During my devotion today, I read these words, You live in a world that has been rigged to distract you (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young).
Oh my. Oh my, yes. We all know we need time with God, time spent in prayer and quiet reflection, and yet.
The phone rings, the kids fight, family members can’t find items they need right now, the doorbell dongs, the dogs need to be walked, clothes washed, dishes cleaned. We get distracted by the news, the latest gossip, the newest fashions, even our to-do list can be a distraction.
We must fight for each moment spent with God.
Fight to spend time with our Abba Father, who will guide us, correct us, direct our steps to the next place, we must fight to protect this time.
I find no small coincidence in the fact that the movie The War Room is out now. Once again, we are reminded that the only way we can move forward is when we hit our knees first.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9 NIV).
We are called to stand out and stand up for who we are in Christ and to call out to others to join us in “his wonderful light.” But we cannot do these things well if we are being distracted by the world. Prayer is the only tool that can be used to defend ourselves.
Just in case you need a reminder that we are in battle…
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-18– bold mine).
If you don’t know what to pray about here are some ideas.
Pray for your spouse and the day he or she will have– meetings, deadlines, projects. Pray for them to have wisdom, insight, grace, mercy, and patience to accomplish all they have to do.
Pray for your children. For little ones, that they will learn about the world God has created for them to live in and impact for His glory.
Pray for school age children to be a light in their dark world, for strength, wisdom and kindness. Pray over them the Fruit of the Spirit to be character traits in them.
Pray for high school students and college students to lean into the truths they have been taught and to cling to the God they professed when they were younger. Pray for their hearts to remain steadfast in a world that preys like a wolf on weak lambs.
Pray for the friends they have-– that they would know Christ and seek a life with Him. Pray for their families and their concerns.
Pray for your parents as they transition in life from one role to another. Pray for their health and that they will have wisdom and follow through with meeting with the doctors if there is an issue– before it becomes something much worse.
Pray for your country and the leaders. Pray for wisdom, for humility, and honesty. Traits seldom seen in leaders today. Pray for a relationship to grow between them and God.
Pray for yourself— yes, it is something you can and should do…. Pray for your struggles, your concerns, pray for those who need more of you than you think you can provide.
Pray for your employer. He or she will face issues you will never know about and yet, they are called to make decisions and meet expectations that allow you to do your job without these worries.
Fellow traveler, distractions are plentiful in this world. So are the needs of those around you. So join me, put down the phones, the tablets, turn off the TV, and say “no” to that event. Spend time on your knees with me, praying for those who need Christ, for those who have Him, but may have forgotten Him in their own distractions.
We need God. Every day. And we can only go forward if He goes before us.
A saint who advances on his knees never retreats. ~Jim Elliot.