A Prayer for Lunch Time

A Prayer for Lunch Time

I was reading from Reaching the Unreached by Peyton Jones this morning. You’ve heard me talking about this book a lot, and I highly suggest you get it right now. 

As he was reflecting on Matthew 9:38, he asked a question that rattled in my soul: do you have compassion for the lost? Do you know how they feel? Or what they feel? Do you remember what it was like to be lost and feel that way?

Christians take great comfort in Psalm 23 because Psalm 23 reminds Christians again and again that they indeed are not lost: we indeed are not lost. Jones makes a brilliant move in Reaching the Unreached. He takes Psalm 23 and inverts each line to reflect the thoughts and feelings of the unreached.

As you fast on our 3rd Wednesday Fastday, reflect on these words taken from his book. Ask God to give you the compassion that He feels for the lost, and the compassion that He felt for you when He decided to make you his own. When you look at your co-workers after you come back from lunch, picture them thinking these thoughts, and let that motivate you to share the hope of Christ with them.

The Lord is my shepherd…

I’m on my own. Nobody cares for me, and nobody is looking out for me. When I fall, I have nobody to pick me up.

I lack nothing…

I can’t keep up with the competing voices clamoring for my attention, demanding to be satisfied. Nothing satisfies no matter how much I spend or buy. I still feel empty. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures…

It’s never enough. I fear about tomorrow, like there won’t be enough for me or my kids. Eventually, everything and everyone fails me. I’ve never known the feeling of abundance and contentment.

Beside quiet waters…

I’m restless. I would lie down if I felt safe. The times and society keep rushing by me and I have no peace. 

He refreshes my soul…

I don’t believe in a soul. I’m a highly evolved animal. My animal instincts wear me out, and I feel like a slave to my passions as I indulge their every whim. I can never satisfy my animal appetites. 

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake

I do whatever feels right to me at the time, but why then do I always end up eventually feeling bad? Nobody else can tell me what’s right to do–it’s my life–but sometimes, I wish they would, and I’d follow if I knew they were right. Nobody seems to have the secret, though; we’re all blindly groping along. 

Though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil…

In life, crap happens. I just hope it doesn’t happen to me. If it does, I’ll probably have a nervous breakdown or need to get on stronger antidepressants, but I can’t think about that right now. I could use a drink right now.

For you are with me…

I’d like to think that when the dark times come, my friends will stick by me, but they never have. I wouldn’t stick by them either; it reminds me of my own mortality. Where’s that drink?

Your rod and staff, they comfort me…

The only comfort I have is that I have tried my best, but mostly, I’m pissed off. Life is unfair. Why did this happen to me. If there is a God, he must hate me. I hate him for doing this to me. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…

I’d like to tell my enemies how I feel before my time comes. Give them a piece of my mind, or at least get them back. But I’ve never been able to tell my enemies off. I’ve always been paralyzed by fear. Even with nothing to lose, I’m still a coward.

You anoint my head with oil…

How’s my hair? Better to look good even if I don’t feel good. I need to go to the gym and get one of those hot mom bods. At lease people can still think I’m hot. At least there’s that.

My cup overflows…

My cup is empty. My whole life has been a waste. Eat up and drink it down because tomorrow we’ll all be food for worms.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…

My life has been a goat rodeo of pain and regret. Maybe checking out early will save me more of the same. I’d just always hoped it might get better so I kept going.

And I dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

If God is there when I get to heaven, I’m gonna flip him off and cuss him out for everything that’s so jacked up with this world, and tell him that’s why I don’t believe in him. If he were real, he wouldn’t have to play like a make-believe Santa Claus that nobody ever sees because he’s up in his North Pole Heaven, checking to see who’s naughty or nice. Like most children who grow up, I stopped believing in Santa long ago. It’s his problem, not mine…but…I want it to be real. It’s a nice thought. I just wouldn’t have let people suffer if I were God. If God were ever willing to get off his high horse and come down here for a few minutes, he’d know how hard we have it. If he were willing to suffer through what we do, he might act differently. That would be a God I could believe in. 

In response to that last bit, there is only one word in the form of a name that answers every objection in that reverse Psalm.

Jesus.

And we may not have all of the answers, but we do have the only one.

Have a great day of prayer and fasting, Harvest. Ask for the compassion that Christ had for the crowds. Go out into the field. Accept your mission of being sent, and go.

You are loved.

Go and tell someone else that they are, too.

By | 2018-06-01T01:37:05+00:00 November 8th, 2017|

About the Author:

Brandon is the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel Rochester, NY. He and Shannon have been married since 2004, and have been blessed with 4 incredibly high energy children.