speaking engagements

His Work, One Year Later

"But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." --Romans 5:20

Read: Romans 5

Jimmy-backDon't bend, twist or lift anything heavy. Avoid slipping and falling. Those were my instructions 365 days ago. See, by sticking to those rules, the odds were in my favor for solid fusion between the new hardware and bones. Simply, the surgery needed to take. No pressure. The doctor did his thing, but now it was up to me. Stick to the rules, and I won't ruin his work.

I can't tell you how many times over the last year I wondered if I messed things up. Did I twist too much at the waist? Bend down too far? And yes, I stumbled a time or two. Oh the fear that set in. I wanted to go back to the surgery date and start over. This time with no mistakes, no tumbles, no wrong turns.

Have you ever wondered if grace "took?" After a mistake, a tumble, a stumble, have you ever thought, "Surely God can't forgive me again" or "When I got saved, did I mean it enough? Like, enough enough?" After my slip and fall, the first thing I imagined was that I ruined the doctor's work. He gave me a brand new chance and I blew it. But I have good news. Yesterday at my one-year check-up when my surgeon looked inside, he saw fusion, healing, and progress. Grace happened.

Aren't we glad that God gives us a brand new heart? His. And thankfully -- gracefully -- when God looks inside and looks at your life and mine, He doesn't see our sin, He sees the blood of His Son. He doesn't see a heart held together by a very thin thread; as if one more fall would sever the relationship. No, when you and I accept Him as Lord, there is perfect, permanent fusion; based not on our ability to stick to the rules but all because of what He did at Calvary. We try to avoid slipping and falling, yes, but there is peace in knowing that grace took. We can't ruin His work.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: I think the fact that our health is our responsibility is a healthy reminder that we can't earn grace. A show of hands of those who feel motivated to take better care of themselves physically because of what God did for you spiritually? Is there a better reason to take care of ourselves? I guarantee there isn't.

BRING PRAYFIT TO YOUR CHURCH

Jimmy Peña's message of health as a means of praise is being well-received by congregations around the country. His storytelling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss. For speaking appearances, ministry assistance, media inquiries, write us at info@prayfit.com. Share this information with pastors, elders and influencers with the knowledge that there is never a speaking fee for churches!

The Little Jobs

"I know that you can do all things; and no one can stop you." --Job 42:2

Read: Job 42

"Jimmy, come help your Daddy." As a little boy, I'd make my way to the garage, and he'd be halfway under his '34 Ford, or welding, hammering or fixing something, whistling the entire time. "Yes sir?" I'd say. Of course, I probably had a baseball glove in my hands and eager to go outside and play. But within seconds I'd be holding a light, turning screws he'd practically completed, or he'd hammer a nail almost all the way and then let me finish it. I think back to those days a lot. He gave me the little jobs. And while they were tough, he knew I could handle them. But if I could whisper anything to my younger self, I'd say, "Ask him to show you the tough stuff." See, I'm not the best with my hands like Daddy, and not a day goes by that I don't wish I was. Can anyone relate?

You know, Jesus gives us the little jobs. If Heaven were up to our ability to be good enough or Godly enough, we'd never reach it. So He climbed on the cross to die for our sins so we can spend eternity with Him. A job nobody on earth -- below or above -- could do. He's put us in charge of things that require our effort.

So I take it back. Actually, if I could whisper anything to my younger self, I think I'd say, "Hey, don't hurry outside. He doesn't need your help, he wants your help. He just wants to spend time with you. Whistle with him. He's got the tough stuff. Just stay close."

Oh friends, may you and I -- as we tackle our little jobs on earth -- do just that.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: We can't work our way to Heaven, but God put us in charge of something that requires our effort: this body. What are you doing to be a good helper for the little job He's given you? A job He still oversees. 

HEART HEALTH BULLETIN: What is better for training your most important muscle? Rest or work? The experts weigh in. Click for the full story.

>> Bring this message to your church by contacting us here.

It Was A Gift

I've never shared this story before, but Christmas seems to be the perfect time for it. A few years ago, traveling with a friend and client, I was working, writing the first PrayFit book, doing my thing. Well, one busy day he called me over and asked me to take a walk with him. I wasn't sure what he needed, so as always I simply said, "Yes sir." When we turned the corner, he stopped, put his arm around me, pointed and said, "It's yours. Enjoy."

My TruckSitting on a lawn was this beautiful truck. I couldn't believe it. I can still remember the feeling, the moment, my jaw-dropping reaction, and the look on his face when the jolt of recognition hit mine. The most undeserved and unexpected gift. What's more, it was paid in full and being shipped home for me. By the time my work on the road was done, it was waiting for me at my front door. And now that you know the story, I have one question. How much do you think I want to take care of that truck, inside and out? Truth is, to this day I don't climb up in it without thinking of it as a gift from him.

