The abridged definition: Over the course of a year, beginning tomorrow, March 23rd, 2010, I will begin trying to discipline myself to “pray without ceasing” and then I will write here about what happens as a result, and I fully expect that things will happen.

Many experiments have been conducted by organizations from Harvard to Hospitals to study whether or not prayer actually affects events and outcomes.  This is not such an experiment.  This experiment is being conducted within the firm belief that prayer definitely does “work,” that when we pray, we are praying to Someone who is listening, and that that Someone does respond to our prayers (read more about this on the The Truth page).

If our frequent association with other people changes us over time, then how much more would that be true of God?  The problem is that my exposure to God through prayer and study is all too inconsistent.  I am not as loving toward God or others as I’d like to be, and I struggle with various sins that I wish to be freed from; I know that being exposed to God more often through more regular prayer would change me in these regards and others, and this is what The Prayer Experiment is all about.

…but, and this is important, this experiment is not about me and what I’m going to do, but about God and about what He will do – not whether He will do something, but what He will do.

Before the age of blogs, a man named Frank Laubach launched his own version of this experiment, which he called the Game with Minutes.  His goals was to train himself to direct his thoughts toward God at least once every minute.  The experience worked a profound change on him.  The author Dallas Willard writes

Within weeks of beginning his experiments he began to notice differences. By the end of January 1930, and with much still to learn about his method, he had gained a sense of being carried along by God through the hours, of cooperation with God in little things, which he had never felt before. “I need something, and turn around to find it waiting for me. I must work, . . . but there is God working along with me.” He discovered by March 9 that “This hour can be heaven. Any hour for any body can be rich with God.”

I am going to conducting my own version of Laubach’s “Game with Minutes,” and I will write about the experiment and how I feel God working in and around me as I learn to pray ceaselessly.  I invite you to join me on the experiment, if not as a participant, then at least as an observer.