“The Prayer of a Mess.”  I  can’t  find  one  anywhere!…

“Mess” meaning someone not mired in gross sin and filth, but bogged down in chaos and missed schedule points and tasks incomplete and objects dropped and spilled and mounting frustrations through the day.

I guess I’ll have to write my own…

O Lord God, Creator of this whole, vast, intricate, millisecond clock-work, far-flung universe, Maker of nanoparticle precision, Source of perfection and order and beauty and timing, help!

Deliver me somehow from my out-of-step, disordered, fragmented thinking and living.

“I’ve fallen so far behind myself I don’t know how to catch up! Or, what I should leave out and what take up as “next:” the thing listed next for this time of day, or one of the unfinished…?”

“All this performance procrastination is not on purpose, Lord.

“I just trailed off on side paths that highway-robbed my time. Then the attempted return to the day’s intended track stole more precious minutes, as new hindrances kept cropping up in my shortcuts like gnomes at bridges. 

“Not the defiant, self-willed sinner growing increasingly vile, I’m become more the waif wandering a thick and weedy wood, distraught in distracted circles. Rescue me, I pray from my own ineptitude!”

Growing in frustration, and fear that I’ll fly all apart, and my little pieces go careening thither and yon through great Space, I utter a prayer much like that.

It’s that kind of wasted day.

But (A. W.) Tozer’s wisdom shines light into my cluttered brain and chases out those clamoring, competing demands like money-changers from the temple. He studied the lives and writings of many great men of the Faith and noted their way of defining a wasted day: a day missing time alone with God.

Not that my day totally lacked it. But what time I did “find” was plagued with self-distractions and inattentiveness.

So. I. stop.

So. I. rest.

So. I. still. Shut up, that is, except for reading scripture aloud, but then to listen to its words, rather than blather.

I take time, I make time, for this one thing (Ph 3:13-14), this good part that won’t be taken away… (Lk 10:42).

And the flying-apart fragments of mind and soul and spirit quiet to slow and settle to rest and all begins to come together again, under the cohesive force of Him in Whom all things hold together.

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14 thoughts on “Prayer for a Wasted Day

  1. AMEN!! Oh Thank you for this post today, I am a mess lately, ever hear the saying “I’ve fallin’ and I can’t get up” so overwelmed with heartache, pain, worry and fear that I am weighed down to the ground. Why do I continue to carry these burdens when ‘ I KNOW” I have a Savoir so willing to do so, and a God who is in control? Tired of my wasted days!! Thank you dear, my hand is reached out and to the cross I go! <3

  2. Drat, Bobbi, I wrote you a reply, then lost it! (More of the same discombobulation described above?) Oh, well, maybe God wants me to share it Thursday.

    Meanwhile, realize there’s such a thing as legitimate grief (which slows us greatly), and that turning our burdens over to Him often (usually?) takes lots of repetition. You do well, reaching out to the cross. Grace to you there, Bobbi. And prayers at this end. Love you, dear sister. See you soon!

  3. Oh the secret mystery of being still and knowing that he is God! I share with you that feeling of hatred for a wasted day – for time lost – of ground again – and then squandered to- or taken away. I also share with you that feeling of knowing that all is well with my soul – when I rest – in HIM. I hearted this, thank you Sylvia – and God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours!

  4. I never defined a waste day as one in which I failed to spend time alone with God, but it’s so true. I may define my day as wasted because I failed to accomplish my goals, but as long as I spend time with God throughout my day, no day will ever be wasted.

    Thanks for redefining a wasted day for me!

    1. You’re welcome, I’m sure, Rebecca. The redefining we’d have to credit to those godly men of old, and A. W. Tozer, a favorite writer of mine. He redefined a wasted day for me some time ago, and I’m forever grateful for the insight. Now if I’d just remember it more often!
      Thanks much for visiting and commenting.

  5. Wow, Craig, I really appreciate your visiting and leaving a comment, knowing now how you must have been feeling lately. Pneumonia! I meant to leave you a comment at some point soon, but well, you can gather how scattered I’ve been. (Much better today, settling down in Him.) But that episode of Valentine’s story (yesterday’s I think), I read it today, and it. is. dynamite!
    So anyone happening on this comment, for a special historical fiction treat, go to
    to find the last installment of “Love’s Holiday Has a Story” and the links to follow the episodes through from the beginning.
    I don’t know how I missed so many of these. My email notices of your new posts don’t seem to have come through. Going to read them all now, though. Really good!
    And I do hope you’re getting recovered now. Been praying. Take care of yourself, and God bless!

  6. *smile*

    I think I need to borrow that prayer :). Or maybe your ending point. Rest. This sounds like a good place to be–in His arms.

  7. Yes, Laura, I wonder why that rest eludes me sometimes even when all the busy stir is only the jumble of thoughts and plans and ideas all banging into each other in my mind! That should be a signal for me to stop and get still with my Savior… now. When I do, things usually sort out and fall into their respective places. When I don’t, I just jumble and waste my time and efforts more. Thanks for hosting Play Dates, and for stopping by!

  8. Deciding what I most need out of life, carefully calculating my next move, and generally allowing my autonomous self to run amuck inflates my sense of self-importance and reduces the God of my incredible journey to the role of spectator on the sidelines. It is only the wisdom and perspective gleaned from an hour of silent prayer each morning that prevents me from running for CEO of the universe. ~ Brennan Manning

    Your answers: being still and resting seem right on, Dear Sylvia.


  9. Dawn,
    (Smiling) I love that quote! Isn’t that the bottom line? The silent prayer of being at rest, the listening *to* more than talk-talk-talking *at,* Bible there at hand to verify God’s truth — just stilled with all agenda laid aside, as we’d be if a well-loved guest stopped by for a short time of conversation… Nothing sorts out the brain and more effectively, and puts us in our proper place.
    (And can you imagine any bitty-speck, ignorant human running the universe? Wow! What a horror!)
    Thanks, Dawn. And God bless your day with the peace of His presence.

  10. Boy, can I ever relate to this post!

    Time sure gets away, and it’s hard to tell the difference between time management and procrastination.

    I wonder if this is what the Apostle Paul was talking about in using the phrase “redeeming the time” (KJV Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5)?

  11. Hm. Yeah, Joe, there could have been procrastination in there (you know, substituting time waster activity for higher priority things), but time management seemed to be lacking! Just a loading on of demands willy-nilly. As for “redeeming the time,” that phrase did flash through my head several times!

  12. There have been times when the only prayer I could muster was, “Dear God, please help. Amen.”

    I love reading Tozer, learning about the spiritual growth of those who have gone before. We can learn so much from these classics in spiritual literature.

    Thank you for sharing your prayer here. It resonates deep.

  13. Me, too, Denise. In fact, there have been times when all I could do was sigh to Him, “Oh, Lord…” But His Spirit fills in for us then, doesn’t He?
    Another thing we have in common — a love for Tozer’s writing! I have been thinking about starting a “Tuesday with Tozer” series of posts next week, going through “The Pursuit of God,” touching on a chapter a week, just to the end of that book. So much good stuff in there!

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