Redeeming the Hours

by | Jul 19, 2022 | Prayer

“I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.” (John 17:9-10 ESV)

What are your most useless hours of the week? Some people hate cooking dinner for themselves or scrubbing floors. But the real vanity of vanities, the epitome of useless time for me, can be stated in one pitiful word: laundromat.

It’s not that I have anything against cleanliness, per say. It’s just that I detest lugging loads of laundry, big bottles of detergent and bleach, hangers, and a small cache of coins to the local Breezy Clean.

When I’m there I often succumb to a sort of trance, staring at my tumbling blue jeans. The awful monotony is sometimes broken by a vigorous discussion some couple is having about the proper cycle for washing tube socks. There must be a better way. Pounding clothes with rocks in the stream at least developed muscles and a tan.

Do you have time you consider valueless—or at least less than your favorite time spent? The apostle Paul must have foreseen our modern-day tedium when he encouraged us to be “making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). Oddly enough, prayer at these otherwise dreary times is an excellent way of doing this. Thinking we don’t have time to spend hours on our knees each day, we fail to carve out for ourselves little niches of time in which to be alone with God.

There are so many needs out there and so many who need to hear about Jesus’ love and sacrifice for them. There’s the mother hospitalized by an accident. There are students at college in search of a solid church fellowship. There are teens all around us who are full of questions and seeking truth. There are children whose parents are going through a divorce. There are the parents going through a divorce. Do this for very long and one thing you’ll find: the more one prays, the longer your prayer list gets.

I like recording the names of people I pray for, the requests I make, and the way God answers. If I didn’t make these brief notes, I’d likely forget the specifics of many of the prayers I make in such times. The Lord does exciting, sometimes spectacular, things when His people pray. A written record reminds me to thank and praise Him for His endless love and His attention to the myriad details in our lives.

So, the next time you find yourself engaged in some low-intensity mental exercise (mowing the lawn, walking the dog, vacuuming the house), think about those you know and love and pray for them. Surely, this is what Jesus did as He thought about those He ministered to, those who would press on after His death and resurrection.

He prayed for us—”those whom You have given Me.” That’s you and me! And now we should pray for others also. It’s a great way to make the most of our time.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, remind us to pray for one another and to do so often. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

From The Lutheran Layman, April 1979 issue, “The Most Useless Hour of the Week,” by Jane Fryar
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries

Reflection Questions:
1. What’s one thing you really dislike having to do? Is there a way you’ve made that job easier?
2. How is Jesus glorified in the people God the Father has given Him?
3. Have you ever made a prayer list? If not, do you think it would be helpful?


Redeeming the Hours