Four ways that prayer is productive.
"Are all the activities that scream for my attention really essential?" asks one pastor, "Am I missing the burning bush while trying to keep the lawn cut?"
Many pastors lament that too many deadlines, meetings, decisions, phone calls, and appointments rob their prayer times. Facing a similar dilemma, early church leaders decided, "We will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word" (Acts 6:4).
For today's pastors, time in prayer is squeezed by two cultural values: (1) self-reliant individualism, and (2) the demand for measurable productivity. These two philosophies, which greatly shape our approach to work, place little premium on an activity that is seemingly passive and difficult to quantify.
The struggle between prayer and "productive work" is as old as the conflict between Mary and Martha in Luke 10. Industrious Martha-types, however, may be surprised to discover four ways that authentic prayer is actually very productive.1