Pray: Keeping Faith First

Are you keeping your priorities straight?

Faith, family and relationships, work. We all know how our priorities should look, but with deadlines at work and relationships demanding attention, it can be easy to slip out of balance.  We rush around trying to satisfy the most “urgent” demands, and faith is the area that suffers shortcuts and cutbacks.

Maybe if God sat us down for quarterly performance reviews, or demanded regular “DTR” (define the relationship) talks, things would be different.  That’s a thought, isn’t it?  But that’s not how God works.  Faith can’t be feedback-driven; it’s an eternal relationship with our Savior that we must choose.

It’s not always easy, but there are steps you can take to help keep yourself on track.

I try to attend at least one faith-based retreat a year.  There’s just something about being on location that frees you to let go of those seemingly-urgent demands of the world and focus on what’s really important.   Last week I spent a wonderfully-replenishing few days at the Willow Creek Summit, a Christian leadership retreat held once a year at locations all over the United States (    I heard-from and met so many people who are making brave and bold faith choices daily, I still get goose-bumps thinking about it.

In addition to retreats, try to keep faith-based friends close.  Do all of your friends need to be super-strong Christians?  No.  But there’s a depth of kinship you can share with other committed Christians that you will not find elsewhere.  If you already have some of these relationships in place, make it a point to invest in them.  If not, I hope that 4word can be a resource for you in forming some new connections.

Finally, carve out some daily time for God.  More than those few exhausted moments before you drift off to sleep.   Start simple: try five minutes of complete focus on God.  Pray, write, meditate, read the bible or a bible-study, whatever, just focus.  For five minutes.  Who doesn’t have five minutes?  You can also work in some “God-time” as you go about your day.  Read your Bible study while you’re on the elliptical at the gym, or pray your way through your day like Norma Coldwell shared in last Wednesday’s blog.

None of us is perfect (praise God we don’t have to be!), and I’ve been through my share of “dry” times.  When my faith is strong though, the benefits flow into every aspect of my life.  Keeping my priorities straight doesn’t detract from work or family, on the contrary!  I am quite simply a better parent, better spouse, and better worker when I put God first.