How many times have we heard the expression, “Get a Life”? And what do we make of it? Don’t work so hard, go to the footy, the cricket, take a holiday, have a night out with the boys - or the girls.
But at the end of the day, the end of the week, the end of the year, what do these give us? A short diversion, a brief escape - just the exchange of one distraction for another.
Surely, Lord, it is only through Jesus that we can know life - real life - true life - life that matters. Who else, but Jesus, can really help us to "Get a Life"?
Lord, if we are more interested in WATCHING neighbours on television than helping those who live next door to us, then forgive us. Help us to get a life by meeting, greeting and caring for those around us. We pray for our neighbours - may they come to us in need and may we be there for them.
Lord, if we are moved more by football, cricket and rugby than we are by the victims of car bombs, gun battles and rockets, then forgive us. Help us to get a life by focusing on the important clashes rather than the entertaining ones. We pray for a peaceful end to the conflicts that rage about us, in Iraq, in the Gaza Strip, in Tonga - everywhere that violence and war daily create more and more suffering.
Lord, we give thanks for those involved in outreach activities, such as the Prison Fellowship, Christian Education in the Schools, and Pex. We don’t always know who these people are - but you do. These are some of the ways in which we can "Get a Life".
Lord, if we cringe at the effects of water restrictions on our gardens, while at least one Australian farmer commits suicide every week, forgive us. Help us to get a life by supporting our rural communities, by demanding better water management, by treating the water we take for granted as a valuable resource rather than a liquid right to flush away without a second thought. We pray for rain, but even more we pray that we might learn to value the precious gifts that you give us, such as water, and to use and manage it with greater care.
Lord, we give thanks to those who work tirelessly for others. Carers for the young, the elderly or the unwell. Giving their time, and their lives to bring a difference into lives that know pain or loneliness, or loss. They truly have "got a life" - following the example of Jesus - we pray for them and those in their care. May they be energized with the Holy Spirit, may they be strengthened by Your love. We pray that we might follow their example, to give of ourselves for others’ benefit.
Lord, if we are obsessed with the latest computers, plasma tv’s, and mobile phones, while thousands of children die each day, forgive us. We pray that we might trade the false god of materialism, with its lifeless desire for faster, better, and newer, for the real life that comes only with the feeding of the starving, the housing of the homeless and nursing of the ill. Help us to "get a life" by giving life in a world where half the people are underfed while the other half are overfed.
Lord, we give thanks for those who smile, for those who pray, for those who drop by for coffee, for those who call us and say hello. We pray that we might "get a life" like these mini-angels, that we might take the few seconds a day it takes to cheer, support, and to bring light into an otherwise dark day.
Lord, may we truly "get a life" - by dedicating even just a little of our busy day to the concern and care for your Creation. We pray that we might get out of our cars and walk sometimes, that we might call for economic groups such as G8, G20 and APEC to put lives before profits, that global warming might be something that we prevented rather than something that our children must live through. We pray that we might be active pastoral partners, for everyone that we meet. That we might bring Jesus into the lives of all our friends and associates. Rather than become obsessed with veils, or beards, or coloured robes or kippahs, may we "get a life" and tolerate the differences in people. Rather than judging others by their appearance, may we learn to reach into each others hearts and touch the goodness there.
Lord, if we are proud to be Australian, yet choose to ignore our indigenous brothers and sisters who live in poverty while we recline in luxury, forgive us. We pray for our indigenous children, who are twice as likely to die in infancy, for our indigenous unemployed who are over three times less likely to get a job than we proud Australians. We pray for our indigenous population whose lives are being destroyed by alcohol, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Help them to "Get a life" by filling them with the Holy Spirit, and by moving us to support their transition from problem to brother. Just as we are all part of the problem that has destroyed their culture and their lives, so too we must recognise that we are all part of the solution. We pray that in we might "Get a life" by playing our part in the reconciliation process.
And finally, Lord, we pray that we might live out our commitment to Jesus in our own lives, by worshiping You, by giving, loving and caring for others.
May we "get a life" in Jesus.