Isn't that how we should think about our bodies? The vehicles, if you will, that God gave us to get our dear souls from one stretch of this life to the next, as gifts? My genuine care and concern for my truck is simply a reflection of respect for the giver. It won't always be new. Like our bodies, it'll have wear and tear, and the miles will someday show (as they already do.) But even though it loses value each day, that truck is no less valuable to me than the day I got it. Why? Because of the one who gave it to me. It's funny, my wife will attest that while I get compliments for it all the time, I never miss a chance to smile and say, "Thank you. It was a gift." I don't tell them who it was from of course, but it just brings me joy to give him the praise, even in his absence.

Please be encouraged, dear friends. Someone asks you about training and food, show them how. Someone wonders why you don't boast or show-off, remind them where your strength comes from. And if there's ever a doubt as to the importance of honoring God with a body designed to ultimately fail, take it as a compliment, because you know why. It was gift.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Neat huh? I'm sure you could see different themes of the story; from grace and our sin debt being paid in full; the free, undeserved gift of salvation; even the thought of us someday being shipped home. (Yeah, I know. Too easy.) Amazing, but if we get this way when we give each other gifts, imagine how much the Lord enjoys watching us realize it's all from Him. Thanks for letting me share a great memory. I hope it becomes a good one for you too.

"If there's ever a doubt as to the importance of honoring God with a body designed to ultimately fail, take it as a compliment, because you know why. It was gift." –Jimmy Peña

BE A PART OF THE 2014 PRAYFIT TOUR

2014 is booking up! We are so excited that more and more churches are welcoming our unchanging message; one of stewardship, of faith, of humility, of endurance. The team is actively booking April and May events! Reach out to us at info@prayfit.com for more details. As always, for churches and other non-profit events there is never a speaking fee. Talk to your pastors and leaders. Reach out to us and let's see health as a means of praise, together.

Christmas Presence

"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger."--Luke 2:16

"What do you give to someone who has everything?" That's a common question asked year after year by a countless number of people.  But what do you give someone who is everything? Well, that original question was uttered only once by a small group of eyewitnesses. Maybe the Shepherds asked each other that very thing as "they hurried off "(v. 16).

Wait, did you notice that? Long before Jesus gave the lame the strength to walk, He had shepherds running. After the angel told them the news, I doubt they hung around the fields, or grabbed a bite to catch up on the latest herder's gossip. No, the news of Jesus had these shepherds high-stepping with hearts pumping. Were they unsure of what to give God? Perhaps. But they were ironclad-certain about doing their best just to get there. Showing up out of love, out of excuses and out of breath. What they lacked in presents, they made up with their presence.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: If you've been on PrayFit for a few years, you may recognize today's entry. I just can't help but imagine that night, right? The announcement, the reaction, the action. Just to be near Him. What do you give someone who IS everything? You give Him everything, beginning with all you got.

WHAT IS PRAYFIT? Click play below for a three-minute peek into the heart and soul of the nation's fastest growing faith-and-fitness ministry

>> Want to bring this message to your church or community event? Reach out to us TODAY at info@prayfit.com.

Our Tiny Offering

"'Isaac spoke up and said to his father, 'Abraham, Father?' 'Yes, my son?' Abraham replied. 'The fire and wood are here,' Isaac said, 'but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?'" --Genesis 22:7

Read: Genesis 22

When I was a kid my dad said to me, "Son, never give God anything that costs you nothing." And if I've ever felt like my father's son, it's now, as we're about to launch a new PrayFit tour in 2014.

And while much of the message I'm bringing to congregations will be centered around the importance of food, the crux of our message for believers will be, of course, to embrace a paradigm shift in the importance of physical health -- to see a healthy heart and lower bodyfat as a means of praise. Plainly said, something so fearfully and wonderfully made deserves more attention and upkeep. I've said it before, but God doesn't need our health to get his message around the world. We do.

I'm likely dating myself, but does anyone remember an old song about Abraham by singer Larnelle Harris called "When Praise Demands a Sacrifice?"

"When praise demands a sacrifice, I'll worship even then, surrendering the dearest things in life. And if devotion costs me all, He'll find me faithful to the call, when praise demands a sacrifice."

So if we embrace the belief that our health is a means of praise -- and if praise demands a sacrifice -- what will it cost you?

Jimmy Peña

IN WHAT AREAS IS GOD CALLING YOU TO MAKE A SACRIFICE?

Share your selections from this list in the comments below.

1. Making smarter choices at lunch 2. Eating less food at each meal 3. Getting up earlier to prepare breakfast rather than eating fast food 4. Walking around the block with your spouse each night 5. Doing something active before heading to work 6. Playing outside with your kids 7. Spending a few minutes alone with your Bible and in prayer each day 8. All of the above 9. Other

BE A PART OF THE 2014 PRAYFIT TOUR

2014 is booking up! We are so excited that more and more churches are welcoming our unchanging message; one of stewardship, of faith, of humility, of endurance. The team is actively booking April and May events! Reach out to us at info@prayfit.com for more details. As always, for churches and other non-profit events there is never a speaking fee. Talk to your pastors and leaders. Reach out to us and let's see health as a means of praise, together.

