During this season, most of us are spending more time at home than normal with less work to do, fewer errands to run, and no events to leave the house for. To fill the extra time at home you’ve probably spent plenty of time watching Netflix, reading books, scrolling through social media, or keeping up with the latest COVID-19 developments. While none of these things are inherently poor ways to spend your time, we would like to call you to take time every day to pause, pull away, and pray. Here’s what we mean:
Pause. Take time every day to hit pause on your favorite Netflix show, take a break from social media, put down the book, and stop consuming news. Our culture is designed to keep us busy and entertained every second of every day, which might help keep us from getting bored while we’re stuck at home, but it doesn’t create space for honest reflection and meditation. In fact, too much social media and news intake will only lead to more anxiety and restlessness. So take time every day to turn off the tv and put down your phone. Schedule at least one time a day to pause, but you might also consider pausing once in the morning, once around noon, and once in the evening.
Pull Away. Once the entertainment and news are turned off and put away, use the quiet space to pull away from all that is going on in the world around us. Times of difficulty and uncertainty can actually be some of the best times to examine your life and your walk with the Lord. However, this will never happen if we don’t take time to pull away from our normal activities. Take this opportunity to be honest with yourself about how you are feeling during this time. Ask yourself if there are any areas of your life that you are not surrendering wholly to God. Then remind yourself of who God is and of the promises he has made to his people in his Word.
Pray. After spending time in reflection and meditation, spend some time in prayer. If you need some help knowing how to pray, here are some suggestions. You can use the A.C.T.S acronym of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. For example, adore God for his sovereignty and the fact that this situation is not outside of his control. Confess that you are nervous about what is going to happen and have not been trusting him fully. Thank God for providing for your needs thus far and his faithfulness in past trials. Then ask God to keep you and your family and friends healthy, rid the world of COVID-19, and use this season for his glory by drawing people to himself.
Another way to pray is by using the Scriptures. Read a short portion of the Bible (the Psalms are a great place to start) and then pray the promises of God, the attributes of God, or the examples of God’s faithfulness that you read. For example, you might read Psalm 20:6-7, which says, “Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Then you could pray and thank God for his faithfulness to answer you and see you through past trials. You might remind yourself that God is holy and dwells in heaven while we are finite creatures who are utterly dependent upon him. Then thank God that while the world around us trusts in their money, exercise and healthy eating, or the government for provision and security, we trust in the God of the universe who has promised to provide for us and work all things out for our good.
This would also be a great time to pray for your family members, fellow Redemption Church members or attenders, neighbors, government leaders, and our world. You can pray that Christians would trust God during this difficult season and that those who do not know Christ would be saved. Pray for wisdom for our church and government leaders. And ask God to keep your family and friends healthy and end the COVID-19 pandemic soon.
These are just a few suggestions to help you pause, pull away, and pray during this unsettling season. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus getting away from the crowds in order to spend time with his Father (Matthew 14:23, Mark 6:46, and Luke 6:12 are just a few examples). If Jesus, the second person of the trinity, needed to pull away in order to pray to the Father then how much more so do we? As a church, let’s commit together to breaking the endless cycle of entertainment and news by intentionally taking time to get alone with God each day.
Written by Chace Ifland