they are burned. The benefit of working out at a lower intensity is that you won’t get as tired as quickly.
Myth: Prayer is only for highly spiritual people.
Fact: Prayer is not just for highly spiritual people. God delights to have you come to Him with your requests. You do not have to be “good enough” to pray.
T. Time (how long?)
Myth: I need to spend hours in the gym to see results from an exercise program.
Fact: Even if you don’t have time for a formal workout during your day any exercise is better than none. Try to take three 10-minute walks. For strength training, three 20-minute sessions a week will do the job.
Myth: I must pray for at least one hour at a time.
Fact: Prayer can be as short as a “Lord, help!” or it can be planned time every day at the same place. It can be that you pray as you breathe or you can kneel on your knees and pray for a full 20 minutes. Or you may shoot a quick prayer of thanks as it comes to you. It does not need to be a specific time limit.
T. Type (how?)
Myth: If women lift weights they will bulk up.
Fact: Women have less of the hormone needed to build muscle bulk easily. Very large muscles are most likely not in their genetic potential. Generally, women can’t develop huge muscles without spending hours a day lifting very heavy weights.
Myth: I must say the same prayer each day.
Fact: Prayers change as your needs change, your moods change, your heart changes.
God does not want a “canned” prayer, but one that is sincere and comes from the
Some ideas to combine active living with a healthy prayer life:
Pray while walking
Exercise while watching a Christian program on television
Read a Christian magazine/newspaper while working out on a treadmill
Read the Bible while doing floor warm-up stretches
Reflect on Scripture during exercise class
Read a daily prayer from a devotional book before eating
Listen to the Bible on tape while riding a stationary bike
Keep a prayer journal of answered prayers
Learn more about how exercise is to the body what prayer is to the spirit in Fit for Faith. Get your copy at Smashwords or Amazon.
Blessings on the road to health!