“PRAYING on the run” is rarely part of Rebecca Crouch’s spiritual repertoire.
The Pray 2010 presenter is looking forward to helping others “be convinced we need prayer time” during her session, “Building prayer into your life”, at the event being held in Brisbane from July 7-10.
Catching up “between presentations” at the Zero Gravity youth camp on the Sunshine Coast in January, the statuesque woman of faith said “prayer on the run” has a “catch me if you can” mentality.
“I think that’s usually the biggest barrier … (when) people say ‘I kind of pray on the run’,” she said.
“Prayer will grow so much more if we have a dedicated time frame.
“(And) it doesn’t have to be an hour – it can be just fifteen minutes where you actually give God the opportunity to speak to you.”
Allowing God to “speak” to her during reflective rather than “on the go” times has provided a challenge to the talented worship leader in the past.
“I’ll be speaking from experience in this workshop, that’s for sure,” Rebecca said, laughing.
“Every time I get too busy to incorporate prayer into my day then life is not as easy, nor smooth and I’m not as close to God.
“I definitely have seasons where I get too busy, so I do speak from personal experience of the need for praying daily.”
However it’s difficult to imagine Rebecca, who was raised in western New South Wales, ever separated from closeness with God, with her having had almost two decades of ministry experience, from parishes to NET (National Evangelisation Teams) to the Emmanuel Community to serving as a board member of ERDU (Evangelisation Resources Down Under).
“I’m definitely called to be in ministry,” she said.
“I do best in my own personal walk with God when I’m surrounded and immersed in Christian living.
“My parents can probably be thanked for that because in primary school we were very immersed in Church and, being a small country town, most of our friends and relatives were Catholics.”
She’s “excited” about being one of the 130 Pray 2010 workshop presenters and is looking forward to witnessing to a variety of ages.
“Our older generations are already doing this (praying),” Rebecca said.
“They already have a faithfulness to the Catholic Church and a beautiful prayer life.
“This differs from young people – who are drifting from the Church in waves.
“(But) … if we can get them hooked back into a relationship with Jesus whilst they are young, hopefully they’ll still be faithful members of our Church once they are older.
“(And) if we can reach people when they’re young enough to build and incorporate prayer into their lives, before the patterns are set, it makes it so much easier for them to continue.”
Rebecca recalls Jesus’ example when referring to the “I’m too busy to pray” notion saying, “He wasn’t too busy”.
Joining NET aged 24, her prayer life received the boost it needed.
“I had never sat there and had a dedicated prayer time until I came to NET Ministries training,” she said.
“They said ‘go and pray for an hour’, and I was like ‘what do you mean pray for an hour?’
“So that was a totally new experience for me – the absolute importance of doing that for my life.”
The NET lifestyle and modelling of a healthy prayer life has spurred the vibrancy of faith so evident in Rebecca today, and her presentation will include “a sharing of the NET journey”.
“Aside from daily Eucharist and opportunities for adoration, the NET training schedule has a good forty-five minutes built in every morning where they’re scheduled to have some time alone with God,” she said.
“It’s also something we encourage right throughout the year, because how can you perform a year of ministry, in which you are so giving of yourself, if you are not stopping to refill every day?”
Being “a morning person” also helps.
“I’m a really structured person so I build prayer into my life that every morning at six o’clock I’m going to pray for half an hour,” Rebecca said.
“I use scripture a lot in my prayer, as well as journalling.
“For me self-discipline is the big issue and I just know when I’m praying daily that I’m able to be more disciplined in all sorts of ways; relating to others, to giving of my time, to being more open to the Spirit leading me.
“There’s a direct link to a regular prayer time and a disciplined life for me and the flipside is when I stop praying, that tends to fall apart and I certainly don’t feel as close to God or able to be used by Him,” she said.
Certainly continuing to be “used” and sent far and wide in God’s name – including overseas places like Uganda and criss-crossing Australia with NET – Rebecca is a shining example of how daily prayer can be incorporated into any schedule.
That way the sandshoes remain in tact and so does the soul.
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