Daily Peace (and how to find it)

I pray sometimes when I workout.

I know I must look funny, sitting there at the gym on the exercise bike with my eyes closed, but that time—with my body moving and my mind turning to God—is my lifeline some days. It’s my 60-minute-recharge.

As a busy mom, it’s hard to carve out time every day to pray–to talk to God and to listen to His voice. Some days, I get up and hit the floor running… making breakfast, packing lunches, helping everyone get ready, and then rushing (late) out the door to carpool kids to school. On those days especially, taking time to pray is exactly what I need.

“Take time to be still in My Presence. The more hassled you feel, the more you need this sacred space of communion with Me. Breathe slowly and deeply. Relax in My holy Presence while My Face shines upon you. This is how you receive My Peace, which I always proffer to you.” –Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

The other day (it had been a morning like the one I described above), I hurried into the gym to grab an hour workout. To be honest, I felt so distracted that as I sat on the exercise bike and started to pray, I wasn’t even sure what to pray about. I tried to focus on God, but the list of things I had to do that day and thoughts about a writing deadline I was facing quickly took over.

“Please help me to slow down and hear you today,” I prayed.

After a few minutes of pedaling, the morning’s craziness began to fade into the background.

When thoughts of my writing assignment came and I wondered what approach I should take, I prayed about it. When worry about my son, who’s been sick lately with a respiratory virus, came, I prayed for him. Each time a thought or worry would come, I asked God for direction or help.

It’s amazing what happens when we do that.

By the end of the hour, it was as if all of the worries and what ifs I’d been holding inside were resolved (or at least seemed much less heavy). By the end of my prayers, I found myself simply thanking God for the little things in my life and feeling lucky to be alive and healthy (that might sound corny, but stopping and praying does that to you; it humbles you and reminds you of the gift of life.)

I know being on the exercise bike helped; it always does. But, I promise you, riding the bike wasn’t what gave me that sense of peace. The peace I felt was the peace you only get from spending time with God.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” –Numbers 6:24-26

God has something new for us every day… blessings, lessons, wisdom, love, peace… but if we forget to look, we can easily miss what He has. God is a gentleman. He doesn’t force Himself on us. He doesn’t make us pray every morning or set aside time for Him every day. That part is up to us…

But when we take time with Him every day, whether it’s five minutes in the car on the way to the grocery store or an hour at the gym on the exercise bike, there is peace in His presence.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

What about you? Do you set aside time somewhere—at the gym, in the shower, in the car—to pray and listen? What’s your favorite time/place?

5 Responses to Daily Peace (and how to find it)
  1. Laura
    October 18, 2011 | 11:01 pm

    I’m with you here — praying while exercising works for me too. I enjoyed your article, very fresh, real and interesting. 🙂

  2. Barbie
    October 19, 2011 | 12:23 am

    I don’t pray when I exercise….I don’t exercise! Need to get better at that. But I love to go to the House of Prayer to have time with the Lord. Since I work there, I pretty much go every day. And I love to do “drive-by” prayers in my neighborhood while driving! Praying without ceasing is something I strive t practice daily.

  3. genny
    October 19, 2011 | 4:58 pm

    I love the drive by prayer idea Barbie! 🙂

  4. Susie Klein
    October 19, 2011 | 9:27 pm

    Great post! God is always so close, ready to be recognized and invited into our day and thoughts. Great site!

  5. Mary Bravos
    October 19, 2011 | 10:23 pm

    I pray as soon as I awaken each morning. Rather than rambling off a list of praises and prayer request, I deligently pray through the Lord’s Prayer. When I get into my car to go to work, I continually thank God for his guidance and blessings. I doesn’t stop there. When I drive into the parking lot, I look around in the mist of quietness to feel his presence and continue to pray that I will be his hands and feet and be a blessing to others at work. Prayer is my lifeline to a genuine relationship with the Lord.