I think all Christ-followers long to better connect our faith with our daily lives. We know and deeply believe that our relationship with God in Christ through the Spirit is the foundation of our lives. We know we are created to glorify God and enjoy him forever. But we sometimes struggle to connect these ideals with the moment-by-moment unfolding of our day. How do we move out of our daily time of personal devotions (I hope you have them) into the mundane and routine of our day, which is often busy, fast-paced, full of frustrations, and… well… tangible (while we struggle with the intangibility of an invisible God present with us)? How do we, as the Apostle urges us, live our lives as a “living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” in light of his mercies to us (Rom. 12:1)? How can you, practically speaking, “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31)?
Wendell Berry wrote, “There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.” Similarly, singer and songwriter Andrew Peterson writes, “there are no unsacred moments; there are only sacred moments and moments we have forgotten are sacred.” One way we can reclaim the sacredness of life itself, and each moment and place within in, is to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17, ESV). So how do we learn to do that?
I have been greatly encouraged by a new book I picked up that has helped me grow in that way. It’s called Every Moment Holy, and it is a collection of liturgies for daily life. Some of these liturgies feel fairly formal (as a liturgy often does), but I appreciate the language and the way that it helps reorient my normal, daily experiences to God in prayer. In so doing, it trains me to encounter God all day long and engage in a running conversation with him about everything I’m experiencing along the way. There are prayers for our work, for changing diapers, doing the laundry, for sunsets, for before consuming media, or grieving the end of a good book. There are prayers for welcoming a new pet into the home, battling destructive desires, being flooded by too much information, and struggling with doubt. There are liturgies for moments of laughter, good food, or seeing a flower, as well as prayers for fears, desires, and anxieties… 275 pages of prayers that reorient and shape my thinking about how every moment of my day is holy.
Some of these prayers I pray for myself as written. Others give me language and examples to put into my own words along the way. But all of them encourage me to see and engage God all day long, no matter what I’m doing and what my circumstance is. I commend the book to you if you’re interested in something like that. Let me leave you with one example that I think is relevant to all of us at some point:
A Liturgy for Waiting in Line (p. 255)
As my life is lived in anticipation
of the redemption of all things,
so let my slow movement in this line
be to my own heart
a living parable and a teachable moment.
Do not waste even my petty irritations, O Lord.
Use them to expose my sin and selfishness
and to reshape my vision
and my desire into better, holier things.
Decrease my unrighteous patience,
directed at circumstances and people.
Increase instead my righteous longing
for the moment of your return,
when all creation will be liberated
from every futility in which it now languishes.
Be present in my waiting, O Lord,
that I might also be present in it
as a Christ-follower to those before and behind me,
who also wait.
As I am a vessel, let me not be like a sodden
paper cup full of steaming frustration, carelessly
sloshing unpleasantness on those around me.
Rather let me be like a communion chalice,
reflecting the silvery beauty of your light,
brimming with an offered grace.
Steve Sage is our Pastor of Discipleship.