On Wednesday mornings our staff at LPC gathers together to pray. It’s a good time. We lift up needs that have been submitted through cards on Sundays, through The City, or other needs that we’ve heard about in our various ministries over the week. We also praise God together and thank Him for all He is doing in our lives and in our church family. It’s a cool time.
As we were praying yesterday, Sam was lifting up one of the needs on our list, and he began to pray for our staff and leadership as we were working to meet this and other needs. He said this killer line in his prayer that has inspired this blog: “May our work for You not become a distraction from You.” I usually pray with pen and paper in hand, so I made a quick note of this awesome quote. Sam later admitted that Richard Foster was probably responsible for moving his mind in this direction, but I think the Holy Spirit probably played a role as well.
It got me thinking: How often does my work for God become a distraction from God?
It’s so easy to take this for granted. In raising our kids, reaching our neighbors, working hard, faithfully giving, church attendance, service, outreach, spiritual disciplines; how often do we slip into these things becoming habits rather than the outworking of hearts devoted to Jesus? It’s easy to slip. We all slip.
What helps us to get our footing back?
I think prayer helps immensely. It’s hard to lose focus on God when we discipline ourselves to connect with Him in prayer. Christian community and the accountability it brings also help. As we pray together, submit ourselves to one another, and give access to other Christians in our lives, it helps us to break the monotony that isolation brings.
My text for this Sunday seems an appropriate way to end this blog:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.