31 Days of Fervent Prayer – When Pressures = Slavery

Fervent Prayer

Every year in October we have a few weeks where our work schedule slows way down. The majority of our clients are farmers and so during this time of year they will be in the fields for harvest and we get a bit of a break.

This year it felt like a gift of time where we were finally able to breathe.

We have been running at full speed and at times it feels like too much. And this is just our work schedule, then we factor in our kids, our new bible study, time with extended family and it is a wonder that we can even find time to sleep.

Priscilla talks about the pressures we face in Strategy 8 of Fervent. When I read these words I felt that she was talking to me…“Ever notice how many of the pressures in your life resemble slavery?….Slaves don’t rest. Slaves just work.” p135

One of my biggest struggles has always been setting appropriate boundaries. Especially when it comes to our work schedule. Rules of customer service dictate that the client is always right and that translated into my rarely saying no. Fear sets in and I wonder if I say no to an over-full calendar if they will come back.

But trying to be everything for everyone can leave us harried and worn out.

And once again we are right where the enemy wants us.  “If I were your enemy, I’d make everything seem urgent, as if it’s all yours to handle. I’d bog down your calendar with so many expectations you couldn’t tell the difference between what’s important and what’s not….” p133

In those moments where I am so incredibly stressed by my workload/schedule, I am not at peace. And I really don’t have time or energy for God. I am a morning person, so getting up early to have some quiet time works for me. But earlier this year I was so exhausted that I started setting my alarm back in the morning. A half hour quickly became a full hour to sleep in. I wasn’t spending time in God’s Word. I wasn’t praying. I was barely hanging on.

I could tell a difference in my attitude towards those closest to me. I was easily irritated and short-tempered. I didn’t pause and pray. And while I wasn’t distant from God because I was angry at Him…I didn’t feel close to Him because I wasn’t spending any time fostering that relationship.

Tomorrow I will dive into this a little more and will be sharing how I recently had to give up on some good things to free up my schedule for some specific things God was calling me to.

Today I encourage you to take a look at your schedule. Are there things that bring you joy each day? Things that feel like a burden? Maybe there is something that has become a chain of slavery in your life. An expectation you have for yourself, or believe someone else has for you that is driving you for the wrong reasons. An inability to rest or to find time to be with God each day. Maybe there is something that needs to be changed so that you too can breathe again?

Get a list together and tomorrow we will talk more about how we can say no, and maybe even give up control so that we can have more peace in our days. I know God doesn’t want the yoke of slavery on us…but how often do we carry it anyways? I for one have had enough!

Lord, we so often wear “busy” like a badge of honor in our lives. But when we are too busy that we can’t even make time for You, we often find ourselves falling apart. Help us as we examine those areas in our lives that need cutting. Give us the courage to say no to the good things so that we can follow Your path and the best things that You have for our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen

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