“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:15-17, 33-34).
To focus on heaven and heaven’s reward frees us from basing our lives on that which will pass away. Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks well to this issue: “Earthly possessions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of all anxiety. If our hearts are set on them, our reward is an anxiety whose burden is intolerable. Anxiety creates its own treasures and they in turn beget further care. When we seek for security in possessions we are trying to drive out care with care, and the net result is the precise opposite of our anticipations. The fetters which bind us to our possessions prove to be cares themselves.”
–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka (Click on the title for more information on this resource).
Father, so often my heart is set on things that will pass away rather than on what is eternal and holy. I have made a god of activity and possessions, living a life filled with concern and worry. I ask You to pour out the peace that passes all understanding so that I might find my heart fully engaged in the concerns of Your kingdom instead of my own.
Praise God, the changer of times and seasons (Dan. 2:21), who is in control of all of history. Give thanks for this new day. Confess any misuse or waste of time. Commit yourself to taking hold of today’s opportunities and to enjoying the special pleasures God provides during this season. Ask him to guide you to make wise and efficient use of your time.
Pray that your church leaders will be protected from overloaded schedules. Ask God to give them wisdom as they lead the church and care for their other concerns.
“When we say to people, ‘I will pray for you,’ we make a very important commitment.
The sad thing is that this remark often remains nothing but a well-meant expression of concern.” —Henri Nouwen
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on title for more information about this resource).