The water bottle always goes into the left cup holder. The sweat towel always goes on the right hand side. The speed and incline buttons are accessible, ready to spin the belt speed and incline up or down depending on the desired settings. These indicators tell my brain and body: it’s time for another HIIT workout.

On the fitness front, I’ve used High Intensity Interval Training as a part of my workout routine. HIIT means doing a movement like sprinting or burpees at full intensity for a short period of time such as 20 or 30 seconds. It then transitions to a specific period of recovery, such as 45 seconds of slow walking. When the timer has elapsed, the sprint starts again for a given number of repetitions. The clock directs the workout for the remainder of the time. Every time, I end a workout like this sweaty and somehow both tired and invigorated. Fitness experts declare that this method is both efficient and beneficial, giving athletes benefit in a short period of time. Sign me up!

On the treadmill recently, partway through a HIIT workout and developing a flop sweat, I began praying for a specific person during the sprint segments. I found that my prayer intensity increased with my exercise intensity as I talked with God for those 30 seconds about a special person in my life.

I’ve tried this both on the treadmill and off…30 seconds to a minute of intense prayer focused solely on one subject, then a time of quiet listening.

So consider trying out the exercise of HIIT prayer with me this week: run or walk all out for 30 seconds while praying intently for someone.

Like all exercises, it’s not for every day or for every prayer. But High Intensity Interval Praying just might be an effective and focusing method to add to your spiritual discipline home gym.


If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present gratefully.
—Maya Angelou