Friday, October 30, 2009

Prayer Day (1)

Here's my plan for the day as it is at the moment. Things may change, but without a plan the day will just drift, so a plan is a good thing!

The first thing to do is to make sure I've got my journal and any other notebooks and pens I need. Because I keep a journal on a regular basis it is both a good place to start and a good place to record stuff. But there are some things that might need to be written down elsewhere. I also like to use plain paper to scribble things on. My thoughts don't often follow a linear pattern, and so writing them down in lines doesn't help me connect them up to each other.

The plan for the first part of my day is to spend an extended time in quite reflection and prayer, reading my current Bible passage and maybe a couple of devotional books too. As I go I'll note things down, but I will also keep a list of "distractions". These are the things that pop into my head and  may be a line of thought I should follow but more often are mere distractions that stop me focussing on the important. Things like the need to polish my shoes or to put the cheque I wrote yesterday in the accounts.

After this I will review my journal for the last month or so and see what trends show themselves. There are one or two things that I know need addressing in prayer, so I will do that. I'll also go through my pastoral notes, maybe collate them together and then sit down with the list of members and attenders and pray through that list.

I'll probably take a break then and decide what's next. The big things, so-to-speak, that I want to get to today concern vision and strategy things for church and asking some questions that I remember from a Bill Hybels book and talk about character, ministry and family.

This all sounds like a lot, and I suspect it is! But I'm not looking for definitive answers to many of these big questions, just a sense of where God is leading me and the church. I'm okay with the vague, trusting that the detail will come as the process unfolds. I don't see myself as going up the mountain to collect a five year plan from God to deliver to the deacons and the church! This is after all Upminster not Sinai!

To help me stay focussed I'll use what I've heard called the Pomodora technique. In it's least complicated form it's as simple as setting a timer and working until the timer sounds, having a short break and returning to work. After four rounds you take a longer break. 25 minutes is the recommended time slot and 5 minutes for the short break. A simple kitchen timer is all you need.

Long before I knew it had a name I used a timer to help me pray. Without it, I spend more time checking my watch than praying! Speaking of which, it's time to stop blogging about a prayer day and time to get started. I'll update you later.

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