Numbering Our Days

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Prayer Requests at 10:53 pm by Al

A very simple prayer request: How to prioritize? In other words, ask the Lord to give me eyes to see and ears to hear what he wants me to do with the time that is left, time of which he alone knows the amount. And then to give me a heart filled with his spirit to strengthen me for the tasks.

It is clear that top priority is my family. I love spending time with my family. But so many other things can crop up and crowd out time with them. (By the way, by mid-summer, our older children will have moved back to the area–Becky to look for a job after having graduated from college and Alasdair and Lauren to begin studies at Westminster in the fall.)

Westminster and church: making sure that my tasks are being covered in both communities. We are making good headway.

Friends. Here, I am most grateful that I have heard from many people and had time with a number as well (though we have moments when we reach limits of available time).

One area in which I feel the most struggle is sorting out how to handle writing projects. In particular, how to approach two writing projects (book-length) that are at mid-stage–a commentary on the book of Judges and a more popular book on Isaiah (The Gospel According to Isaiah: God with Us.)

So, please pray for wisdom about:

1. Making sure the priorities I mentioned play out in daily life

2. Prioritizing the writing tasks amidst everything else

3. Then, finding the time for them, without compromising family

4. Having a clear mind when I do have the time

Blessings, Al


  1. Meredith said,

    March 30, 2006 at 4:47 am

    Dear Al,

    Since I heard the news you have been on my mind and in my thoughts – many many thoughts, mostly of the ‘this is so wrong’ sort. While I was praying (Psalm 90!) for you yesterday the things you mention on this post were uppermost in my mind: what are the priorities right now? what should they be? how do you do what is needed with the 800-pound gorilla (cancer) in the room? You have been an inspiration and an encouragement from that very first day of beginning Hebrew ten years ago at WTS – and you are still! Your classes were fountains of pearls. Yesterday I was specifically wondering whether you had writing projects ongoing and if you wanted to finish them now. Today I have the answer and will pray for God to give you wisdom with your time.

    You are living these days so powerfully now – I am in awe. It was always obvious that your faith is The Real Thing. From here, your faith now appears as tested, refined and solid gold, luminous, beautiful, and pointing so clearly, so loudly in God’s quiet way to the beauty, the reality of our hope in Jesus Christ. Even through my tears I can see that. It’s overwhelming. God has made you a megaphone for Him. I will be praying that He gives you of His sweetness every day, and of His strength to write what remains.

    blessings in return,

  2. Chi-Yin & Chin-Fei Hsu said,

    March 30, 2006 at 5:44 am

    Dear Professor Groves,

    Your “faith in action” is very encouraging to us. and speak to us a lot. You have drawn us back to focus on “one real need” for our life on earth. It is a very timely reminder for us. Our lives are so often being crowded by many intrusions and trivials that drag us away even unconscienously, until we realize that we have departed so far away from our first love and desire.

    We will remember your “settign priority” prayer requests, and interceed for you.Indeed, we will also pray for ourselves since it is such an essential thing.
    We cannot wait to read both of your writing projects.

    Cheers! The King is with us.

    Love and in prayers
    Chi-Yin and Chin-Fei

  3. Craig Higgins said,

    March 30, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Several times I’ve thought of you guys and how hard it must be to prioritize wisely. I will keep praying for patience and wisdom–and for joy.


  4. Tara Megill said,

    March 30, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Prof. Groves,

    I really identify with this prayer request and have been praying about this for you the past few weeks. I’m glad Becky could be with you during her break.

    I’m continuing to pray that you’ll be able to focus devotionally amidst the pain.

    Grace to you,

  5. Flavien Pardigon said,

    March 30, 2006 at 7:23 pm

    Dear Al and Libbie and children,

    It is with great sadness that we heard the news of your ordeal. We are thankful to see so many surrounding you with their love, care, wisdom and prayers. The Lord has clearly not left your family alone in the valley of the shadow of death.

    We just found out about your blog and have caught up with what is going on. We’ll check it regularly to know how we can pray for you in a timely manner. Thank you for humbly opening your lives and hearts to us, and letting us behold the Lord’s glorious work in them.

    We wish we had some grand and profound wisdom to share with you, or some invincible encouragement. But we don’t. All we know is that if we suffer in/with Christ, we will be raised again in/with Him and share in His eternal and unfading inheritance of praise, honor and glory (1 Peter). And we know for certain that you all are one with Him by the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the One who is “the power of the age to come” be your Comforter and hope.

    We keep you all in our hearts and prayers. Love in Him who is pure Love,

    Flavien (for all the Pardigons).

  6. David Chen said,

    March 30, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    Dear Prof Al,

    Funny that I’m preparing for my sunday school lesson to my lads, and my topic for this sunday is “Priorities”, and then I read your post here…

    Initially I found myself screaming inside me that said, “The books! Finish the Judges and Isaiah books!” Then I realized how selfish I was. Here is a man that’s struggling with priorities, and I’m being selfish for my own personal gains. I’m more interested in Al’s books then Al himself. Shame on me. Will Al Groves be the final authority on these sacred words? Will Al be the final person that has secret knowledge of these books that no one knows about? Will God not rise up others to finish the task? Will not one student who have taken Al’s class not pick up his methodology and theological insights in these books?

    I can’t possibly put myself in your shoes, and can’t possibly imagine what will be my priorities if I’m in the same situation. However, after self-reflection and prayer to Christ I realized that I would ask myself two questions: 1) What would people that are closest to me want to do with me? (i.e. I would ask Aliece what would SHE want to do with me with the times that’s left), 2) How can I glorify God at the same time?

    As I put together my own sunday lesson on “Priority” I came to this conclusion for my lads: having priorities is NOT about the most efficient way to accomplish different personal achievements. Rather “priority” is about Love God, Love our neighbors. Those are our priorities – and all personal activities flows from these fundamental priorities in my life. I love my wife because I love God, and I want her to grow in Christ with my presence, she is one of my top priority because of my love for God.

    In Christ,
    David Chen

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