Action prayer is nonverbal communication to God, using our attitudes and our attempts to obey, which draws its energy from Christ’s example and empowerment.
1. As you pass through your day, yield to God the tasks that you do and the reactions that you feel.
2. Give him your irritation, your delight, or whatever emotion you feel because that is what you have to give. Offer him both your desire to respond unselfishly and your actual response. Do not waste energy pretending or attempting on your own to feel the way you “should.” Instead, ask Christ to receive your disgruntled feelings and to reshape them into something that you are pleased to give and that God is pleased to receive. Offer your attitude honestly. Then act as Jesus has asked. With the incarnation, Jesus became weak, so that you could act from his strength. Offer your actions to God as your prayer.
3. If you mop vigorously, then let the vigor be your prayer and the mop be your tongue. Some actions allow our minds to multitask and it may be possible to think prayer words as well, but do not lose the language of action just because words are available. If you play the piano tentatively, then offer God the tentative music that you are able to make. Are you on the phone with clients all day? Then let the nature of your cooperation in work be your worship. If you are asked to photocopy, even when it is not really your job, then pray by your submission to God and your excellence in photocopying.
4. There is a difference between practicing the Little Way and enabling an abuser. If you are not safe because of another’s actions or verbal attacks, it is right to remove yourself from the situation and seek help. The Little Way is a practice for the countless other times in the daily grind when accommodating the people around you would honor God as a yielded response to him.
5. The goal of this method of prayer is to conquer your pride in order to foster communion with Jesus, so it may take some practice. When you forget or fail, remember that you are only a toddler. Allow the Father to pick you up and comfort you. Know that Jesus, too, made himself vulnerable, and it is his brotherhood that enables you to follow in this Little Way. Consider his pleasure in your attempts to be like him. Hear his word of encouragement and appreciation. God does not “need” your success, but his heart swells with joy at your desire to be with him and to share in his work.
6. At the end of the day, record what you learned or received as you exercised this nonverbal communication with Jesus. How did he sustain you in the practice?
7. Return to the Scripture and perhaps to verbal prayer. Ask the Lord to feed your spirit with his Word.