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The 15-Minute Prayer Solution: How One Percent of Your Day Can Transform Your Life – Gary Jansen

September 25, 2016

the15I don’t have time to pray. I don’t know how to pray. I don’t know what to pray for. Perhaps you identify with one or all of these statements; most people do. But with Gary Jansen’s The 15-Minute Prayer Solution, anyone can learn to turn those “I don’t” statements into “I do” declarations— and be transformed in the process.

Drawing on spiritual practices from the Christian tradition throughout the centuries, Jansen offers numerous and wide-ranging prayer exercises that can be completed in less than fifteen minutes. The Jesus Prayer, lectio divina, the Examen, imaginative prayer, and many more ways to joyfully encounter the Living God are explained. Deeply personal stories, thought provoking modern-day parables, and even humorous anecdotes bring spiritual ideas down to earth, revealing the practical side of prayer.

And, as Jansen himself discovered, if you’re willing to take just fifteen minutes a day to pray, you may soon find that the entirety of your life has become a prayer, a relentless desire to place God at the center of everything.

In an interview, the author said: One percent of a day is roughly 15 minutes. Once I looked at the math and imagined looking at a scale where 1 percent was on one side and 99 percent was on the other, I thought, Oh, wow. I have to stop making excuses. I’m being kind of selfish. But I understand the struggles that come with prayer. It’s sometimes hard for me to sit still, so I started to find ways to pray throughout the day. I would pray while walking to work. You can pray when you’re washing dishes or when you’re taking a shower. You can thank God for running water. You can pray at red lights or pray the rosary on your fingers while eating lunch. There are two things I don’t believe in (and I’m open to a lot of things): leprechauns and someone saying they don’t have time to pray. There is always time to pray. Sometimes you just have to get creative.

Quotations:

We were called by God to greatness. As much as I love my Christian and Catholic faith, we believers, as a group, have spent too much time focusing on how vile human beings are. We need to shift that focus. I’m not saying to ignore sin, but when we focus on something, we become that thing. If I focus in my mind on the idea that I’m a loser, I will become a loser. If I focus on becoming a great student, I will become a great student.

So, at the start of a new year how can you get started? Here are three short and simple exercises that have helped me in my prayer life, and I hope they will help you turn your attention to God, with the hope that one per cent of your life will turn into two per cent and then three per cent and so on. I promise your life will never be the same (in a good way).

1) The Holy Name What is the most beautiful word in the world? Well, that would be Jesus. So, let the Holy Name become a prayer for you. How do you do this? By repeating Jesus’s name over and over again to yourself. Do this silently when you wake up in the morning and right before you go to bed at night. Allow the name of Jesus to be the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing you think about before you go to sleep. During the day repeat Jesus’s name when you’re commuting to work or washing dishes or waiting in line at the bank.

2) Breathe the Lord’s Prayer This is a basic meditation where you apply a simple breathing pattern to prayer. For instance, breathe in the first line: “Our Father.” Pause a few moments. Then breathe out: “Who art in Heaven.” Pause. Breathe in: “Hallowed be thy name.” Pause. Breathe out: “Thy kingdom come.” Pick a pattern that works best for you and connect the physical with the mental and spiritual.

3) Call on the Advocate There will be moments throughout the day where you might feel stressed or maybe you just lack energy and focus. Instead of reaching for a cigarette or a whisky or coffee or tea, call on the Holy Spirit for a boost of sacred fire. Repeat “Come Holy Spirit” to yourself throughout the day when challenges arise or when you’re feeling depleted. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide your actions and thoughts and then relax, let go, and see where God brings you.

The results might be unexpected, but they are so good for your soul.

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