Pausing with Purpose: A Prayer to Balance My Production-Driven Life
What is my word if my actions do not align? My word would be less than nothing. Inconsistencies between word and deed is one proof of living behind a false self.
It is imperative that I do, and not merely write. Which is why I am veering off-course this week from blogging about “Balance” in order to literally DO what I would have written about: avoiding the extremity of production-based living. Everything in me wants to simply write this blog to the best of my ability, check it off the list, and move on. No one would know any different, and I could easily hide behind simply doing the next right thing, just as everyone expects. But, this is an exercise in obedience that I submit to you, as a way of accountability and transparency - and perhaps the outward confession of what I know to be true: pausing my efforts (no matter how noble or grand) is a hard and necessary attack on the self-promoting pride that lurks within my heart.
This entire week, I have been compelled towards a tangible stillness, an unhurried hush, deep within my soul. So, I will pause now - on purpose and with purpose - with you. A simple practice of letting go of my need to be the answer to all my “To Do” lists of production and plans. A willful sacrifice of my abilities, to admit that God is God - in spite of me. To sit in that truth, and let it change me, rearrange my priorities, and reorient my heart from scurry to security. I feel deeply impressed to be silent, to listen, to wait. For what? I am not exactly sure. But, far be it from me to determine God’s designs before I even pause to consider His presence here. I hear “deep calling to deep” even as I sit here staring at my ever-growing list of responsibilities. Over the roar of this life, I hear a still, small voice: “Wait for Me. Consider My ways. Be still. Know that I am God.”
I want to obey.
So, will you join me now in a holy hush – to pause on purpose and with purpose? Will you sit with me and wait…consider…be still…and know afresh that He is God?
Father, in all my “doing”, I become frenzied, bothered, and interrupted in my mind and heart.
Bring my heart into your rest. Speak “peace, be still” and cause the storm within my heart to obey Your voice.
“I say to my soul, ‘Do not be disturbed. I know my God will break through for me’” (Ps. 42)
Lord, I am poor in spirit; incapable of spiritual understanding, discernment, and wisdom if not for your grace towards me. It is me, yet again, in need of that grace. Open the eyes of my heart so I may see what you would want me to see. Unplug my deficient, sometimes defiant ears, to hear what You would want me to hear. Return my thoughts again and again to considering Your ways. In all my doing, help me to measure this moment and eternity according to your standards. “Teach me to number my days, so that I may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).
“My soul thirsts, pants, and longs for the Living God. I want to come and see the face of God.” (Ps.42)
Remove the rush that is innate to my over-thinking, out-performing, excessive need to predict, move, situate, protect, coordinate, plan, arrange, and produce. Forgive my prideful sense of importance contingent upon what I can accomplish. I admit that the best outcomes of all these things is rubbish compared to knowing You (Phil. 3:8). I confess that knowing You as God is contingent upon my heart’s stillness in Your presence. Let the stillness of my mind and heart within these moments testify to this unchangeable truth. Impress this truth upon my heart and upon my soul (Deut. 11:18).
I confess that I have been too busy to consider your works and to wait in wonder as I meditate on who You are. Recalibrate my heart towards enjoying your presence in unhurried awe.
May I be convinced that sitting at your feet is the best use of the time You have given to me.
Lord, I see pain, discord, confusion, anger, and grief in almost every sphere. I do not understand, “Yet I will still remember you.” In all these things, I say to my soul, “just keep hoping and waiting on God, your Savior” (Ps 42).
And there are burdens within my heart – things I do not speak aloud for fear of the crushing weight. Yet, “all of my longings lie open before you, Lord; you hear my every sigh” (Ps. 38:9).
Every. Single. Sigh.
Thank you for listening even when I cannot speak. May my soul rest in Your care.
I remind my heart: “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7). Remind me in this stillness that You are still my God.
I am weak. You are strong. I will wait for You here.
I am frail. You are capable. I will wait for You here.
I am prideful. You are worthy. I will wait for You here.
I am afraid. You are love. I will wait for You here.
I am tired. You are enduring. I will wait for You here.
I am confused. You are in control. I will wait for You here.
I am dust. You are God. I will be still and know this as truth.
I must decrease. You must increase. This is Your purpose.
It is in my stillness before You that You will accomplish this in my life.
Help me to pause before you with this purpose:
I will be still and know You are God.