When to plan? When to pray?

I’m finding it hard to know when to plan more and when to pray more.  Life gets busy.  Tasks add up.  You start looking for the quickest way to do what you need to do, but without losing the point for which you were doing it in the first place.

Planning helps me fully utilize all strengths and assets I poses in getting a job done.

Prayer helps me lean in to God’s strength for him to get the job done through me.

I certainly don’t think prayer and planning are mutually exclusive, but I find it hard to fully leverage both together when under the gun.  Planning to the max makes me a bit like a robot, and less attentive to the voice of God.  Praying is great, but the task list hasn’t gotten any further after an hour of prayer.

Still searching for the right balance.

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5 responses to “When to plan? When to pray?

  1. This is a great topic, Brian. I think that balance is an unhelpful word in this context. We must stretch the tension between prayer and planning in ourselves, and operate within that tension, in my opinion. This means that we often oscillate between the two, as we feel stretched to plan well and depend on God.

    I find that I am more often apt to schedule times for planning but not time for prayer. Scheduling time for prayer creates a moment in our schedules when we cannot skip by the need for hearing from God or expressing our dependence.

    Also, I find that I am more apt to think of this at a personal level and not make the most of my place in the body of Christ. Just as I often plan with others’ input, I find that having others join me in prayer is important. Sometimes this happens through face-to-face gatherings but at other times I simply ask people to pray for me at different times as I work on projects or upcoming messages. This reminds me that I do not stand alone in these tasks or events.

    Thanks for bringing this into discussion.

  2. Really like your take on this Matt. Not much of a balance issue, is it. I’m getting better at scheduling prayer for myself, but I like the idea of scheduling some prayer meetings with others… not just planning meetings.

  3. hey brian. congrats on the new church plant. will you be at exponential again? i have a friend coming that is planting a church in his home town and you two are very similar, i think. would be great to hook you two up.
    re: balance…i try not to use that word anymore…mostly because it is not possible. a person could be balancing everything and not having a life! a better term that richard swenson uses in his classic book, Margin, is rhythm. life is all about rhythm. with rhythm there will be times when we pray more, times when we plan more, times that are fallow and not much is happen. that is life. our task, i think, is to see and respond to the present moment with whatever it is that is needed of us, or required…if i need a retreat, i should retreat, a vacation…take time off. i was just thinking this morning that i pretty much always think about our community of faith and the people in it and am driven to pray for them regularly…i felt like maybe i need a few days to not think about them at all! and that would be ok. i could say lots more but will leave it there. God bless you richly in these exciting days!

  4. Thanks David! I will be at the Exponential Conference in April, and would love to catch your friend.

  5. I was blessed to be led to your website and wanted to share what the Lord has taught me about prayer over the years. Prayer is more important than planning as God wants our dependence upon Him, not our thoughts, efforts or actions. In prayer, He will confirm what we should and should not focus our time and attention on. Many things on our lists were written by our hand, not His. Learning how pray: focusing on His glory and God’s will, brings our life into alignment with Him and gets us off the performance treadmill. Learning to pray is a life long journey, that brings peace.

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