The Power of Repetition in a Prayer Walk

I walked the prayer for blocks. Slowly it began to pound its way into my heart.

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Posted in , Aug 1, 2012

Daily Devotionals blogger Julia Attaway

I went out for a walk one night recently, because I was in a heavy mood, the kind that makes all things look bleak and weary. I had no destination in mind, though I was half-hoping to take my heart to a quieter place. I knew I should pray, but couldn’t convert the ache inside me into words.

After a few blocks I was surprised to hear that my feet had picked up the rhythm of an old prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

I walked the prayer for blocks. Slowly it began to pound its way into my heart.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

There are times when, try as I might to open my soul to the Lord, it feels stuck. So there are times when I need to repeat a simple prayer until, through sheer repetition, it pounds my heart into a different shape.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Sometimes faith is a matter of taking one step, one confession of faith, one admission of failure, one glimmer of hope at a time. We may need to take that step over and over and over again. It may seem like we’re doing too little, or that it’s tedious, or even progress-free. But every step we take in prayer—even if it’s the same prayer, for the umpteenth time—is a step toward God. And that’s the direction we want to go.

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