A prayer before a deadline
Listen to this daily worship
Matthew 6: 25-34 (NRSVA)
25 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 ‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
I wonder how many of us tossed and turned in our beds last night worrying about something. I think worry need not be a bad thing, it can make us proactive to do something about a situation — to perhaps meet a deadline.
In such a case I wonder if there is a fine line between worry and prayer itself. Of course if I worry about something that I have no control over then Jesus in this reading gives us some good advice. Take each day at a time. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So here I am praying
The thing is
I’m worried about my reputation
Not the consequences of my inactivity
And how my lack of response will affect others
I’m worried doubly now
About my self-centred attitude
Does that make my prayer invalid?
Should I be praying about this at all?
Is this another one of my selfish prayers?
On this occasion
I’ve taken too much on
I couldn’t say “No”
Help me Lord
Finish what I’ve started!
It can’t be a sin to want a good reputation?
Surely you will agree
I’m doing the right thing
Reflecting on my actions
Will I learn from my mistakes
Can I ask forgiveness
When I have ignored the signs
When I have procrastinated
When I have just about let the deadline slip past
Help keep me focused
I’ll get the job done
And I promise
I’ll definitely sort out my motives