How Prayer Can Help on a Stressful Day

Don’t focus on the impossible; prayerfully allow a Higher Power to prioritize for you.

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Prayer blogger Rick Hamlin

How can prayer help when you’ve got a busy day?

Yesterday sure felt like one of those crazy days. A couple meetings at work, another one at lunch, a meeting at church on stewardship at the end of the day. The committee decided we need to call members of the congregation to get commitments from them about donations for the upcoming year. Ugh, I thought, how am I going to make all those calls? I’m too busy!

It was the sort of day when I felt, If anybody tells me about one more thing I have to do I’m going to snap. Enough already.

Then I remembered a precious nugget of advice I got years ago from Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute, a brilliant bestseller on how do go about a job search. Bolles is also an Episcopal priest, and when I was interviewing him, I happened to complain about how hard it was in an office to ever get done all those things you put on a to-do list. “I’ll never catch up,” I said.

“The Holy Spirit is the Lord of your time,” he said and repeated it, as I hurriedly scribbled on a pad of paper.

What he meant was that a day, a month, a life, is full of interruptions and demands on our time. Sometimes we can never cross off everything on our neat to-do lists. There are always new things coming up. But the most important thing is to stay open to where we’re called and how we can help. Maybe that person who walks into your office when you’re madly rushing to meet a deadline is the most important item on a hidden list. Maybe listening to them is what God called you to do.

The Holy Spirit is the Lord of your time. Try that bit of sage advice. Whenever I plug into it, the stress levels go way down and my focus on what needs to be done goes up. Most of us can’t get everything done when we think it needs to get done. But we can prayerfully allow ourselves to be guided to a higher power prioritizing for us.

The phone call at the wrong time, that unexpected email you need to respond to, that list of people to call for the stewardship campaign. Those moments are what make for a rich, godly life. Sometimes, when you let the Holy Spirit be the Lord of your time you get more done than you ever thought you could.

Tags: Prayer,Stress
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