BOOK THREE – Angel’s Story
THE FIRST PRINCIPLE: Prayerwork
from The One Minute Minister: Restoring Spirituality to Time Management
“The busier I got,” she said to him, “the less time I spent praying, until I was so busy that I did not pray at all. And it just got worse and worse. I had become the worst sort of liar.”
“Yes. Do you pray the Lord’s prayer?”
“Every week in church?”
“And other times?”
“Do you mean it?” she asked
“What about the part, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven? Do you mean that?”
“If you mean it, how often do you take a minute to seek the will of the Lord before you do something?”
“That’s the first concept. You always take a minute to seek the will of God. If you believe in God, you would naturally do this before doing anything important, wouldn’t you?”
“So if you don’t, either what you are about to do isn’t important, or what God wants you to do isn’t important, or both.”
“But I’m too busy!” he protested.
“Too busy to pray? Even for a minute,” she said in a tone of mockery, and then smiled. “I said the same thing at first, but it makes an extraordinary difference. Before anything important, take a minute to pray and consider what might be the will of God. Listen. Visualize the best outcome you can consider; prayers don’t have to be verbal. Remember that prayer is not just what you say to God; you are seeking an answer.”
“Pray before doing everything?” he asked with not a little bit of disbelief.
“Well not everything. It’s not that necessary perhaps to pray before doing the 80% of what you do that is unnecessary, frivolous and a waste of time. But if you don’t know the difference between what is important and a waste of time, you’d better pray before it all.”
“OK,” he said slowly.
“And as a minister,” she said, “who after all should you be asking to tell you what is important and what is a waste of time?”
“Of course,” he said guiltily.
“That’s the first concept. Take a minute to pray. Seek guidance, visualize outcome, find clarity. There is always a minute for that, no matter how busy someone is. And seeking the will of God, by definition, absolutely has to be in that vital 20% – unless we have no interest in knowing what God wants, or unless we have no intention to obey God. I assume,” she said dryly, ”that as a professional minister this concept of obeying God is not a problem for you?”
“It is,” he admitted.
“Me too, but not now. I practice the first concept; I take a minute to pray. If you pray, you will more and more choose to use your time in a way that is pleasing to God and beneficial for you. It’s what we do automatically, without thought or prayer, that leads us into trouble. The outcome of my prayer is a clear plan for my day.”
“Thank you,” he said. It was really quite simple.
What do you think of the idea of spending a minute with God before you make any important decision? Before you begin any important task?
Would you agree with this statement? It’s what we do automatically without thought or prayer that leads us into trouble.