A Prayer for Effective Use of Time

Something that is equal to all of us is the amount of time available for us each day we live. How we choose to use the time we are given is what makes the difference in each of our lives. Often we would like time to stand still in our lives, while at other times we wish to fast forward. In either case, how is it that we can most effectively use the time God has given to each of us?

Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. We know that we were created for God’s purposes. Knowing this, we must be careful to make the most of the limited time God has given to us. Ephesians 5:15-17 tells us, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

Effective use of time means that we act in such a way as to make the most of our Master’s assets—the talents He has given to us—as illustrated in the Parable of the Three Servants, recorded in Matthew 25:14-30.

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

We all want to hear God say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” But, in order to hear that, we must be doers of His word and not hearers only (James 1:22).

Dear Heavenly Father,

Remind me of how brief my life on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered and how fleeting my life is (Psalm 39:4).

Grant us effective use of every moment we breathe. We thank You, Father, for the many gifts and talents You have given to us. May we use them always for Your glory—not our own.

We praise You for the opportunity to be a blessing to others. Help us to be mindful of the needs of others. May we follow Your example of humility and service in all our hands find to do.

Guide us in making the most of all times, including times of adversity. May we learn and grow in wisdom and understanding Father— deliberate and careful about every choice we make.

We ask all these things in Your precious, holy name.

AMEN.

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