Baylor Bound

When I first arrived on the Baylor University campus as an 18-year old, I wasn't sure what to expect. As a Christian from the West Texas town of El Paso, I went to Baylor to play baseball, but after my first season as a redshirt freshman, I injured my ankle so bad that it landed me on the disabled list and in a cast. Any hopes of playing my sophomore season were dashed. But during my time on the DL, I found a hole-in-the-wall gym on campus called Russell Gym; school was in session, the lessons soon began.

I won't try to dramatize it, but there was just something special about that gym. Something about the things I learned between those walls. Something about the exercise techniques and tactics, the training splits and proper form. From the trials, the pitfalls, struggles, friendships, sacrifices and all of the blood, sweat and tears, there was definitely something about that place. I couldn't put my finger on it back then, but I can now.

As my wife and I return to my alma mater as special guests to speak to students and enjoy a good game, I know now what that something was: you. The driving force behind PrayFit, the DVDs, the books, each recipe and tidbit, and the nearly six years of devotions is simply you. Your health from the inside out is my highest calling. It's surreal, but little did I know that when the good Lord allowed me to walk into that gym, He would eventually allow me to walk into your homes. I can tell you with sentimental certainty that when I tour my old campus, I'll be thanking it for you.

Well, on that note, the next PrayFit Daily will hit next Tuesday, November 12. Please pray for me and Loretta as we travel and for the students the Lord allows us to talk to. While we're gone, we'll be sure to have a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as we document the week. Be blessed everyone. Going home.

--Jimmy Peña

Little did I know that when the good Lord allowed me to walk into that gym, He would eventually allow me to walk into your homes. --Jimmy Peña

NOW BOOKING SPEAKING APPEARANCES If you are a regular visitor to our site, then you are likely familiar with the core of Jimmy Peña's message. But if you've never had the chance to hear this message delivered in person, now is your chance. PrayFit is actively seeking churches to visit this fall and winter. Write us at info@prayfit.com to find out how you can bring Jimmy to a service at your place of worship!

SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY!

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3000 Miles To Grace Land

"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." --1 Peter 2:21

Read: 1 Peter 2

You can learn a lot on a walk. I've been so blessed this week by your comments and thoughts on our theme. On our walk that counts, we learned that when things get pruned, they bloom. We encouraged one another to take another step during dark times and wear the song out the door. And yesterday, we watched the gait of some of the Bible's most amazing characters as well as that of our life's main character, Christ. The only walk to follow.

We've said it before, but it's estimated that Jesus physically walked over 3,000 miles during His public ministry. Imagine, 3,000 miles in order that we could see grace land with one step.

Wow. What a good God we have. What a faithful God we serve. What a walk to follow.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. Where did your walk take you this week? Hopefully in good health we pray. Hope to see you right back here Monday morning. Have a good weekend.

Jimmy Peña's message of "Life is not about the body, but health is a means of praise" is being well-received by congregations around the country. His story-telling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss. For speaking appearances, ministry assistance, media inquiries, write us at info@prayfit.com.

Glorious Unfolding

Well, how did the week unfold? Any glorious victories? What about pitfalls, any of those? Well, at the PrayFit house, we had a little of everything. But one thing's for certain, we sure have been blessed by this week's entries and your comments each day.

If you missed any of them this week, Monday began with a moment of silence. Well, four minutes, thirty-three seconds of silence. Then, with strength and honor, life taught us that God alone lifts our burdens and we'd be wise to embrace our smallness. Sister Powell then weighed in and brought us all to tears and praise. She's the gladiator among us. And yesterday, we scooted over and got real close to one another and with you, prayed for many hurting people. We did a lot this week, and we're so glad you were with us along the way. The week was "a glorious unfolding."

A new theme begins on Monday and we hope you'll join us. Thank you for being a part of PrayFit. Each day for nearly six years, you've allowed us into your homes and lives. It's an honor we don't take lightly. Enjoy your Friday and weekend. Get some rest, be renewed, and we'll see you next week.

--Team PrayFit

P.S. We urge you to go to iTunes and download the new song by Steven Curtis Chapman called, "A Glorious Unfolding."

"The story is so far from over. So hold on to every promise God has made to us, and watch this glorious unfolding."

Wow, wow, wow. Hope you enjoy it. Each day this week was a lot like that for us. And we know that each day means another day closer to the Lord. So much in store. So far from over. Be blessed everyone.

>> SOCIAL NETWORKS: Now you can "like," "join," "tweet" and "watch" faith and fitness at your leisure. Click the links below to get plugged in with the rest of the PrayFit community. Facebook HeavenUp Twitter Instagram YouTube

>> SHOP: Spread the health via your apparel at the PrayFit online store. Custom hats, cozy tees and logo wristbands are all available at the click of a mouse, with easy shipping. You can also pick up PrayFit books and DVDs to help you start living a healthier lifestyle here. Click to get started.

