5 ways for church leaders to play around with prayer

photo-1428954376791-d9ae785dfb2dChurch leaders need time for play. I hope you’re getting some play time this summer. Not just during vacation, but also time week by week.

And why not play with your prayer life while you’re at it? Our ability to play comes from God, after all – so why not bring that playful attitude to prayer? It’s easy to get serious about prayer, especially when we feel guilty that we aren’t doing enough of it.

Play helps church leaders lead more effectively. There’s plenty of research to show the value of play for adults.

Prayer helps church leaders lead more effectively. We need a grounded spiritual life to discern where to lead and to help us persist on the path.

Both are true, so why not put them together? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Use your body for prayer. Try standing up or kneeling for a change. Recently, I’ve been using Praying with the Body: Bringing the Psalms to Life, by Roy DeLeon. Or try a walking prayer.
  2. Change it up. Think of it as cross-training in prayer. If you never use written prayers, try a few. If you always use written prayers, set aside the prayer book for a day or a week.
  3. Say many short prayers through the day. I just learned from a Jewish friend Monday that her tradition calls for 100 blessings through the day. Try it out. Even if you only get to 50, I predict you’ll feel blessed.
  4. Take a break. Can you go a whole day without praying? You may come back fresh. God won’t forget about you, I promise
  5. Pray outside. True confessions: I’m an indoor gal. This is a practice I’m going to try this year while it’s sunny in Portland, Oregon, where I live.
  6. Become like a child (Matt. 18:3) Play and Pray, a Scottish group. It’s designed to help adults introduce prayer to preschoolers. Their prayer station ideas: like finger painting, doodling and tasting fruit could help you get back to basics yourself.

This article gives some additional ideas for helping your own leadership with just five minutes of prayer.