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Five minutes

Five minutes
Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

By Jessica Brodie

The forced solitude and inherent meditation opportunity in my morning commute has become my favorite time of the day to pray. Lulled into a happy, contemplative place by the hum of the car and the beauty of the coming day spread out in a panorama all around me, it’s a special, peaceful time I cherish and a great way to start the day.

But recently, thanks to the United Methodist Men, I’ve taken a new step in my prayer life that has begun to transform me.

At the Men N Ministry spiritual retreat last month, I had the opportunity to hear Robert Noland, author of the “Knights Code.” While I treasure Noland’s waffle analogy (see article, here), it was a casual suggestion he made at the end of his time onstage that has stuck with me. As one of the tenets of the “knight’s code” and code for Christian men, he urged men to practice the presence of God, particularly through prayer. He suggested that in addition to asking or thanking for things, we should incorporate a new practice of five extra minutes of quiet “listening time.”

Easy enough.

Noland’s advice was golden. That little kernel of quiet time with my Lord has blossomed into a deeper, more meaningful connection that stays with me all day. I simply say, “OK, God, now I’m going to be quiet and hear whatever it is you want to say to me.” Voila—suddenly I’m no longer in command of my prayer but God is.

And what He shows me is amazing! On any given day, I could be called to pray for a friend I hadn’t thought about in weeks, or led to a story idea that perhaps would not have crossed my mind otherwise. Today, I felt called to fervent prayer for Belgian brothers and sisters as they struggle to pick up the pieces after a devastating terrorist attack, then directed to prayer specifically for my African-American sisters, which led to a nudge to donate to a particular ministry.

Letting God lead my prayer time has awakened me in spectacular new ways, invigorating spiritual growth in other areas—a newfound eagerness for Scripture, a stronger heart for those with special needs, a deeper willingness to not only heed but seek out God’s call in my life.

So now I issue you the same “five-minute quiet time” challenge in your own prayer life. Email me at jbrodie@umcsc.org and let me know what God starts awakening in you.

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