>> SOWING: Plant the seeds of health and fitness in your church by arranging a visit from PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña. Learn more about his message by clicking here, or write us at info@prayfit.com to start planning dates!

Out Of The Pits

"You intended to harm me, but God meant it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." --Genesis 50:20

Read: Genesis 50

Left out, left behind, left for dead. Young Joey could do no wrong in his father's eyes, so his big brothers squinted theirs. In a jealous plot, Joey's brothers took him for a long walk off a short pier. The next thing this favorite son knew, he was lying in a pit, listening to the sound of clanging silver in exchange for his life. And before long, he was in a foreign land full of foreign faces that spoke a foreign language.

Your boss gives the promotion to the one who sleeps in his cubicle. Someone else gets the credit for the work you did on the school group project. We may not be shipped off to another country, but we sure do know our way around the pits. But a neat thing about young Joey is that although the breaks got rough, they didn't break him. He made good. Learned the language, made friends, stayed focused. It wasn't long until the king alone out-ranked him.

In our week of looking at great life-closers, Joseph's story is unavoidable. From pit to prime minister. Of everything I draw from it, two things jump off the page. First, despite his circumstances, Joseph honed his unique, God-given gift. Everything around him might have been foreign, but the same God he knew at home was the same God in Egypt. So Joseph resolved to cling to his dreams, literally. (If you're a dreamer, keep it up.) And second, he chose to forgive. One snap of his fingers and his begging brothers would be begging for their lives. Nobody would have blamed him, but Joseph knew that what some people mean for bad, God can make great.

See, Joseph was a closer. Written off in chapter one, his rough start made for one great conclusion.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: What do you love about the story of Joseph? What can his faithfulness and forgiveness teach us about our lives, our health, our perspective? Do you feel like you need a tighter grip on your dreams? Have you ever felt like you're in Egypt? Are you there now?

FAITH & FITNESS AT YOUR CHURCH: You have a house full of believers -- devout in its faith, dutiful in its service. But how is the physical health of your church? Is stewardship of health a topic of discussion? If not, it may be time to add a new message to the mission of the congregation -- one that places a higher value on abundant living, one that charges members to care for the body that carries the soul. PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña is hitting the road in the coming weeks and months to help spread this message of faith and fitness, of health and a heart for service. Click play below for more on this message and write us today at info@prayfit.com to find out how you can bring Jimmy to your next church or community event.

His Name Is John

"How can I be sure this will happen? I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." --Luke 1:18

Read: Luke 1

Not his best moment. If you read today's chapter, you know that Zacharias has just been given really great news; news of eternal significance. He's been told that Elizabeth will bear him a son. And his son will go before the Lord with the spirit and power of Elijah no doubt. He'll be the frontrunner! And not only that, the courier of this miracle message wasn't a neighbor. It wasn't a trusted uncle or even the High Priest. No, Zacharias heard this first-hand from -- wait for it -- none other than Angel Gabriel himself.

Now, all things being equal, you'd think it would prompt Zacharias to simply rejoice, trust and obey. But as you read in today's verse, Zacharias chose to respond like you and I often do.

Who me? I'm not qualified for that job, have you seen my resume? Who me? A missionary? Have you read my laundry list of weaknesses? Who me? Regain my health after years of negligence? What good can this body accomplish?

There's no telling how effective we would be for the Lord if we trusted the things God lays on our hearts. You know, the little faith of Zacharias spoke volumes, so Gabriel made him mute. Months later, on the very day of his son's birth, those standing around Elizabeth objected to his given name. But Zacharias -- still mute -- boldly wrote on his tablet: HIS NAME IS JOHN.

In that instant, the Bible says he got his voice back.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: When you and I let fear and doubt cloud our hearts and minds, we too become mute. Isn't it interesting that Zacharias was only allowed to speak after he changed his heart and trusted? What has God put on your heart that you need courage for?  What roadblocks and barriers are rearing their heads? What is your God-given plan? Let's clear our throats and speak.

TRAVEL UPDATE: Speaking of getting voices back, today I head to Florida. I'll be speaking tomorrow night at First Baptist Church in Bartow! So very grateful to be invited to this wonderful church and venue. Please pray for me as I prepare to share my heart with the nice people of Bartow. We'll be back to entries on Monday, September 23rd. Be blessed everyone.

>> JIMMY ON THE MIC: Thousands across the country have had the opportunity to hear Jimmy deliver his message in person, with a great many of them telling us -- and others -- how they were impacted. This message, by the author of the blog She Does Justice, is a great example of what folks are taking away from these events. To find out how you can bring Jimmy to your next event, e-mail us for more info! Click the video below for a sneak preview of what you can expect!

