Looking forward to the three cord prayerI know that many of you are looking forward to the upcoming three cord prayer. At the beginning of every year, the three cord prayer of three members per team blesses us with much answered prayers and strong spiritual energy. One reason that I look forward to this prayer meeting is that during the time period it gives me a chance to present a series of sermons based on the selected book and related to an issue from the beginning to the end with a clear conclusion. Often, a sermon can address an issue in a rather limited fashion. However, during the three cord prayer meeting, an issue can be fully addressed to completion through 10 sermons.
The book for this year is ‘Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Plan for the World’ by Timothy Keller. When I read the introduction of this book I was touched and that is why the book was chosen. In the introduction, the author talks about J.R.R Tolkien, the writer of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. For decades, Tolkien worked on creating several imaginary languages and cultures as well as thousands of years of various national histories. As he worked on the manuscript, where the narrative had divided into a number of subplots, it was an enormous challenge to unfold all these subnarratives clearly and then give each a satisfactory resolution. In addition, he was in his fifties and the 2nd world war had begun. He was in despair of ever completing the work in his lifetime. One morning he work up with a short story in his mind and wrote a piece called ‘Leaf by Niggle.’
Niggle had one picture in particular that he was trying to paint. He had gotten in his mind the picture of a leaf, and then that of a whole tree. And then in his imagination, behind the tree, there were glimpses of a forest. To paint this picture, he started from a leaf. With all his heart and soul, he painted a leaf, but for whatever reason, he could not complete his painting. As a result, he died after he painted only a leaf. In the house of this artist, there was a painting of a single leaf by this painter, however, when he went to Heaven, he saw something that caught his eye. It was the Tree, his Tree, finished and standing before him. Even though the painting was not completed in this world, in Heaven it was given to the artist the completion of his good effort on earth. It was a gift and the artist understood it.
This short story gave me a new idea. We think that we should work hard in this world as Christians. However, we also believe that all our work will disappear without a trace. Therefore, we are encouraged not to invest in the meaningless work of the world but try to work to get our reward in Heaven. Would that be true? Would the work and things we do in this world be meaningless and evaporate without a trace?
During this three cord prayer meeting, we will attempt to establish a Christian point of view regarding work and occupation. We will consider the right way of looking at our work and job, what will be the right attitude at work and how to balance this world and the spiritual side. It is my prayer that many will participate in this year’s three cord prayer, start the new year with prayer and have a chance to establish a true perspective toward work.
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