As Frank Laubach observes, “when we experiment with prayer, we become scientists in the most important and least understood of all fields” (Prayer, The Mightiest Force in the World, Fleming H. Revell Company, Westwood, New Jersey, 1956, page 81). Here are some more of his recommendations adapted for 21st century readers:
• Throw a cloak of prayer over people
• Pray while you read or watch the news . . . pray for world leaders . . . “Lord, may this man or woman be hungry for You”
• Pray while listening to music . . . pray while performing music
• Pray for all whom we remember . . . every person who comes to memory
• Pray when awakening and when falling asleep. We can easily develop the habit, so that closing the eyes at night or opening them at dawn automatically reminds us to pray. ‘When I awaken I am still with Thee.’
• Precede, enfold, and follow all deeds with prayer. Prayer and action should be wedded. Just as a great surgeon does his best work when praying while he works, so all of us do our best work.
• It is not essential in praying to close or raise the eyes, to kneel or stand, to fold the hands or lower the head, nor to make the slightest change of position . . . Rev. Calixto Sanidad, a Filipino saint, wrote: “I used to farm with my hand on the plow, my eyes on the furrow, but my mind on God.” That was real. Prayer and work were wedded!
• Glenn Clark writes: “We discovered that to pray truly, to pray with the greatest abandon and with all of one’s being. It must be a technique that would include one’s body as well as one’s mind and one’s soul.”
• One of the best ways to pray is to take a vigorous walk, talking to God in rhythm with the steps. There is no more exhilarating way of taking exercise than a walking prayer.
• Practice makes perfect. From now on, you must NEVER fail to pray whenever you think of it, if only for a second. Habit building is a process of starting and sticking to it.
• Teach young people to make brief sentence prayers many times a day; teach them that prayer is the best way to meet every need and every task.
(Excerpts adapted from Prayer, The Mightiest Force in the World, pages 81-92.)