What is enough prayer for church leaders?

In my recent (fabulous) interview with Ed Bacon, he talked about his hour of quiet time first thing every morning. I must admit my first thought was, “Oh, no! I’m not praying enough.” I spend about 5-10 minutes in quiet in the morning. I’ve spent more (though not an hour) at other points in my life and ministry

I do notice when I ask the clergy I coach about their spiritual life, they often say, “I should do more.” It’s easy to approach prayer with a sense of obligation. And while I’m convinced spiritual support is essential for ministry, obligation and duty rarely lead to a rich spiritual life.

I’ve found that my Lenten practice of daily fun enriched my spiritual life and my creative work, even though few of the activities were what we would normally call “spiritual.” (James Bond movies, anyone?)

Here are a few of my current thoughts on prayer and ministry:

  1. Starting with what gives you joy, rather than what you ought to do, may work better in the spiritual life.
  2. Accepting where you are in life personally and spiritually is a kind of prayer (for example, if you have small children or are dealing with illness, burnout, or the dark night of the soul.)
  3. Any prayer is better than no prayer. (And more isn’t necessarily better, although it might be.)

And a few questions for you:

  • What is your best time of day for prayer?
  • What kind of prayer do you find easiest?
  • What kind of prayer best allows you to experience joy in God’s presence?

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