Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

Dear heavenly Father, you haven’t made us for a mere “fifteen minutes in the spotlight,” but, rather, for an eternity of glorifying you and enjoying you forever. Yet, Father, these verses in James remind me that our lifespan in this body isn’t very longat all. We’re more like a brief mist than an aging oak. I feel this more than ever, and I’m both sobered and gladdened by the thought.

This being so, how would you have me spend the rest of my “misty moment”? Only you know when I’ll “vanish” from this body. Whether you give me two or twenty more years, I’m at peace. There are times when I easily say with Paul, “Better, by far, to depart to be with the Lord” (Phil. 1:23), and then, a part of me longs for more adventures and opportunities to serve you in this world, before the Day.

So, Father, in light of the gospel, what should I spend more time doing and less time doing? What have I been putting off that really matters to you? With whom do I need to spend more face-to-face and heart-to-heart time?

Who am I still holding hostage by the chains of un-forgiveness and resentment? What am I allowing to bug me that isn’t “bug-worthy”? Where should I invest more of my heart and less of my worries? Where do my schedule and priorities, emotions and spending reflect a greater love for my idols than your kingdom?

Father, I praise you that I’m not going to merit any more of your affection by doing a better job with anyof these things. None of these questions has a scorecard attached to it. I trust in Jesus’ righteousness plus nothing, for my relationship and peace with you. But your grace frees me to ask the right questions that I might live a freer, more intentional life. Father, make my “gospel bucket list” for me. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ matchless and magnificent name.

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3 thoughts on “A Prayer Acknowledging Just How Short Our Lives Are”

  1. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    ‘With whom do I need to spend more face-to-face and heart-to-heart time?’

    That’s an interesting question, indeed.

    I think the most important person with whom we should spend our time is God Himself. Beholding His face while praying will change our hearts completely so that we can get rid of unforgiveness and resentment toward our neighbors.

    This life is not secure and we don’t know how long we really have to go, as you said above – maybe only one day, who knows but God – and many of those around us could leave us earlier than we might imagine. However, our Lord Jesus Christ, He’ll never desert you…and me…eternally.

  2. Joseph Iwaye says:

    “Better, by far, to depart to be with the Lord”.

    Scotty, you are not alone in that dilemma. Sometimes, when my praise and worship gets to the peak, I feel like saying ‘Lord take me away from this evil world, I want to be where you are to behold the beauty of your glory’. But then, I know that the Lord needs me more here on earth to do his work.

    It is my prayer that we shall not die but leave to declare the works of the Lord in Jesus name.

  3. Mary Hurlbut says:

    “What have I been putting off that really matters to You?
    With whom do I need to spend more face-to-face and heart-to-heart time?”
    LORD HELP ME FOLLOW THROUGH with the things and people You put in my heart

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Scotty Smith


Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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