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Welcome to Sacred Friends. It and its companion website used to be Eternal Community, but, quite honestly, I never liked the name and felt a touch out of step with the focus. It's no longer about trying to train and equip counselors and others in relational ministry. Now it's about living relationally. It’s about my heart's desire to see people love God and others more deeply and to be a part of their journey as I share a bit of my own.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Faithful in the Little Things

Last week at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit Bill Hybels challenged us to sincerely pray the following prayer for thirty days.

My Morning Prayer

God, this is a new day. I freshly commit myself to the role you have invited me to play, as you are building your church in this world. I am awestruck again today that you include me in this grand life-giving, world-transforming endeavor. So today I joyfully offer you:

MY LOVE
MY HEART
MY TALENTS
MY ENERGY
MY CREATIVITY
MY FAITHFULNESS
MY RESOURCES
AND MY GRATITUDE

I commit all of myself to the role you have assigned me in the building of your church so that it may thrive in this world. And I will “bring it” today. I will bring my best. You deserve it. Your church deserves it. It is the Hope of the World. 

He asked us all to take out the cards we’d been given, stand, and say the prayer out loud in unison. I usually balk at these grand attempts to get everyone on board. I feel coerced and the rebellious side of me kicks in, refusing to be emotionally railroaded to jump on the proverbial spiritual bandwagon.

This time was different. The entire summit had been one cohesive event for me, confirming and convicting at the same time. I didn’t say the prayer out loud because I couldn’t. The words stuck, the tears came. I said them silently. In my heart. God knew.

The next morning I was excited to get downstairs, grab my card, and say my prayer. I even signed and dated it. I’ve said it all six mornings since the conference. Will I make the entire 30 days? I don’t know. But I do know, it has already had an impact. I pray through it, pondering each point, lingering over some more than others each day. I use it to remind me, to spur me on, to focus.

Two days ago my focus was on my gratitude. My husband had been rear-ended on 66. The truck has some damage and he was sore. Gratitude. I have my husband. He’s alive. Today my focus was on my resources, which, of course, I only have because He’s given them. It reminded me that we had promised to give a monthly donation to a missionary couple and I had been distracted with other things. I stopped before the end of the prayer and took care of the thing I said I would do several weeks ago.

The prayer has prompted me to consider my talents; again, something that I have only because He has given. It has brought Scripture to mind and the combination has spurred me on to write. Writing is in me. Whether or not it is any good by human standards is not for me to judge. It is a gift, given to me by my Father and it is His to use as He sees fit. I am finding freedom in this. It’s not about me writing the great American novel or being well known. It’s about using what He has given me in a way that is honoring and glorifying to Him. All the rest is up to Him.

I was reminded of the parable of the ten talents in Luke 19. The king gave 3 servants 10 minas, 5 minas, and 1 mina respectively, and charged them to put the money to work while he went away for a while. When he returned he found that two of the servants had doubled their money while one put his away for safe keeping. The king was pleased with the first two servants, but not the last. To the first one he said, “Well done, my good servant! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.” How can I expect to do great things for God when I am not faithful with the little tasks that God gives me? How can I expect God to give me more opportunities to write when, out of fear of being rejected, I hide my gift away for safe keeping?

I am learning to let go of my agenda and look to the Lord moment by moment for His direction. It is a slow process; sometimes a painful one. Changing a dirty diaper, giving a friend a ride, taking the truck in for the estimate, praying for the man who hit Paul’s truck…they’re all valuable in God’s economy. It is quite likely that those are the some of the greatest things I will ever do no matter much the Lord may choose to use my passion for writing.

Will you join me in committing to sincerely praying this prayer for 30 days? And will you share with us the impact it has? There’s nothing magical about it. It’s simply a tool that the Lord is using to draw His children to Him. He wants to converse with us. Will You choose to sit in His lap for a while and let Him continue to transform you into the man or woman you were created to be?