Friend, may I ask you a question today? Is there a time and place for routine in your life? How about routine as it relates to your prayer life? For most people prayer requires a tremendous focus and concentration; perhaps routine will help you focus on job one, filling your day with thoughtful praying?
My friend, life’s a story, I’m Mark Brunner–Welcome to This Passing Day.
For a video link to this devotion, go to: https://www.facebook.com/145496735472053/videos/1603119719709740/
Every morning shortly after awakening at 4:00 AM, I go to my downstairs office to produce the morning’s devotional broadcast for This Passing Day, abiding a strict regimen and routine I’ve followed for years. First, I let one of our Dachshounds, Frodo, out to the dog run, as he is the only dog that rises with me. Having readied the coffee pot the night before, I press the brewing button as I pass from deck into kitchen. Grabbing a banana from the shelf and two doggie treats, I enter my office, switch on the computer and return to the deck to let Frodo back in. Now the coffee is ready, so I grab a cup. Frodo gets his treats and slips into his bed in my office to sleep. Sitting down at my desk, I ready the microphone and computer screen and begin the recording. Once the recording is finished, the video is uploaded, Twitter is updated, as is Facebook and Linked-In. Shoutouts have been sent to thousands of subscribers and it’s now 5:00. I eat the banana and move to the exercise room. Here’s the catch: let one of these things change and like dominos falling into each other, there’s a risk that the recording will not go well. Routine and focus make it work in one hour. Move something out of place and I have a difficult time speaking clearly and making line transitions well. I like the routine since it keeps me on schedule and, more importantly, on thought, when I’m working with the day’s devotional message.
There is a time and place for routine in many things in life. Having known many dairy farmers, milking is one of them. Don’t mess with a cow’s day, as she needs routine. Another important place for routine and focus is our prayer life. Prayers requires tremendous focus and concentration, and if routine helps you with that, embrace it. Focus is job one.
Here’s a story. Reformer and preacher Martin Luther loved dogs and had a little puppy that often begged from the table. One of these instances during a gathering around the Luther table, the puppy happened to be begging at the feet of one of the many guests who often visited the Luther household. As the puppy looked for a morsel from the amused guest, he watched with an open mouth and motionless eyes. Luther, spotting the dog begging, later wrote in his book Tabletalk, “Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish or hope.” (Luther’s Tabletalk)
Jesus says in Mark 6:6. “When you pray, enter into your closet and . . . pray to your Father who is in secret.” Jesus is indicating here that prayer is not a whim but a matter of the will. Yes, there are times that we send dart-like prayers to God when the need is imminent and dire, but thoughtful praying is all about planning, processing and focusing on how and what you’re praying for. That most often requires a quiet place, a place of reclusion and peace. We’ve all fought through those times when we enter into prayer but our minds are congested with the thoughts of the day and our prayer trails off into nonsense. Routine and focus are usually quite helpful in pushing away the distractions. Just as that little dog focused on a morsel of food with more determination than might have been required, or I focus on my routine ad nauseum, you and I ought to be willing to obsess on the how, when and where of prayer in order to produce it as well as direct it.
We pray. Thank you Lord for providing each of us with the miraculous tool called prayer. Forgive us when we pray with little fervor or preparation just because we know we should. Help us Lord to circumspectly build our prayers and deliver them as finished goods, worthy of your hearing and doing. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
Thank you for tuning into This Passing Day. Join us at thispassingday.com. May this PASSING day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don’t let another day pass without your day blessing someone else’s.
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