Quick and simple spiritual devotions are gaining popularity to fit the fast-food lifestyle and tight work schedules of Americans, reports the Dallas Morning News (May 3).
“As the pace of lifestyles quickens, the demand for tips on how to fit prayer into a busy life grows. A cottage industry of new books, Web sites and spiritual aids offer quick and easy devotions,” writes Susan Hogan-Albach. Buddhists are promoting a “one-minute Buddha” meditation, Christians stress “five minutes of gratitude, while Jews mark their schedule with brief blessings. A growing number of spiritual leaders are realizing that five minutes of daily prayer is better than nothing and tailoring their ministries to this need.
Ascension Lutheran Church in Garland, Texas sends daily “e-devotionals” to members that include a short Bible reading, reflection and prayer. Don Morreale of Denver, a Buddhist writer and teacher of vipassana meditation, says that people who start small and stick with it will eventually tend to take more time for prayer. The most well-known example of abbreviated prayer is found in the popular book, “The Prayer of Jabez.”
The book, which has sold more than 4 million copies, teaches readers to say a one-sentence prayer every day. The short, practical nature of the prayer and its claim to change lives and increase prosperity has created a best-seller (4 million copies in print) and a cottage industry of Prayer of Jabez videos and web sites, reports the New York Times Book Review (May 20).