Too Busy Not to Pray
by Tom Goodman
January 14, 2011
Are you "reviewing the dailies" with God?
It's one of the most important things not being done by many of those who serve in church.
John Ortberg was struck by a passionate article written by a cinematographer, Bob Fisher, about the need for movie crews to spend some time every day reviewing the film that was shot the day before. Before rushing into the next day's production,
reviewing the previous day's work enables filmmakers to spot little mistakes while they can still be corrected, and they can celebrate what is going right. In Fisher's words, "Watching film dailies is uplifting. It energizes everyone."
Ortberg recommends that we take a few moments to "review the dailies" with God.
How are you doing in that important work? Do you have a daily Bible reading routine? A place and time to pray and briefly reflect?
I was reminded of how important this routine is in Tim Keller's most-read blog post for 2010. The pastor of Redeemer Church in New York City explained his daily routine of prayer
and Bible reading. For example, he follows a centuries-old contemplative method recommended by Martin Luther:
The basic method is this -- to take a Scriptural truth and ask three questions of it. How does this show me something about God to praise? How does this show me something about myself to confess? How does this show me something I need to ask God for? Adoration, confession, and supplication. Luther proposes that we keep meditating like this until our hearts begin to warm and melt under a sense of the reality of God.
Something like that would only add about 20 minutes to your morning routine, but what a difference it would make to your spiritual growth! As this new year opens up before you, why not apply those three simple questions to a daily Bible reading plan? Here's one, or ask Herb to send you our Daily Cup by email. The Daily Cup is a daily devotional thought that Herb builds from the sermon
material the previous Sunday.
I have a love-hate relationship with the writings of Anne Lamott, but Andree Seu alerted me to an absolutely beautiful Lamott story of a friend whose two-year-old inadvertently locked himself in his room while they were on vacation. It illustrates
why we need that regular time of prayer and Bible study. As Seu recounts it:
The Mom struggled vainly to get the door unlocked -- trying a few keys she knew weren't the right ones, phoning around to get the landlord. Finally someone was reached and on the way, but there was still a frightened little boy to deal with as they
waited for rescue, and his reasoning and verbal skills being minimal, he would not understand the nearness of his deliverance.
So Mom got the bright idea to get down on her knees on her side of the door and slip her fingers underneath in the inch or so gap between door and floor, and she asked the unconsolable child to do the same. He would not be able to see his mother's
face until the savior bearing keys arrived, but the feel of her presence through her fingertips while they waited provided some comfort and sense that everything would be alright.
This is like our relationship with God. For now we are bereft of his full presence, for reasons not entirely clear. But he holds out his fingers and I hold out mine, as we touch through his Word and his Spirit every morning. Like Anne says, "It isn't
enough. And it is."
Let's start 2011 right and return to a daily routine of reaching under the locked door of this life to connect with our Father.
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