Now that the weather seems to really be turning into Spring it seemed like a good time to share exercise as a prayer practice. Exercise might seem pretty pedestrian to some in terms of prayer and ideal to others. It can be a time to ourselves, where we get to choose what to focus on, what to think about, perhaps to rewire our minds a little bit and to take a break from all the things that we have to think about or do. Some exercise admittedly requires full attention on what you’re doing, but the aftereffects of having exercised can provide a good head space and sense of clarity for prayer. Other exercise offers time for thought and prayer while you are in the midst of it.
When using the time of exercising to also offer prayer it can take many forms. It might be pausing before you begin and being conscious of inviting God into that space with you. Perhaps if you’re at the gym or out pounding the pavement it’s the meditation that comes with regulating your breathing or listening to your steps. However you choose to listen to God in this time it’s important to be intentional in your awareness and invitation to God in that time.
If you find it difficult to be intentional in prayer and reflection while you exercise it could be a better option to engage following your exercise. You might find that you have more clarity or calm afterwards and it is a good moment to capture those thoughts on paper or in conversation with God. Take a moment to notice where your thoughts and your body are directing you; maybe into contemplation of a relationship, a specific part of your work or family life, new ideas for things that you want to accomplish or goals you want to set. This might not be a time for answers, but could be a part of the path to get you there. Vision can come in these moments of clarity and exercise is often a great way to get you there!