Forward Today: Making time for prayer

Dear friends in Christ,

This gets to be a busy time of year for lots of people, especially for those who have kids at home. School has started, along with all its activities. And these days, there are extra sports and lessons and so forth for many families. It’s hard to fit it all in to 24 hours and seven days.

Of course, it’s not just families with kids. We live and work in a world that expects us to be “on” all the time. Emails must be answered. Mobile phones are standard equipment. Retirees I know sometimes tell me they’re busier after retirement than before!

Everything pushes us to stay busy all the time. And that’s too bad. Because I think that staying busy is antithetical to our call as disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s not how we’re meant to live.

People love to point out how Jesus said the sabbath was made for us, not us for the sabbath. But do you notice something? Jesus keeps the sabbath! Jesus goes to gardens and quiet places to pray. Jesus rested, just as God the Father commanded him to do. Yes, when God issued us the Ten Commandments, one of the most important things we are to do is keep a day for rest and to honor God.

It’s not going to just happen. Rest has to be scheduled. If you want to develop a prayer life, put it on your calendar. If you want to spend time with scripture, schedule some Bible reading. Jesus famously said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I like to imagine he would also say, “Where your calendar is, there your heart will be also.”

I encourage you to set aside time for rest, time for prayer. It will probably mean saying no to a few things, and that’s OK. If you have kids at your house, the Grow Christians blog has lots of tips for ways to engage in intergenerational conversation, prayer, and learning.

As you receive this, I’m starting a vacation. Practicing what I preach, I’m looking forward to some rest. With any luck, I’ll even get bored. And that kind of rest and refreshment is essential for my journey as a follower of Jesus Christ. It’s not always easy to make this happen, but it’s always worth the effort, I’ve learned. How will you rest? When will you pray?

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

Image: Daughters of Melody Wilson Shobe color an Advent calendar.

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