Of Walls and Temples

"When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God." --Nehemiah 6:16

Read: Nehemiah 6 When Nehemiah heard the news of Jerusalem his heart broke. The walls had been toppled and the temple destroyed. Through prayer, trials, and trust, the faithful people of Israel rebuilt the wall in just 52 days, which was miraculous because the wall had been laying in ruin for 140 years. It's a wonderful, powerful story of God's accomplishment. I urge you to read Nehemiah with us.

I was reminded of that story earlier this year when Loretta and I traveled to the wonderful city of Asheboro, North Carolina. We had the pleasure of speaking to hospital staff, encouraging their continuous effort to extend the dreams of the sick. We rallied with community business leaders, reminding them that our health enables us to be better servant-leaders. And we joined the mission of a small group of believers who, like Nehemiah, have a broken heart for the temple and are building walls to protect it.

You know, the bible says that when Jerusalem's walls were rebuilt, the enemies "lost their confidence" because they knew God had accomplished it for them. Wow. Constructing walls, rebuilding temples. Keep going, Asheboro. How blessed we are to witness your work; humbled to have been given a brick.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What walls does your church, community or business need to build to protect and honor health? Have you broken ground?

MAKE YOUR CHURCH NEXT: Life is not about the body. Our health is a means of praise. This fundamental message, which has become the heart of PrayFit in the last several years, has always been at the heart of Jimmy's philosophy on exercise and nutrition. But to put it in a paragraph here doesn't do it justice -- to hear it from the man himself is a convicting experience for anyone who has the opportunity. Let us help you bring this message to your church or community event. Contact us today at info@prayfit.com.

>> To read reviews of PrayFit and interviews with Jimmy in the media, click here!

You Don't Have To

"Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good." --Psalm 25:7

Read: Psalm 25 Earlier this week I received the most incredible and undeserved invitation. Details to come, but later this Fall, Loretta and I will be special guests at Baylor University, my alma mater. In the days leading up to a special Saturday event, we'll have the unique opportunity of speaking to students, staff and the community. We're so blessed and excited. Can I get a "Sic'em Bears?"

You know, the idea of going back and showing Loretta some of my old stomping grounds after all these years is already making my heart pound. I've even started taking notes on things I want to be sure and discuss with the students in particular. Oh man, to be able to go back and talk to a younger Jimmy Peña.  What would I tell him? (Other than to enjoy his hair line while he can and to eat more fiber. He'll just have to trust me on both.) So many things come to mind. But one thing I know, I'd make sure to find my way to old Russell Gym. I'd stand right next to young Jimmy as he eyed his next lift. While the gang of Russell Rats yell and scream in one ear, I'd whisper in the other, "You don't have to. You don't have to lift that much weight."

Carrying the weight of the past gets heavy, does it not? Yesterday's mistakes can feel heavier than a 500-pound bar across your back. I know, because I've carried both. But like the old Gaither hymn reminds me as I type this sentence:

"I'm free from the fear of tomorrow. I'm free from the guilt of my past. I've traded my shackles for a glorious song. I'm free. Praise the Lord, free at last."

If you're carrying yesterday's burden today, the Cross of Jesus says we don't have to. And we have the most incredible and undeserved invitation to embrace it.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Even though I know I would change some things in my past, I believe the good Lord has worked it all out. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I hadn't gone through some of my mistakes and wrong turns, I wouldn't be living the life I live today. Share your story. Give us your comments below. And have a great weekend everyone.

LISTEN, WATCH, INVITE: Life is not about the body. Our health is a means of praise. This fundamental message, which has become the heart of PrayFit in the last several years, has always been at the heart of Jimmy's philosophy on exercise and nutrition. But to put it in a paragraph here doesn't do it justice -- to hear it from the man himself is a convicting experience for anyone who has the opportunity. Use the links below to explore what we mean...

Listen >> Many of Jimmy's favorite devotionals are available here as audio files. Click here to "hear" PrayFit's founder articulate his passion for your health.

Watch >> The mission of PrayFit isn't six-pack abs -- it's stewardship. Click here for a video compilation of Jimmy's heartfelt message about caring for the bodies that carry these souls.

Invite >> Finally, if this is a message that you feel your family, your church or your community, then reach out to us today to find out how you can bring Jimmy to your next Sunday service or event. Click here for more info.

For additional PrayFit resources, such as books or DVDs, click here.

With Your Health In Mind

"Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, 'Why couldn't we drive it out?' --Matthew 17:19

Read: Matthew 17

When the disciples asked the Lord why they couldn't do certain things, notice He didn't say, "If only you had more self-confidence. If only you felt inspired, motivated, thought positively. If only you really wanted it." No, and aren't we blessed He didn't say any of those things? Because after all, some days those resources are plentiful and other days pitiful. But He talked of faith. The only thing that can accept grace. And if we accept grace through faith, we've conquered the world through Christ; not by anything we've done, can do or will do. And when inspiration sputters and motivation wanes, our faith in Christ and the truth that our lives are covered in grace just soothes.

