If your life is anything like mine, you have an abundance of things vying for your time. I need to organize this and go through that. There are projects, studying and writing that await me. My “to do” list has gotten so long that even when I do have time I don’t know where to start. Learning time management has become one of my highest priorities. Ecclesiastes 3 says “There is a time for everything…” but most days I wonder if Solomon knew anything about the life of a working mom!
So I asked God what to do and to teach me how to get it all done. This is what He said, “Pray this, ‘Bless my time!’” That’s it. I was surprised it was so little. Can such a little prayer have big results? God showed me that with those three little words this is what I was saying:
God, provide the time I need to do the things you have given me to do. Cause me to use my time efficiently so I can get the most done in the time I have. Prepare me for my work by giving me rest when I need rest, energy when I need energy, focus when I need focus, and playfulness to enjoy the process. Prosper my work by making everything I do effective in carrying out its purpose. And let everything I spend my time doing please and glorify You.
Our time is one of our most valuable assets and it’s one thing we all have equally. It doesn’t matter how much talent or money a person has; God has given everyone 24 hours in a day and He wants us to use it wisely. You see, blessed time doesn’t mean more time to do what I want or less time doing what I dislike. It means getting maximum fruitfulness for what I do. Everything that I do – spending time with my kids, work projects, Bible study and prayer – it all bears fruit, either good or bad. Some fruit lasts decades and some lasts only minutes, but I want my time to be as effective for good as it can be in each moment, no matter what I am doing.
Although “Bless my time!” is a short prayer, those simple words speak volumes. Let’s take a closer look at what they say.
“God, provide the time I need to do the things you have given me to do.” There it is: our dependence on God to “provide” and our surrender to His will for how we use our time. What God tells us to do, He also provides for, and our time is no exception.
God has been telling me to exercise, and I have been telling God that I don’t have time. On my own, it’s true. But God isn’t waiting for me to fit it in; He is waiting for me to let Him fit it in. What’s the difference? Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps,” (NKJV).
We can arrange our schedules and lay out our days but only God really knows what lies ahead. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, a child might get sick, the traffic might be heavy, or a friend might unexpectedly take you to lunch for a break. We don’t know, but God does. Because He sees tomorrow, He can direct our steps to provide the time we need.
“Cause me to use my time efficiently so I can get the most done in the time I have.” Multi-tasking – I know you’ve heard the term. It means doing more than one thing at one time. It’s supposed to help us get a lot of things done in a small amount of time, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it just leaves us frazzled and unfocused.
One day when my kids were little I was trying to cook dinner with a baby on my hip, get juice for my toddler, and just to be efficient, I turned on the drinking water faucet to fill up a pitcher. Somewhere in between putting the juice back in the fridge and stirring the meat on the stove, I forgot about the water pitcher filling on the counter. Soon, the water flowed across my counter and spilled over the edge creating a waterfall down my cupboards and onto the floor. By trying to do too many things at once, I had created more work for myself. Time efficiency means knowing when to multi-task and when to do one thing and do it well.
Efficiency also involves excellence. Doing something right the first time is more efficient than doing something over and over because we were in a hurry or weren’t careful. It’s not about perfection, just doing everything to the best of our ability. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might …” Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NKJV).
“Prepare me for my work by giving me rest when I need rest, and energy when I need energy.” Have you ever had time to work on something you really wanted to do but found yourself distracted, tired, or constantly interrupted by the telephone, the noise outside or your own wound up mind? There is nothing worse than for my husband to take the kids on an outing so I can “get something done” only to find myself unable to be productive because I’m not properly prepared. Like the time I left the house with my laptop only to arrive at the coffee shop and realize the battery had not been charged and I didn’t bring the cord!
Here again, only God knows what our days will bring and only He can bring the kind of preparation we will need. He can make us sleep better or put our mind at ease, whatever we’ll need to accomplish what He gives us to do.
“Prosper my work by making everything I do effective in carrying out its purpose.” We sow our seed, but it is God who makes it grow. When I read with my children, I hope they will learn and grow in wisdom. When I talk with a friend, I hope she will feel loved. When I teach my students, I hope they will gain new understanding. As we do our work, some exciting, most not, we look forward to seeing the fruit of our labors. I want my seeds not only to grow, but to bear the fullest, juiciest fruit they possibly can.
“Let everything I spend my time doing please and glorify You.” This is the final and most important facet of blessed time. The ultimate goal of well-spent time is to do God’s will and bring glory to Him through what we do. Fulfillment does not come from busy schedules or free-time galore, it comes from doing what God gives us, in His way and in His time.
“Bless my time!” says it all. And when we pray it, every day, throughout the day, we are releasing God’s power for Him to pour out His blessings on the fruits of our time.
Please share your thoughts by commenting below. What does blessed time look like for you?