I’ve recently read two great books that brought up the same idea: praying over your to-do list.
As a working mom with a young child, my to-do list can often be my end-all-be-all. It ends up being the motivation for SO much of my day…and my happiness. I feel successful when I work through that thing, and overwhelmed when I just can’t get enough done. In a way, it becomes my idol.
I loved Karen Ehman’s advice from Keep It Shut:
“To pray your to-do list, find a few moments to be alone and quiet. Ask God to bring to mind all that you must accomplish that day…then briefly pray through each item on the list.”
And Matthew Perman gives some great thoughts on why we should pray our to-do list in What’s Best Next:
“We have an amazing privilege as Christians to integrate our planning with prayer. Prayer is essential for our planning, because God is the one who ultimately makes our plans effective."
To be honest, I have never given much thought to praying over my to-do list…but, when I read about it in both of these books, it was like the “ah ha” moment I needed to really change the trajectory of my weeks and days.
Since I’ve started praying my to-do list, I find myself:
• Less stressed about accomplishing things, as I’ve already laid the things before the One in charge
• More willing to let things go; when praying for certain things, I realize how trivial they really are
• Finding more time to be intentional in my day to day, as I realize that my to-do list rarely includes serving others
• A feeling of a greater purpose to my individual days - it doesn’t always feel like a race against the to-do list; now, I find myself more in tune with my greater goal of serving Jesus in the tasks
I would definitely recommend giving it a try - praying over my to-do list has been truly life-giving these past few weeks.
Have you ever prayed over your to-do list? How has it affected you?