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Prayer, Plain and Simple

New Year: 2010. There’s nothing magical about this 24 hour segment of time. It’s like any day: the earth goes round the sun in exactly the pattern it has for millennia. Yet in our culture we designate this day as our moment among 365 days to “figuratively” stop and restart. It’s customary to make formal statements and plans about what we want to “stop” and what we want to “restart.” We “resolve” to change.

 

Making resolutions is the simple part. The challenge is the work to follow through. As Christians we work, just as God worked to make creative impact in the world. As Christians however, we rest first, then work. Our labor grows out of our Sabbath. We worship on Sunday, our first day of the week, then build our work from our rest. God on the other hand worked first, as Genesis one puts it, for six “days” then he rests on the last day. But humans, God’s highest creation formed on the sixth day, spend their first day of life on earth “resting” with God. They begin with relationship, and communion with God, and their labors for life grow from this, following not leading toward rest.

 

This is an important principle for me as I consider the work ahead of me to complete the resolutions and changes I want see happen this year. Today, on the first day of the year, like the first day of the week, I rest and wait and focus on my relationship with God. There’s work ahead. There is discipline and focus and perseverance and determination ahead. But for now, I rest…

“God, I want to see change in my life. I know that you need to work these changes in my, and that I need to work along with you, in response to you, in order to maximize the effect. But before I work, Lord, I rest. Today on the first day of 2010, I will focus on relationships: with you, with my family, with my friends. I will set aside my work and I will wait. It’s good. In Jesus…”

I’ve written a book about his process of genuine transformation called “The Karma of Jesus.” Explore it and let me know what you think.

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