A Prayer for Relying on God Instead of Our Efforts
By: Kristine Brown
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12 NIV
Today I watched a pair of barn swallows toil away at building a nest along the edge of the front porch. Their efforts proved fruitless.
A few seasons ago, we added a row of screens on the ledge to prevent the mud-based nests these active birds would build each year. But this pair would not be deterred, as evidenced by the row of mud glops from one end to the other. They tried one spot, then when that didn’t work, they moved to the next. On and on, until the sunset late in the evening. I watched and wondered if they’d ever wear themselves out.
At the end of the day, the result was lots of work and no nest to show for it.
I’m a lot like those barn swallows – wired for work. I rush, rush, rush to get the job done. All the while, not realizing I’m relying on my own efforts. I love how The Living Bible translation expresses Psalm 90:12: “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.” When we remember each day is a gift, we can release our striving and rely on God for the results.
God is the essence of all that is good. Learning to trust in Him rather than our own abilities will bring peace. I can get caught up in the toiling and not realize I’ve taken matters into my own hands. Gaining a heart of wisdom means taking moments to notice the goodness of God that follows us all our days (Psalm 23:6.) Knowing how to spend each one. Enjoying time in His presence.
So instead of being like those little birds, let’s take a break from the toiling. Let’s pray and release our reliance on our own efforts, remembering to thank the One who is in control of all things.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for reminding me through your Word that each day is a gift. I gain wisdom when I release control of my day to you and trust your guidance in how I spend my time.
Lord, I want to do good works for you. But sometimes I get caught up in being busy and forget You are the one who holds me in Your hand (Psalm 139:10.) Forgive me for wearing myself out with my continued toiling, relying on my own efforts to get results rather than trusting you. Help me gain a heart of wisdom by relying on you more.
Your Word says we “are a mist that appears for a little while,” (James 4:14.) But you are eternal. Whatever the day brings, I know my peace comes from you. Thank you for the gift of today, the gift of rest, and the gift of your presence.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For more resources to help you when you’re wired for work, visit author Kristine Brown’s Life Enrichment Library. You’ll also find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, kristinebrown.net.
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