Take the One% Challenge
The One% ChallengeTM is to help you get to know Jesus by taking one percent of your day to pray with Scripture for 30 days. One percent of your day is 14 minutes and 24 seconds, which is less than the average minutes of commercials in a one hour TV program. Experience the difference when you spend one percent of your day alone with God in an uninterrupted quiet time of prayer.
How to Take the One% Challenge
1. Get Started
Make an appointment (yes, put it in your calendar). Scheduling the same time every day is helpful. Many spiritual masters suggest that the morning before the distractions of the day crowd your mind is a privileged time for prayer. The best time for you to pray is the time that you will actually do it, so find the time that works for your life.
Choose a location that will work for your life. Find a quiet place with limited distractions. While it is good to pray while doing other activities, such as driving or brushing your teeth (don't stop doing these things), try to give God your undivided attention for this one percent of your day.
Turn off your cell phone. Whatever it is can wait 15 minutes. Find a comfortable (but not too comfortable) position. Some people find that kneeling works, others sitting in a favorite chair, or at a table, standing, pacing, or lying prostrate. You may want to experiment to find what works best for you.
The most important thing is to begin. If you show up every day and ask Jesus to teach you, he will. The One% Challenge Card offers you one suggested Scripture passage per day. Don't know how to find it? Every Bible contains an index or table of contents to help you. Or read it or listen to the One Percent Prayer audio guide.
2. Build a Habit
Remember that learning any new skill takes practice. Jesus is the perfect coach/teacher. He can teach you, no matter how imperfect, distracted, [insert negative thought] you may feel. Ask him to help you. Always remember that the only failed time of prayer is the one you don't show up for. If you miss a day (or two...), don't get discouraged. Simply return to Jesus the next day. His grace is renewed each morning (Lam 3:22-24)
The Ask, Seek, Knock structure offered on the card is meant as a guide to help you start a habit of prayer with scripture and focus your conversation with Jesus. You may feel drawn to pray these "steps" in a different order or spend more time dwelling in some areas. Some find it helpful to use a journal to write their prayers or to remember insights received. Let Jesus guide you to pray in the way that is most fitting for you.
Be patient with yourself. Jesus is far more patient and merciful with us than many of us are with ourselves. You're building a new habit and Jesus loves that you are trying. Don't let distractions, feelings of dryness, unexpected interruptions, or setbacks discourage you. These are normal human circumstances and Jesus can work with you through them.
3. Live the Habit
Beyond 30 Days
So you completed your first 30 days of prayer with Scripture. Congratulations! You've established a habit of prayer in your life and begun the journey of deepening your relationship with our Lord. Keep it going! You are at a critical moment when you get to decide how you will grow from here.
Personal Plan Ideas
Invite a friend to take the One% Challenge with you and repeat it with them. Talk with your friend about how it's going and what Jesus is teaching you.
Choose a Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and work your way from beginning to end, or prayer your way through the Psalms (or any book of the Bible).
Pray the daily Gospel readings, available from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Learn St. Ignatius' way of praying with Scripture using a resource such as An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer, by Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher, OVM.
Learn to hear God speak through Lectio Divina. Learn more about Lectio Divina from our Bishops or Carmelites.
Increase Prayer Time
Once you have your 15 minute prayer habit solid, consider increasing your prayer time by five minutes at a time until you reach two percent of your day (30 minutes). A half hour to an hour of prayer is commonly experienced as a fruitful range for lay people who are intensely seeking God.
Find additional tips and resources for prayer and Scripture at the Evangelical Catholic's One% Challenge website: www.EvangelicalCatholic.org/OnePercent
The “1% Challenge” is developed by The Evangelical Catholic in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The 1% CHALLENGE trademark is a trademark owned by The Evangelical Catholic.
Additional One% Challenge Resources