What do you think about on the treadmill? Is your brain running too?

Some people go through to-do lists. Some try to solve a nagging problem with a project at work. Others decide what’s for dinner or who to ask to dinner. Others dream about future plans and possibilities.

You might fall into all of these categories plus more, depending on the day. Sometimes the minutes on the treadmill are the only ones we give ourselves to process, plan and reflect. It might even feel like idle time for your mind, but it’s not. Your brain needs breathing room to work through your life happenings. Your spirit needs space to connect to God. And sometimes the treadmill is the perfect place.

If you’re interested in practicing structured prayer while you walk or run, try the four stages below. They are based on a well-known format: A.C.T.S. = adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

How to walk through A.C.T.S. on the treadmill

Prepare yourself by focusing on a few breaths. Inhale, exhale, clear your head. Then begin.

  1. Adoration. Start by praising God for who He is. He’s gracious, just, and good through and through. Remind yourself of his all-powerful, all-loving character. Recite Scripture you might know about Him, like Isaiah 40:28: “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.” Adoring God takes our eyes off ourselves, and directs them up to the One we can trust.

  2. Confession. Now, take some time to admit your wrongdoings. Have you been gossiping? Acting hateful towards friends or family? Struggling with pride? Let God search your heart and point out dark places so that His light can shine in. Confessing our sins breaks their hold on us, and clears the way for the forgiveness of Christ to fill us.
  3. Thanksgiving. Move into gratitude for every big and little thing you can think of. Your body is able to walk or run on the treadmill, so start there! Thanking God helps us notice all the ways He is taking care of us. It brings peace to anxious thoughts. Calling attention to God’s faithfulness today gives us hope that it will continue tomorrow.

  4. Supplication. Finally, our spirits are prepared to ask God to meet our needs and desires. The Bible tells us to present our requests to Him, so go for it! He knows the longings of our hearts, but sometimes we aren’t fully aware of them until we talk with our Creator. What do you want God to do in your life? Don’t hold back. Ask Him.

Praying through A.C.T.S. can take a few minutes or an hour, and it’s a wonderful habit to have in your life. Give it a try, and watch how God uses it to bless you and others.

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At the Y, we know that growing in spirit, mind and body is the surest path to holistic well-being. Our library of Spirit and Mind workshops, seminars and small group classes is designed to support growth in physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health.