Running and Praying

When you’re a slow runner like me, finding the time to squeeze in a run can be a challenge.  Perhaps one day I’ll be a little faster, but if not, I’ve got to be okay with that.  If I have the endurance for 13.1 miles, but not speed, that’s okay.  However, the time it takes to run those distance–even shorter ones–is very challenging.  There are many early mornings.  Cold runs.  Sleepy, cold runs.  But once I finish, I’m always so glad I did it.

One of the things that was really bugging me last week was the adjustment to my quiet time schedule with increased morning runs.  As mentioned, I’m a cranky pants without that coffee and time with Jesus in the mornings so I’ve got to be prepared on mornings I run.  One way I’ve done that is to pray on my runs.

I used to listen to music and that was okay. It’s nice to have some uptempo music to help you keep pace.  But again–being slow, that’s just a long time to be listening to music.  What else could I do with this time?  Pray.

I’ll be honest.  When I first felt this nudging, I was very resistant.

“But I like to journal my prayers.”

“My mind is so scattered, I’ll never really feel ‘productive’ in these prayers.”

I could not get away from it.  I decided that with my lovely little app’s settings that give me an update every 1/4 mile, I could change who or what I’m praying for at that time.  For me, that’s a 4-ish minute prayer.  It worked pretty good.  On shorter runs, I could easily pray through my calendar, for my husband, my mom, other family and friends, co-workers, etc. and be on about my day.  On longer days, I could specifically pray for all that as well as each person in my small group, situations I knew were arising at work or in a family member’s life.  It was going pretty well, but my mind–my restless mind–it was still jumping all over the place.

Until last week.

I remembered the PRAY acronym I had once heard: Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield.

Now, I’ve only used this twice so far, but it has really focused in my prayers.  I typically take the first 1/2 mile just to wake up and then integrate this into my prayer runs.  Sometimes, if I’m really “in” to one of these four areas, I’ll just keep going for another 1/4 mile.  Sometimes that’s praise, sometimes ask.  I’ve realized that the more I think about areas in my life I need to repent about, the more I keep coming back to that list I look at weekly during Accountability and how some of those areas just aren’t changing much.  What are the areas that I keep trying desperately to hang onto that just need to be yielded over to God?

And my  mind?  Well, it’s still wandering, but not as much.  This verse has been a great help.

“We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.”  ~2 Corinthians 10:5

So, if you’re a slow runner like me, perhaps this is a way you can better manage your time.  I struggle with being a “multi-tasker” because I think that we struggle as a society (and me personally) with doing a million things half-way and nothing 100%.  So maybe my running isn’t 100% and my prayers aren’t 100%, but they are both getting done–and getting better with time.

Are you a runner?  Doing C25K this year? Change your prayers between your walks and runs.  Change the settings on whatever app you use to give you a prayer reminder.  You’re a walker and not a runner?  No prob. Note every time you walk past a house with a different colored roof or shutters and change up your prayers.  That workout will do more than a number on your physical self–but your spiritual self as well.


One thought on “Running and Praying

  1. That is great! I love to listen to sermon podcasts while I run, and I think mixing those up with prayer would be really good. Which reminds me…I’ve got to start running again. Yep…I’m dragging a little still since Christmas. I don’t know why it takes me so long to get myself back together after I’ve been off track a while. You perseverance and determination are inspiring!

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