Speaking of soothing, it's Friday. How was the week? Any mountain-top moments? What are we celebrating? Any pitfalls or valleys? What are we conquering? As I glance back on the week on PrayFit, we talked about how our health is unearned. And then about how we as prodigals came home to take care of our inherited health. And yesterday we used worn-out tools to rebuild for the cause of Christ. If it's been some week, say "Amen."

And with that, I would just like to take a second and thank you for spending these few minutes with us each day. If there's a place where you can go knowing that the message was written with your life and health in mind, I hope you know it's here. Much love to you all. I think that puts the button on the week, don't you?

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT ON THE ROAD THIS FALL: IS YOUR CHURCH ON THE TOUR?

Jimmy Peña's message of "Life is not about the body, but health is a means of praise" is being well-received by congregations around the country. His story-telling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss.

For speaking appearances, ministry assistance or media inquiries, write us today at info@prayfit.com!

Grace Defined

"For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, so no man can boast." --Ephesians 2:8-9

Read: Ephesians 2

How much work does it take to transform your health? If you asked a hard-gainer how much work it takes to add muscle, they'd tell you it's pretty tough. Or ask someone who's struggled their entire life to maintain a healthy weight and you may get a similar response. We need help. We get educated, seek council, take cooking classes, hire trainers, study video. And we're not even discussing unforeseen illnesses, or even problems with immodesty or pride. Whether it's for motivation, specific guidelines, disease control or humility, we need assistance in our effort of Godly, physical stewardship.

So with our focus on grace this week, I decided to look it up. Webster defines grace as "Divine assistance given for sanctification." Now, if you think about how much help we need when it comes to health, how much assistance do you think we need when it comes to Heaven? A little? A lot? A lot, alot? That's why Webster's take on grace falls short, doesn't it? Did you catch it the first time? Assistance, right? So while I was at it, I looked that up too. To define assistance, Webster uses synonyms like "a boost, helping hand, a leg up." Makes sense to the world. We do our share of the work, and God does His. We try our best, but when our best isn't good enough for Heaven, He gives our souls a boost.

But grace is more than what Webster might call a hearty helping of chicken soup for the soul. No, our souls need more than help. In fact, we don't need help, we need Him. If grace were just a boost on God's part, then you and I could boast in our works. His share. Our share. But we don't share. Health is never earned. What would ever make us think grace could be?

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT DEVOTIONS ON AUDIO

Are you a fan of the PrayFit Daily devotions? Were you aware that many of our best devos are now on audio? Click here to give a listen to a selection of inspirational entries from PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña.

>> THE PRAYFIT MINUTE: LISTEN

Jimmy Peña's message of "Life is not about the body, but health is a means of praise" is being well-received by congregations around the country. His story-telling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss. For speaking appearances, ministry assistance, media inquiries, write us at info@prayfit.com.

I'll Say, "No"

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." --Job 13:15

Read: Job 13

My wife is the runner in the family, so I typically don't read her magazine, but the cover blurb on her Runner's World caught my eye: "The Most Inspiring Runner You've Never Met." And I can tell you that if he's not, he's close. Hit by a car at the age of six, Bret Dunlap spent weeks in a coma. His first word when he woke up? "No." Seems he knew he had more life in him. And while he doesn't remember saying it, the 39 years after the accident simply prove that he meant it.

And while I won't give anything away, there was something his mom said to him that stuck with me. She said, "God never said anything about fair. He said you got a chance." This she said to a boy who suffered brain damage, paralysis, a colostomy, and who's face freezes, and who's mind forgets what he learns; just to name a few of his afflictions. But this she also said to boy who would teach himself several languages, give 12 gallons of blood over the years as a volunteer, play the piano left handed, hold the same job for over 18 years and eventually, run. Oh my friends, he may finish last, but he runs his race; one floppy foot over another. The rest of the story is miraculous, and sad, and gut-wrenching, and funny, and unbelievable and well, convicting.

Have you ever wallowed? Ever thought, "Why me?" or stomped your feet and said, "Not fair!" I know I have. I know I do. But it's stories like that of Bret that help give me perspective. And hope. And courage. And it's stories like that of Bret that always seem to remind me of grace and what Jesus did for me on the cross. Like our verse reminds us today, God's grace really is all I need and want, so whatever else I have in life is a gift. And when the enemy tries to convince me otherwise, when he tries to blind me to blessings, when he tries to discourage my personal calling, when he reminds me that my body is failing, I won't let it steal my joy. I'll just steal a line from Bret and say "No." What about you? What is your answer today?

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What are you doing to show the Lord and everyone around you how grateful you are for the gifts you been given? Is your life a statement that says, "Faith" or a question that wonders, "Why"?

It’s not just a tagline: Milk does do a body good. So do cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese. A new study showed that women who followed a regular exercise program on high-protein, high-dairy diets lost more total fat –- and more from their abdomen –- than those on adequate-protein, medium-dairy and adequate-protein, low-dairy diets.

>> For more detail on the study, click here.

