BOOK THREE – Angel’s Story
THE FIRST PRINCIPLE: Prayerwork
from The One Minute Minister: Restoring Spirituality to Time Management
“I guess that means the minute to pray is the most important part of the task,” the minister said.
“Yes. Prayer, however, can also mean think or review goals, information, plans; the idea is that we look before we leap, and we ask God to look with us.”
“Like God looking over your shoulder?”
“Yes,” Angel said. “You do this task while aware of the presence of God. The benefit is described here in my favorite Psalm, Psalm 1.” She pulled a New Testament with Psalms out of her purse and read in a clear voice:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
“There is a way that is a life of blessing,” Angel said firmly. “We learn that path by continually and consciously letting God teach us the rules, principles or laws that should guide us in this life. The first concept of our one minute system is to open up our life minute by minute to the beneficial influence of God. To do so is not only moral and ethical, but profitable; notice, ‘in all that he does, he prospers.’”
“That’s like batting a thousand. No misses.”
“What does this Psalm teach you about your situation?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Do you know the image of the threshing floor? The chaff and the seed? The seed has weight, substance, and it falls to the ground; the chaff is has no weight, so the wind blows it away. The righteous or whole person gains weight, literally through the moisture of the roots that go deep into God. Burnout empties a person out, until any little breeze blows them away, like ashes.”
“I feel like ashes, sometimes,” he said.
“So how much time do you spend sitting with the scoffers, as the Psalm says? Or standing in the path of sinners, so that you can be swept along into their activities? How much advice from the wicked have you absorbed? All those activities are the opposite of prayer. All of that will burn you into ashes. I know. I’ve been there.”
“I hear that,” he said.
“Well, then write about it. Journal for clarity. And practice the first secret to a meaningful life; take a minute to pray. That’s the first thing, and it only takes a minute to get back on course.”
What does the promise of Psalm 1 – “in all that he does, he prospers” – mean to you? What would that be like for you?
What does the wise man do to bring about that promise?
Why is that result true? For trees? For seeds?
Have you ever felt “like ashes” in your burnout?
Who are the scoffers you sit with?
Who are the sinners you allow to tempt you?
Who are the wicked that you allow to give you advice?