Author Dick Eastman suggests in his book The Hour that Changes the World  to divide an hour into twelve, five minute periods. During each period, one prays a different type of prayer presented graphically in a Prayer Wheel.
At first I could not comprehend praying for an hour. I started with twelve minutes—one minute for each section.
PRAISE: Acknowledge God for who He is. Exalt Him with your words. I name God using the ABCs: Almighty, Beautiful, Counselor, and so on until “Z”.
WAITING: God is always with us; surrender your time and wait with hope. I quiet myself, ready with expectation.
CONFESSION: Ask for forgiveness of sins. Time flies in this section. I ask, “Reveal my offensive ways, oh Lord.”
PRAYING SCRIPTURE:Remind the Lord of the promise His word provides. I recite my memory verses as a prayer. “Lord, I believe I will receive whatever I ask for in prayer.”
WATCHING: Tell God where you find Him: at work in your life, in your family, in the world. I share my awe. “You amaze me.” “You transformed this couch potato into someone who enjoys exercise.”
INTERCESSION: Share with Him about the needs and concerns of others. I start with my husband, my sons, their future wives, extended family, and friends. Then I focus on my leaders, the people I lead and those I serve beside in ministry.
PETITION:Identify the needs for yourself. Once I exhaust my laundry list, I lapse into silence and ask the Lord for His perspective on my needs.
THANKSGIVING: Express appreciation for the blessings in your life. I thank Him for my salvation, marriage, family, health, church, friends and our freedoms.
SINGING: Worship the Lord with song. I wonder what my neighbors thinks of “Hallelujah Helen” when they see me running and singing at the top of my lungs.
MEDITATION: Reflect on a matter more closely. By now a theme has emerged. In the past, I’ve meditated on obedience, discipline, joy, an action step, or even a chapter for a book I’m writing.
LISTENING:Notice and pay attention with a God-centered focus. Finally, I am quiet in my heart, in my mind and in my soul. I expect His presence when I listen. I am excited. I am ready.
PRAISE: You spent time in the presence of the Lord, King of Kings. Praise Him.
My attitude changed about exercise when I added the Prayer Wheel. When I walked, I changed prompts at two-minute increments. When I started running, I changed at a tenth and now quarter mile. I printed the wheel and carried it with me in a baggie. Now etched in my memory, I pray when I swim, changing prompts at each lap.
When we spend time in prayer while exercising, we enjoy a bonus: physical and spiritual strength at the same time. Change your attitude; begin with prayer.
This excerpt is from Helen Baratta’s current book project, Restored: Forever Free from Obesity, due out in early 2017. Helen is our Director of Development and oversees our Virtual Groups. Click here to read her Blessed Big Loser success story.