When it comes to being physically fit, most people realize that cardiovascular training of some degree is necessary. We get it; we understand. You’ve got to get your heart rate up to a certain level for a certain amount of time on a fairly consistent basis in order to burn fat.
Right? Isn’t that the main reason for cardio training – to burn the unwanted fat? In fitness lingo, there is a ‘fat-burning zone’ which is generally when you get your heart rate up in the range of 60%-80% of your estimated maximum heart rate for at 20 minutes. That is why it is common to hear that we need 30 min. of cardio at least 3 times a week. If you exercise enough to get your heart pumping in this range for 30 minutes, then the last 10 min were burning that extra fat.
But, I know many fit people who don’t have any extra fat to lose who still do cardio – can you believe that! My thoughts are why would anyone put themselves through all that if you don’t need to?
Actually, it is because cardio training does so much more for your health than just burn fat. Whether you are walking, jogging, jumping rope, or swimming, consistent cardiovascular training benefits your overall health by keeping your body working efficiently. Blood and oxygen, two pretty important things necessary for your body to function, are able to work better in your body, and thus you just simply function more effectively. Your sleep is generally better; your mental focus is generally better; your confidence and attitude—all improve with consistent cardio.
You know what, when it comes to our Spiritual Fitness, our prayer life is kind of like cardio …
Why does the Lord—who knows our thoughts and desires—want us to pray? Is it because He needs to hear from us? Is it for His good? Not at all. The LORD does not need anything from us, but He is the One who provides for us and takes care of us.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6-7
Prayer is for our good. It is not just something we do to get rid of guilt or sin—although that can be accomplished with prayer. It is a blessing to be able to pray to the Creator. Because Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and because He sits at the right hand of God the Father, we are able to bring our prayers and petitions, our praise and adorations, our needs and wants straight to the God of all things. That is an enormous and humbling blessing.
For a believer to function efficiently means that they will be lights in a dark and sinful world. This will inevitably lead to hardships and trials. It is to be expected. But God promises a supernatural peace that will help us to live the life that Christ died to give us. But we cannot do it on our own. This peace comes from God when we pray.
If you run one day a month, that won’t help you out much. If you jump rope one day a week, and that is all your cardio for that week—it won’t benefit you that much. It takes consistency to build that fitness level. Our relationship with the Lord is the same. We need a healthy diet of Scripture to be nourished. We also need to pray consistently in order for us to be in tune to the Lord’s will for our lives.
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Let’s take a moment for personal reflection:
- Have you prayed today?
- Have you thanked the Lord for His involvement in your life?
- Have you thanked Him today for salvation through faith in Jesus?
- Consistency is key. To quote an old camp song, “Read your Bible and pray everyday, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.”