Jimmy Peña's message of "Life is not about the body, but health is a means of praise" is being well-received by congregations around the country. His story-telling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss.

Bring Jimmy to your church this year! Contact us here: info@prayfit.com

He's Strong. We're Weak.

"For by grace you have been saved and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." --Ephesians 2:8-9

Read: Ephesians 2

It just never seems to end, does it? This pursuit of health. For you, maybe it's another day in the gym, looking at that same row of dumbbells. Or maybe it's walking another lap around the familiar track with the expected turns. Either way, picking up the weight or the pace are the keys to change, improvement or even maintenance. More...again. Again, some more. Besides, you're only as good as your last workout, so you huff and puff...(rough). Folks, aren't we glad Heaven doesn't require the same?

Let's face it, we're just not strong enough, fast enough, good enough. Fortunately, Jesus lifted our heaviest burden and walked the steepest hill. We can stop fighting a fight He's already won. In fact, the next time you're struggling to lift yesterday's dumbbell with a body designed to weaken, or you're trying to keep your previous pace with steadily slowing legs, take a second and smile. Go ahead. Just grin and shake your head. Let it remind you of just how small and weak you are, and just how big and able He is. I admit, whenever I do that, I seem to be a little stronger and a little bit faster. I don't know. Maybe it's because I realize He's put me in charge of something that requires my effort.

--Jimmy Peña

STRENGTH TIP: Go Unilateral Did you know that by training one limb at a time, you can actually produce 20 percent more force? Get the inside scoop here.

NETWORK, SHOP, CHAT, SOW Take advantage of the many outlets and resources available to the PrayFit Nation

>> SOCIAL NETWORKS: Now you can "like," "join," "tweet" and "watch" faith and fitness at your leisure. Click the links below to get plugged in with the rest of the PrayFit community. Facebook HeavenUp Twitter YouTube

>> SHOP: Spread the health via your apparel at the PrayFit online store. Custom hats, cozy tees and logo wristbands are all available at the click of a mouse, with easy shipping. You can also pick up PrayFit books and DVDs to help you start living a healthier lifestyle here. Click to get started.

>> CHAT: Are you already a member of our forums? Get back in on the discussion by clicking here. Not yet signed up? All it takes is 20 seconds to get started. Click here.

>> SOWING: Plant the seeds of health and fitness in your church by arranging a visit from PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña. Learn more about his message by clicking here, or write us at info@prayfit.com to start planning dates!

"Being a big believer in Jesus Christ, PrayFit gets me on track to start my day off in the right direction. In boxing there is no room for error. You have to be not only be physically prepared but spiritually strong as well." — Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, 6-Time Boxing World Champion

>> Catch Robert Guerrero in action this weekend as he squares off against pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather on Showtime Boxing. For more info on the fight, click here!

Even If It's Dirty

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." --Matthew 28:19

Read: Matthew 28

There was something in the water yesterday. Twenty-five people were baptized in the late service alone, with more in both the early service and evening service to follow. Oh my friends. One by one, their stories of how they came to know Jesus were read. One woman had a learning disability and yet she learned the most important thing in life. Another man was being baptized one year to the day of a traumatic brain injury and he needed special assistance throughout. And even though I was a weeping mess, none of them hit me quite as hard as did the images from the prison ministry.

Perhaps much like yours, our church has a state-of-the-art mobile baptistry, equipped with viewing window and dual enter and exit staircases. Each person that was baptized was greeted with a warm towel as they walked into the open arms of loved ones. It's always a beautiful service. But then on the big screens we saw images of inmates being baptized in trash cans and dumpsters; each man raised out of that dirty water only to be thrown the same prison-issue shirt they had taken off minutes earlier. A grim reminder that they were still bound by bars for the crimes they'd committed. Isn't that a picture? Guilty inmates turned prisoners of grace.

You know, because there's power in the blood, there's just something in that water. Even if it's dirty.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: Have you committed your life to Christ? If so, have you taken the step of obedience of baptism? I remember when I was baptized by my sweet preacher, Rev. Henry Powell. Not before or since have I ever felt "so clean," if that makes sense. I'll never forget it. And neither will you. Much like we talk about how our approach to health -- not how we look but our heart toward health -- is a way to praise the Lord, baptism is a way to publicly profess your faith. There is something in the water. Share your thoughts below and have a great and awesome week.

P.S. On our Pastor's blog he's posted a letter from an inmate. It's a must-read. Click here for the amazing story.

THE HEART OF PRAYFIT Rather than start the week off with a workout -- as is the custom -- we want to serve you with our core message. We're sure you'll train with heart today. This video gives you a glimpse of ours.

>> To bring this message to your church, write us at info@prayfit.com!

