Learn to Pause and Pray Before Adding to Your Schedule

“It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows.”

Proverbs 20:25 (NIV)

Sometimes life seems to surge ahead at a breakneck speed—and it can be hard to know how to slow it down. One way you can slow your life down to a more manageable level is this: Learn to pause and pray before making a decision.

Proverbs 20:25 says, “It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows” (NIV).

What is God saying in this verse? He’s telling you to ponder before promising. Deliberate before deciding. Muse before you choose. Reflect before you select.

In other words, pause and pray before adding to your schedule. Consider your commitments prayerfully and carefully. That will slow your life down.

I’ve had to learn this truth the hard way: You can’t keep adding commitments to your schedule without eliminating other things. Every time you add a new activity to your calendar, you need to take something else off.

One of my mentors, Peter Drucker, used to say to me, “Don’t tell me what new thing you’re doing. Tell me what you’ve stopped doing.” The mark of leadership is knowing what to stop and what to cut out. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, you’re not as bright as you think you are. In fact, you’re going to burn out!

Do you have a hard time cutting out activities from your schedule? Next time you’re faced with an opportunity, take time to do these three things:

1. Ask, “Is it worth it?” Is it worth your time, energy, effort, reputation, or money? 

2. Ask, “What am I going to give up?” Consider the cost.

3. Learn to say “no.” It’s the greatest time-saver in life!

God didn’t create you with the capacity to sustain faster and faster speeds with an increasingly packed schedule. So next time you’re faced with a possible addition to your calendar, stop to pause and pray.

Talk It Over

  • Why is it so difficult to say “no” to new opportunities?
  • How can you help young people in your life learn to prayerfully reflect and consider before adding to their schedules?
  • What new things have you added to your schedule in the last month? What things can you remove from your schedule to create margin in your life?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.