When I was running and I had to really struggle to keep going, I found myself praying a certain prayer. The words were a little different each time, but the gist was always the same.
“Lord, please help me to push through life’s circumstances just like I’m pushing to finish this run. When its hard, discouraging, or painful and I feel like I can’t go on anymore, I pray that your Spirit would whisper encouragement to me. When I need to muster all my strength and courage for a final stretch—be the wind at my back, easing the burden. Remind me that I can almost always push harder, run faster, and cover greater distances than I think I can. And if my strength does fail, carry me. I want to be all I can be for you. Help me persevere and overcome.”
Due to an injury, I had to quit running and switch to a workout that doesn’t put so much stress on my legs. The first few times I hated it so bad and felt so frustrated that I wanted to throw things and cry. I was too focused on pouting to think about much else. But I’m happy to say that tonight I noticed the perseverance prayer was back. I think it showed up while I was doing squats. —Appropriate.
That made me remember that I had a spiritual warfare prayer a couple of years ago when punching the bag was part of my workout. That one is pretty self explanatory, but I’ll humor you with a sample.
“God, use me to beat down the kingdom of darkness. I want to be in your fight. Just like I’m beating on this bag, I want to beat back Satan, his demons, and their destructive influence. Use my prayers and my life to take down strongholds and bring light into dark places.”
Then I would begin praying for specific people and situations—with all the passion and fervency of a little five-foot-four momma beating the tar out of a punching bag.
As much as I hate to admit it, I guess exercise can be beneficial both physically and spiritually. I do wish results would show a little faster in both cases.
James 1:2-4 (NASB)
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Romans 5:3-5 (NASB)
3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.