The Little Jobs

"I know that you can do all things; and no one can stop you." --Job 42:2

Read: Job 42

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA"Jimmy, come help your Daddy." As a little boy, I'd make my way to the garage, and he'd be halfway under his '34 Ford, or welding, hammering or fixing something, whistling the entire time. "Yes sir?" I'd say. Of course, I either had a baseball glove or bat in my hands. But within seconds I'd be holding a light, turning screws he'd practically completed, or he'd hammer a nail almost all the way and then let me finish it. I think back to those days a lot. He gave me the little jobs. And while they were tough, he knew I could handle them. But if I could whisper anything to my younger self, I'd say, "Ask him to show you the tough stuff." See, I'm not the best with my hands like Daddy, and not a day goes by that I don't wish I was. Can anyone relate?

You know, Jesus gives us the little jobs. If Heaven were up to our ability to be good enough or Godly enough, we'd never reach it. So He climbed on the cross to die for our sins so we can spend eternity with Him. A job nobody on earth -- below or above -- could do. He's put us in charge of things that require our effort.

So I take it back. Actually, if I could whisper anything to my younger self, I think I'd say, "Hey, don't hurry outside. He doesn't need your help, he wants your help. He just wants to spend time with you. Whistle with him. He's got the tough stuff. Just stay close."

Oh friends, may you and I -- as we tackle our little jobs on earth -- do just that.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: We can't work our way to Heaven, but God put us in charge of something that requires our effort: this body. What are you doing to be a good helper for the little job He's given you?

HEART HEALTH BULLETIN: What is better for training your most important muscle? Rest or work? The experts weigh in. Click for the full story.

>> Bring this message to your church by contacting us here.

Genuine Affection

"This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth." --3 John 1:1

Read: 3 John 1

"I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." (v. 2) Notice John's choice of words. I hope all is well with you. Everything. Completely. Like, totally. And yet, even to that, John needed to add something. He felt the need, the pull, the urgency to claim good health on his friend Gaius. I'm not sure what John knew about his friend, but we do know from the previous verse that he loved him dearly. And his genuine affection compelled him to hope he was as good on the outside as he was on the inside.

When was the last time we wished that on someone? When I was so sick last year, the first question on a daily basis from my family and friends was, "How are you really doing?" Why? They knew I was on the edge. In truth, if we have Jesus in our hearts, our inside can't get any better. But we all suffer physically. We all endure pain, aches, disease and unforeseen infirmities. And as a matter of fact, many keep it to themselves or worse, they don't know they're sick; apparently healthy but the furthest thing from it. The diagnosis is yet to come. The prognosis even more difficult to predict.

So try this today. As you reach out to people either on social media, e-mail or text, keep it short and sweet. Steep it in prayer. Type it with hope. Claim it for a friend or loved one as you echo the genuine affection from the heart of John and simply say, "Hey...I hope you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit."

--Jimmy Peña

Staggering Stat: The number of U.S prediabetics who don't know of their own condition exceeds the combined populations of California and Texas.

Source: Sugar Nation by Jeff O'Connell

>> To bring this message to your church, write us today at info@prayfit.com! (Click 'play' below)

New Beginnings

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” --1 Corinthians 9:24

Read: 1 Corinthians 9

SunsetLast week I had the opportunity to travel, work and write. At one particular location, I had an ocean view, with a breathtaking sunrise on the water. I’d spend my early mornings on the sand, reading, writing and praying. Then I’d hit an ocean-side workout.

One day that week, I was jogging close to the water, where the sand is perfect for running. I gave myself a finish line about a quarter of a mile away, and I ran as fast as a 41-year-old with his share of health issues can run. When I got to my stopping point, I wanted to retrace my exact steps the opposite direction, in hopes to maintain that same stride and speed.

But as I looked along the shoreline, I realized the water had washed away all my steps, leaving me no way to see my footfalls. It hit me: Isn’t that what God allows each day to be for us? A brand new, clean-slate-of-a-path in which to run? And doesn’t knowing that give us energy to live each day to the fullest? The only way to beat yesterday’s effort is not by using yesterday’s steps as the standard, but by trusting the Lord to fuel every step toward today’s end.

So with that thought, welcome to another Monday at the beach. Close your eyes and listen to the ocean. Thank God for your salvation and praise Him for new beginnings. Now open your eyes, see the day ahead of you…and run.

–Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: More Defined Shoulders

This routine will fatigue your delts from every angle, upping the intensity with supersets. For best results, be sure to move as quickly as you can between the two exercises that make up each superset, and never rest more than 30 seconds between standard sets or supersets.

Exercise                                                               Sets     Reps Seated Overhead Press                                     3          10, 12, 15 superset with Dumbbell Lateral Raise                                     3          12, 12, 12

Standing Dumbbell Press                                  3          10, 12, 15 superset with Reverse Pec-Deck Flye                                       3          12, 12, 12

One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise                           3          12, 12, 12

>> YOUR CHURCH IN 2013: Talk to your church leaders and pastors and arrange for PrayFit to visit your congregation in 2013. Check out the video below and write us here for more info! Here's to five more years of fortifying faith and improving health, in Jesus' name.