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Sunday Commute

The Sunday morning commute has become one of the best prayer times of my week.

At the beginning of this year, our church moved from our suburban location–which was a two-minute drive from my home–to a soup kitchen downtown. Now it takes me 15-20 minutes to get to church, with several traffic lights between home and my destination. My husband will tell you that I will drive miles out of my way any day of the week to avoid sitting at traffic lights. But not on Sundays…not anymore. driving_praying

A few months ago I began thinking of the Sunday morning commute as a prime time for prayer.

I’m the associate pastor at my church, so you may think that it’s a given that I would be prayerful on Sunday mornings as I prepare for our worship service. Not necessarily! (If you are a pastor, perhaps you are smiling in agreement!) It’s far too easy for my mind to drift to whatever I need to do when I get to church, who I need to speak with, or anticipate where I might have to fill in for an absent volunteer minister. If I’m preaching, my tendency is to review and critique my sermon for the umpteenth time. When engaged in that line of thinking, I arrive at church wired and ready to get busy with work…not worship.

I spent ten years on staff at a church where I went to work on Sunday mornings. When I left, I was on the verge of burnout. I did not practice self-care. I allowed the demands of ministry to take precedence over my need to worship, to give God the honor and glory that is due him, and in turn to experience the satisfaction of doing what I was created to do: worship God.

Sundays are for worship, not work. Yes, I have responsibilities on Sunday mornings, but my first priority is to worship God. Praying through the drive to church makes all the difference in my ability to prioritize worship over work. Rather than focus on the to-do list, I…

  • acknowledge God’s faithfulness, thanking him for a new day, and for the privilege of living in a country where I can worship him freely
  • thank Jesus for enduring the cross so that I can live free
  • thank God for those he will bring through our church door who are searching
  • lift up all those who are preparing to come to church, asking God to remove any obstacles, and to pour out a spirit of cooperation on spouses and children
  • pray for those who are struggling with the temptation to stay home, to skip church this week, asking God to stir up a holy desire for worship and fellowship with their church family
  • ask the Holy Spirit to annoint the preaching pastor as he opens God’s word, and to stir our minds and hearts to belief and obedience
  • ask God to bless the volunteer ministers as they bless those whom they serve
  • and I pray that God will be blessed by the worship we bring.

What I’m amazed to find is that when the worship service begins, when the first note of the first song sounds, my heart and my mind sync with the Holy Spirit and worship overflows!

So, what do you do on your Sunday commute?


2 thoughts on “Sunday Commute

  1. Hi Andee. I love your post because it is so true for anyone involved in ministry. We get wrapped up in the work and miss the why behind why we are doing it. What should be out of response, thanks and praise to God often becomes the work just needs to get done and then I can move on to the next project. One of the key things about using our spiritual gifts is they are to be used in love or they are a resounding gong. How often I hear the gong going off in my own attempts to serve. As leaders we really need to help keep the main thing the main thing- worshipping and serving our Savior.

    I love your analogy of the commute. For me, it’s become the bathroom. Before I lead a workshop, speak of do a serve activity- I actually go to the throne- the bathroom. While I am in the bathroom- alone- where no one else should be able to distract me, I bow my head and send prayers of request to the heavenly throne. I always pray that God doesn’t find this disrespectful. For whatever reasons, my bladder is failing me more and more and I spend more and more time on the throne. I’ve found it a great time to take a few words to the Lord in prayer.

    Praying you are doing well! Hey, and I love that your church has moved to a soup kitchen. You are a blessing in God’s kingdom. Thank You for your faithful service!

  2. Hi, Lori! Thanks very much for your comment. I’m glad that it resonated with you! My guess is that God is delighted to receive your prayers, regardless of where you are offering them from! LOL! Bless you!

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