Years ago, my friend Charlie introduced me to the concept of “plundering the Egyptians.” It comes from when Israel was to finally leave Egypt, and they simply asked for all of Egypt’s stuff on the way out. The people of Egypt, decimated by the various plagues, gave them gold, silver and clothing because they had found favor in the eyes of the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35, 36).
Anyway, Charlie’s point was that we can get good stuff from those who don’t know the Lord, and today I ran across something that might help you in prayer. It’s a concept from the comedian Jerry Seinfeld that has apparently helped him be productive through the years, and it’s simple. You can read all about it here, but I’ll sum up the basic idea: Decide you’re going to do something, even a small thing, every day, and when you accomplish it, put an X on the calendar. Take a look…
It’s more commonly known as “Don’t Break the Chain,” and the concept is simple: spend some amount of time doing a desired activity every day and, when you do, cross off that day on a calendar. This creates a chain of Xs showing your progress. If you don’t do your specified task on one day, you don’t get an X and that chain is broken. It seems almost too simple to work, but it’s allowed me to accomplish so much more than I ever thought possible.
If you don’t do it, you don’t get an X. That’s your “punishment.” I feel somewhat compelled to introduce a warning: Don’t let an open day produce guilt – disappointment, yes – guilt, no. Remember that missing exercise or your time in the Bible or prayer after doing any one of these things consistently for 45 days could make you feel like you need to confess. Don’t do it. The Bible is our guide, not a man-made exercise plan or anything else. There is no law in the Bible that says you must have a 15 minute Bible or prayer time every day.
But we need to do battle with the flesh which resists the Spirit, and this might just help in that every day struggle. Try it out, and consider doing it in the most important aspect of your day – your time with the Lord in prayer.