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Don’t Rush to Finish your “To Do List”

It happens to most of us every day: we don’t finish all that we set out to accomplish for that day. Often we have more work, projects, errands, people to meet, or ministry to do then there is time. Or we schedule our day without margin. So we hurry! hurry!! hurry!!!

We’ve found that pastors and other ministry leaders are especially prone to hurry. Their ministry never ends. There are more and more people to help, programs to plan and lead, events to attend, funds to raise.

But hurry is not the answer!


Hurry is not just moving fast, it’s also an attitude of pressuring yourself to do more in less time. When you’re rushing you’re believing that what you are trying to accomplish is more important than anything else — including the people around you and the Lord in your midst.

Hurry is rooted in pride.

Did you ever notice that Jesus was never in a hurry?

Hurry Hurts

Hurry is the enemy of our souls. When we hurry we’re not enjoying the moment, we’re not likely to be patient and kind with people, and we rarely hear God’s voice.

Furthermore, hurry damages our bodies. Have you ever heard of “hurry sickness”? Doctors have found it relates to heart disease and other diseases. People who live in a hurry are likely to develop adrenaline dependence and although it feels great to be keyed up all the time it is also is very damaging to our health.

A Prayer from Psalm 37

Praying my “Do Not Hurry Prayer” from Psalm 37 has helped me to slow down, refocus on the Lord with me, and adjust my attitude. The mindset of David in this prayer is the antidote for hurry! (To learn more about this read my short article, “Negative Emotions.”)

So I’ve memorized this prayer.  I’ve spent hours meditating on it. It’s one of the things that has helped me, little-by-little, over time, to live at a more relaxed pace, stay within my limitations, and submit to my Sovereign Lord in all things. (Being “Type A” by nature I’m still learning!)

What peace it brings to feed on the heavenly manna in Psalm 37! I invite you to pray with me:

Do not hurry…
Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
Trust in him and he will do this: he will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
Do not hurry… Do not hurry.
(Psalm 37:1-8, NIV 1984; I replaced “fret” with “hurry”).

Were you able to pray from your heart? I hope you didn’t hurry through the prayer — that’s easy to do when you’re on your computer or smart phone. Perhaps you need to take this prayer with you to a quiet place for awhile?

More Unhurried Soul Shepherding

Praying Psalm 37 can be powerfully transformational to help you overcome hurry or other emotional struggles. I explain this in “Negative Emotions,” one of my most requested articles which I have freshly updated.

My new book, You Can Live in Jesus’ Easy Yoke, is all about helping you to live in the peace of Christ. It is full of insights and simple, refreshing prayers from Scripture.


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