Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A Prayer About Time, 3.0

Every few years I repost the following prayer written by Robert Banks, a missiologist from Australia, and published in his book The Tyranny of Time. Today seems like as good a day as any to repost it yet again. A blessing on your head.

***

God our Father,
you are the Maker of everything that exists,
the Author of the world of nature
and of all living things,
the Creator of both space and time.

Without you there would be no past,
present or future;
no summer or winter,
spring or autumn,
seedtime or harvest;
no morning or evening,
months or years.

Because you give us the gift of time
we have the opportunity
to think and to act,
to plan and to pray,
to give and to receive,
to create and to relate,
to work and to rest,
to strive and to play,
to love and to worship.

Too often we forget . . .
and fail to appreciate your generosity:
we take time for granted
and fail to thank you for it,
we view it as a commodity
and ruthlessly exploit it,
we cram it too full or waste it,
learn too little from the past
or mortgage it off in advance,
we refuse to give priority
to those people and things
which should have chief claim upon our time.

Help us to view time more as you view it,
and to use it more as you intend:
to distinguish between what is central
and what is peripheral,
between what is merely pressing
and what is really important,
between what is our responsibility
and what can be left to others,
between what is appropriate now
and what will be more relevant later.

Guard us against attempting too much
because of a false sense of our indispensability,
a false sense of ambition,
a false sense of rivalry,
a false sense of guilt,
or a false sense of inferiority:
yet do not let us mistake our responsibilities,
underestimate ourselves,
fail to be stimulated by others,
overlook our weaknesses, or know our proper limits.

Enable us also to realise that
important though this life is, it is not all,
that we should view what we do
in the light of eternity,
not just our limited horizons,
that we ourselves have eternal life now.

God our Father, you are
not so much timeless as timeful,
you do not live above time
so much as hold "all times . . . in your hand",
you have prepared for us a time
when we will have leisure
to enjoy each other and you to the full,
and we thank you, appreciate you
and applaud you for it.

Amen

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