A Prayer to Put First Things First
By Maggie Meadows Cooper
“Mrs. Cooper was a real gentlewoman, refined, cultured, and lovable-a character who lived and radiated her religion. Her home, church, husband, and children were the most important things in her life, for she was a person who always put first things first."
I found this description of my great-great-grandmother a few years ago, and while there are many special women in my family line, she was the matriarch. Her painting hangs in my dining room, and I was told about her for as long as I can remember. This is the most beautiful description of her I've heard though..."she was a person who always put first things first." I wish the same could be said of me, but I know that wouldn't always be true.
Facebook. Dishes. HGTV. Text messages. Laundry.
Chocolate. Sleep. Email. Online shopping. Home projects.
All things that I sometimes allow to take precedence over “first things.”
And what are “first things”? Relationship with Jesus, Spouse, Children.
It's not hard. But it is.
And y’all, it makes me think about Martha. You know, Mary's sister...Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus while her sister Martha busy-bodied around and fussed about her lazy sister who wouldn't help her? You know the one.
You usually hear people down on Martha, but there is something about her that we can't overlook. There is clear evidence that she loved the Lord. She wanted to please Him. And she believed in Him. So why did she have trouble putting Jesus first? Because of one simple thing.
"...Martha was distracted..." And then Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” (Luke 10:40-42)
Sound familiar? It does to me. I am the queen of distraction. I want to keep focused and stay away from things that take my mind off Jesus, but this world is so stinkin' busy. It is an ongoing battle for me, and I’m fairly certain that I’m not alone.
So, if you have ever allowed distraction to keep you from putting first things first, here are a few things that to help you focus on the One who matters most:
1. Post Scripture everywhere. The kitchen sink, laundry room, bathroom mirror, dashboard, desk at work, etc, wherever you spend your time, write Bible verses on sticky notes or index cards and put them up as reminders to keep your focus on Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:16)
2. Choose friends who will hold you accountable and encourage you. I have some great ladies in my life who will speak truth in love. I don't mean friends who will tell me what I want to hear, but ladies who love me in spite of myself, and will tell me the hard truth if I need it. If you don't have those kinds of friends in your life, pray for the Lord to bring them to you, and when He does, don’t be afraid to ask them to walk this walk with you! (Titus 2:4)
3. Be careful what you allow your mind to focus on. TV, the internet, acquaintances, etc. are all things I watch carefully for myself and my children. The Bible is very clear that bad company corrupts good character, and what you take into your heart will eventually come out in your life and words. (Luke 6:45, Proverbs 4:23)
Let’s pray now for hearts and souls that put first things first:
Thank you for loving me, even as a distracted mess some days. I so want to be a believer after Your own heart. Please help me to study Your Word and hide it in my heart. Send me friends who are believers that will speak Truth into my life as they hold me accountable to living a life for You. And help me focus on things that are worthy of You. Help me love my family well and show them who You are. Oh Lord, help me to choose you above all else, so that one day, all will be able to say that I was a believer who put first things first.
In Your Mighty Name,
Design credit: ©SalemDesign
Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mom, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book “Bumper” and blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her through her children and everyday life. She contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has twenty years of experience working with young children. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.
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