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Different ways to observe the Christian discipline of prayer.

Different ways to observe the Christian discipline of prayer.

The executive of a large corporation once called the Episcopal bishop of Chicago. The bishop's secretary answered.

"The bishop is not able to come to the phone right now," she said. "He's praying."

"Praying?" the executive exploded. "He should be working!"

His response isn't surprising. Prayer and work are often viewed as mutually exclusive. But our fundamental work as pastors is prayer. Everything we do takes shape and direction from it.

Prayer is easily relegated to a small segment of a busy day. We're like those busy disciples coming to Jesus with the request, "Lord, teach us to pray." We want to pray but discover prayer means work.

The hardest part may be knowing where to begin. How do we set the pace and the priority for a life in the Spirit? I've been helped by the variety of Christian traditions and have found each to enhance the importance of prayer in my life.

From head to heart

In my Episcopal tradition, a blend of Catholic ...

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