I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 1:14

Dear Lord,

We all desperately want to know that our lives have meaning, that we are making a positive impact on this world and in the lives of those around us. Yet at the same time, we have to concede the point Solomon makes when he asks, “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:3-4). No matter how much we may accomplish on earth, it will one day be left to those who outlive us. Even our lives, however long they may be, are but a mere breath in the history of the world. This is a discouraging thought, Lord. Please give us the proper perspective on the meaning of our lives. Help us humbly acknowledge that our lives are indeed insignificant in the grand context of things, especially in comparison with You. With the psalmist, we wonder, “When I look at your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4) We know that “Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow” (Psalm 144:4). Yet despite this, O Lord, “You have made [man] a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:5-6). You are the one who gives meaning and value to our lives, and it is only through You that we find purpose. After all, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36) Our purpose is to serve You and spread the Gospel, passing along the faith to the next generation and others who do not know You. Help us to see this eternal perspective, Lord, and to store up for ourselves and our children treasures in heaven rather than treasures on earth. When we come to the end of our lives, may we know we have fought the good fight and finished the race and kept the faith, that there will be laid up for us the crown of righteousness in heaven. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Please help me to find meaning in the following areas…

In Your name I pray. Amen.

For a full explanation of this challenge, see the post 12-Minute Prayer Challenge. If you are just joining us, feel free to continue on with us from the current day, or if you prefer, you can go back and start at Day 1.