Our lives may not be as busy as we believe them to be. You may dispute this looking at your schedule and considering your feelings of constantly being overwhelmed with responsibilities and possibilities. But hear me out.
Meaningful time with God can be found in the Sabbath moments that punctuate our day – if we are willing to look for them and treat them in that way.
Perhaps the best analogy is watching a cat on a partly sunny, mid-winter day. As shafts of sunlight occasionally streak into a room, a cat will find that little patch where sun meets floor or couch or even windowsill, and curl up in the momentary warmth. It may only last a minute, but for that minute the cat is content.
Such Sabbath moments are available to us every day; an elevator ride, waiting in line, arriving early on a conference call, and those precious moments before our feet hit the floor in the morning. If we are prepared, we can turn these patches of warmth into Sabbath moments.
How do we best consecrate these islands of solace in our seas of tumult? I suggest we have ready a one-minute prayer. To help us remember it I offer the acronym FLAME. Here are its five simple parts.
F = Set me free, Lord. The enemy wants to put chains on me, but you are the Lord of my life. Help me live today with the freedom and joy of a child of God. I trust you Lord. Set me free to lead with obedience and joy.
L = Help me love my people, Lord. You have them on a journey of faith. Use me today to help them on that journey. Equip me to be a blessing to everyone I encounter, Lord, even those who challenge, frustrate and disappoint me.
A = It’s all yours, Lord, it’s not mine. This job is yours, these people are yours, these plans are yours, these challenges are yours and our future is yours. All you ask of me is to be faithful. Help me be faithful, Lord.
M = Mold me, Lord. I know that you are more concerned with working in me than through me today. We have a lot of challenges, but before you change our circumstances, change me first, Lord. I want to be more like Christ.
E = You are enough, Lord. You are our Provider, and we trust you to supply all of our needs. Keep my heart free from envy, fear and greed. Give me your peace, Lord, and help me lead others to trust you as our all-sufficient Provider.
This entire prayer can be prayed in about one minute. How many times throughout your day today could you find a minute to say this prayer? How many opportunities might you find to draw closer to God, feel the warmth of His presence, let the Spirit minister to your spirit and whisper these words into His ear?
Be sure the enemy will seek to fill these still moments with fears, doubts and anxieties. Claim them back for God by having this prayer at the ready. I believe if you will enter each day so equipped, you will lie in your bed at night and marvel at how many Sabbath moments you found – or found you – and what sweet rest and relief each offered as you communed with God through even the briefest prayer.
This one-minute prayer also serves as a reminder to us of our commitment to live the life of a faithful steward. It is a shield against the five areas where the enemy wants to shake us up and wear us down.
The enemy’s agenda is to rob us of freedom and put us in chains to our desire to control things. This prayer of freedom slays him and reminds us that we are free to let go and let God be the Lord.
The enemy’s agenda is to distract us with anxious striving so we treat people as means to our own ends. This prayer for love for others slays him and reminds us that our first call is to love and serve others, even as we manage and lead them.
The enemy’s agenda is to convince us that we actually own our jobs, our people, our time and our future. This prayer for faithfulness slays him and reminds us that we are stewards and not owners, and all God asks of us is to seek and do His will.
The enemy’s agenda is to focus our attention everywhere but on our own need to be conformed to the image of Christ. This prayer for an internal change slays him and reminds us that God must first transform us before He can use us to bring transformation to our people, our ministries and our culture.
The enemy’s agenda is to weigh us down with anxiety over never having enough – enough time, money, people, vision, energy or faith. This prayer for trust slays him and reminds us that what God has given us is enough if we will place it in His hands in full surrender and trust Him to supply us with all we need.
My prayer is that you will seek Sabbath moments throughout your day. And when you find them (and you will), that you will be prepared with this one-minute prayer to take the battle to the enemy and reconnect your heart and mind with God. They will be sweet, refreshing moments and when they are added together they will serve to transform your place of work into a temple of worship and praise.
Oh yes, and if your Sabbath moment is brief, here is the 15 second version:
Lord, set me free to lead with joy. Teach me to love. Remind me that all of this is yours, Lord, and I give it all back to you. Make me more like you in every way and help me trust that all I have from you right now is all I need. I love you, Lord. Amen.
Dr. Rodin is the president of The Steward’s Journey, whose mission is to inspire and equip God’s people to be free and joyful stewards of life. He also serves as President of Kingdom Life Publishing and Rodin Consulting Inc.
__________________________I think I do okay through F, L and A, but then it comes to M = “Mold me, Lord.” That’s not as easy to say and/or pray. Molding isn’t usually a smooth or easy process, because self gets in the way, sometimes in a big way.