Daily Bread May 25

Small Prayers
Tammy Lindle Lewis of Independence, MO, USA

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. -1 Corinthians 15:58

Not long ago in a sermon, the speaker asked, “Is one percent a lot or a little?” He then provided examples:

  • The richest one percent of the US population has wealth equal to the other 99 percent.
  • Genetically what makes you uniquely you is only 0.1 percent difference.
  • For sprinters in a race, one percent is a “photo finish;” for marathon runners, one percent is measured in minutes.
  • If you’re waiting for results of a test that is 99 percent accurate diagnosing an illness, how big is that one percent?

More recently, I heard an interview with James Clear, an author who examines the power our habits have in our lives. He says habits are important because “each action you take is a vote for the type of person you want to become. They help you embody the sense of being that type of person…they are the method through which you embody your identity and develop your sense of self” (interview on CBS This Morning, February 7, 2018).

He encourages people to make changes in incremental ways by breaking goals into small units. In this practice our focus is on the starting line of a goal and not so much on the finish line.

Is one percent of your day (15 minutes) a lot or a little? Anything you do over time can transform you into a different person. Consider our disciple formation, spiritual practices, generosity, or engaging in Christ’s mission. Over time a little investment can become a lot.

Years ago during a dark time in my life, I began praying for the blessings and healing I wanted. Instead of asking God to do something, I started thanking God for making those things happen in and through me. These small prayers and the way I approached them changed me as I began to notice God’s work in me.

The Mission Prayer is changing the church. We invite God to use us when we pray:

God, where will your Spirit lead today?
Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.
Grant me courage to risk something new
and become a blessing of your love and peace.

Prayer Phrase

I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth… (Isaiah 43:19).

Spiritual Practice

A New Thing

Breathe deeply and listen within. Where is the Spirit doing a new thing in you? How do you feel about the new thing that might be emerging? Are you excited, resistant, fearful, hopeful? Take whatever you are experiencing to prayer. Breathe deeply and listen around you. Where is the Spirit doing a new thing in your community? Pay attention to how it feels to discern the Spirit’s activity and presence within and around you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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