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LifeLetter Cafe LifeWriter Rachel Britton is a British-born writer and speaker.
She is passionate about helping women know their true worth so they can live boldly.
Rachel studied at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
and received her Masters in Religion in 2010.
Raised on the east coast of England,
she now lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children.
Rachel cannot live without English tea and chocolate.
Rachel has a special 10-day New Year’s challenge just for you
which starts on January 18th and is based on her book, Prayer Zone Workout.
As to the focus of Prayer Zone Workout, find an overview here In Rachel’s own words,
Our hearts are important.
Caring for our physical hearts through exercise is crucial,
but more essential is attending to our spiritual hearts.
How often have you said “I’m going to start exercising…soon”
or “I want to pray more often and more deeply but…”
We begin with enthusiasm but find it difficult to stay committed.
Prayer Zone Workout helps you learn how to have meaningful heart conversation with God through prayer,
while taking steps to a healthier life.
So LifeLetter Cafe is excited to share this recent interview with Rachel
to learn more about the story behind Prayer Zone Workout.
Enjoy her answers below in the latest 7 Questions Sunday!
You can also sign up for Rachel’s New Years challenge!
It’s absolutely FREE and a great way to kick start your physical and spiritual health for 2016!
Click on the sign-up link at the bottom of the interview!
Today’s 7 Questions Sunday
LifeLetter Cafe: What was the driving impetus behind your book Prayer Zone Workout?
Rachel Britton: I wanted to encourage and provide a way for busy people who find prayer difficult, and who feel the same way about physical exercise, to be successful in both activities. I was one of these people and I needed a solution.
For me, it was easier to find time for exercise than prayer. For a long time I found praying hard to do. So I would steer clear of prayer, whether personal or in a group. Gradually, though, God showed me I should make prayer a bigger part of my life. I started a Moms in Prayer group in our town to pray for our children and their schools. I was invited to join the women’s prayer team at my church. Then, as I was finishing up my Masters at seminary, I had the opportunity to take a Practice of Prayer course as one of my final classes. By this point, I had a yearning to learn how to pray better.
The course made a huge impact on how I talked with God. Afterwards, I knew I had to carve out time in my life for prayer. I needed to exercise for my physical health, and I needed to pray for my spiritual health, but I didn’t have time to do both well. So, I decided to combine both activities using a structure to keep me motivated, and Prayer Zone Workout was birthed.
LifeLetter Cafe: Tell us about one of the greatest breakthroughs you have experienced through prayer?
Rachel Britton: It’s hard to keep it to only one. Can I share two?
First, prayer is simple. We only need to have a willingness; a deep desire to commune with God. No fancy words are required. For me, my greatest prayer was only three words—God, help me. Another time, a most meaningful prayer were tears.
The amazing thing is, when we speak from the heart whether it’s audible words or some other utterance, God meets us right where we are, and he eagerly responds to us. Isaiah 65:24 puts it as: Before they call, I will answer, while they are still speaking I will hear.
Second, prayer is more about changing us than changing our circumstances.
Oswald Chambers says something similar. He says: “prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.”
The more I spend time with God—walking and talking—I discover it’s less about coming to him with a list of needs and wants and more about him showing me the condition of my heart. Prayer brings to light; or rather the Holy Spirit brings his light into the dark areas of my heart. He shows up my negative attitude, my selfish desires, and my feelings of anger, jealousy and hate. Prayer then gives me an opportunity to repent—sometimes it takes returning to prayer many times before I am ready to do this—and allow God to fill me with love, joy, gentleness—the fruits of Spirit spoken about in Galatians 5:22.
When we become more Christ-like on the inside, then it impacts our lives on the outside, the people around us, and our world. This makes prayer exciting.
LifeLetter Cafe: What might your words of encouragement be to readers who struggle with prayer and past “resolutions” to give it a higher priority?
Rachel Britton: To start with, tell God this is what I struggle with. Ask for his help and, with him, expect to overcome your challenges.
It is God’s deepest desire for us to communicate with him. I love the picture at the beginning of Isaiah 65 of God holding his hands out all day long to people saying “Here I am, here I am.” When we turn to him and say, “okay, praying is tough and I’ve tried before and got nowhere, I need your help.” I believe God will step in.
I also think it’s important to write down about our experiences—to journal. Then we can look back and see how far we have grown in prayer.
The New Year is a great time to try this, and starting January 18th I have a special 10-day challenge readers can join.
LifeLetter Cafe: You obviously draw to a tie between spiritual and physical wellness – tell us more!
Rachel Britton: Yes, I do see a tie between spiritual and physical wellness. Prayer is our spiritual exercise – it’s good for our spiritual health. Something like walking or running is our physical exercise and is good for our physical health. But, also, the experts tell us exercise is not only good for our physical bodies; it’s good for our emotional health, too. Likewise, prayer is good for our physical health. It has been shown to make us less stressed, which can then lower blood pressure and more. I think it’s amazing how God has designed our physical, emotional and spiritual health to be interconnected. So, I think if we use our bodies when we pray we are practicing whole health.
LifeLetter Cafe: Where do “meaningful heart conversations with God” really begin?
Rachel Britton: They begin with being honest – with God and with ourselves.
Sometimes I don’t think we even realize we’re not being honest when we pray. I’m not saying we’re dishonest. It’s more that we’re not being transparent with God. It’s like we put on our Sunday best so we look respectable. But, we know from scripture God doesn’t look at our external appearance, he’s more interested in what’s happening on the inside—our thoughts, our desires, our feelings. So if we’re feeling grumpy with him, or anyone else, we may as well be upfront about it, because he knows anyway.
Nick Harrison, in his book Magnificent Prayer, says we can be brutally honest with God. Although this might sound like we’re being disrespectful and not treating God with the awe and reverence he deserves, I think it’s the other way round. We’re being disrespectful if we’re not honest with God. We can be respectful in prayer; we just don’t need to look respectable.
Once we’re honest with God, then our conversations with him become worthwhile and life-changing.
LifeLetter Cafe: We understand you are offering a special 10 Day January Prayer Challenge – what is involved?
Rachel Britton: The challenge, beginning on January 18, offers an accessible path to being fitter, calmer, and more centered, and to make the disciplines of prayer and exercise become healthy habits in your life. It is based on my book, Prayer Zone Workout. Everyone who signs up receives a free e-copy of the book. I’ll send daily emails during the challenge with suggested reading, exercises, demonstration videos and more. There is also an optional Facebook group for additional accountability and support. Research has found it’s easier to stay committed to a task in community so although the group is optional, I highly recommend it. There is also a Prayer Zone Workout app for iPhone and Android with directed prayer exercises to use while you workout. Everything you need to do the challenge is free, except a good pair of walking shoes!
Readers can sign up at http://rachelbritton.com/pzwchallenge/
LifeLetter Cafe: Tell us about your love for writing and what’s next on your publishing agenda?
Rachel Britton: I love learning, whether it is through life experiences or more formal training, and sharing what I am learning with others. Writing enables me to do this. Writing also allows me to be part of a wonderful community of writers and through my #BeBoldGirl series, to share their words and stories, too.
Next on the publishing agenda are two things—one is to continuing writing my next book. No title yet, but it is about leading women on a journey from doubt to devotion to discipleship. This will be partly my own story, and stories from other contemporary and first century women. Two, is to continue blogging and building a community around my #BeBoldGirl series to help women know their worth so they can live boldly.
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