Twenty eight years ago I was challenged to try a 28 day experiment. The experiment sounded easy enough–to wake early, read from the Bible, pray and write in a journal. I didn’t know when I started that my world was about to be rocked forever. Reading back through the journal entries, I saw in black in white that God heard my prayers, that Jesus was real, and He cared deeply about me. So early one morning on the third week of the study, all alone in my cozy chair, I prayed to ask Jesus to be Lord of my life.
So, How about You?
That day the Lord gave me a heart to help people know Him better through the discipline of a daily “quiet time.“ God’s Word gives us clear direction about how Jesus found time to meet with His Father during His incredibly busy 33 years here on earth. Some NewSpring leaders have allowed us to see inside their daily moments with the Lord by sharing what they learn from stage. Each met with the Lord through the Bible, a journal, a pen and coffee. Some might think the coffee is optional. I don’t think so.
If you’re new to Bible reading and prayer, designate some time each day during the next month to meet with Jesus. Or if you’ve been following Christ for years, think about changing things up a little to keep your quiet times fresh. The important thing is for you to schedule a time every day that you can stick to. Reading and studying God’s Word early in the morning is incredible for aligning your thoughts and desires with His. Even Jesus rose “[v]ery early in the morning, while it was still dark”. He got up, left the house and went to a solitary place where He prayed” (Mark 1:35). If you connect better later in the day, consider spending at least a few moments before your day begins to meet with the Lord. Invite His plans for your day before the noise of life begins.
Reading God’s Word
There are countless ways to enter God’s presence through reading the Bible. Try reading one chapter from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament and maybe a Proverb that corresponds with the day of the month. More study options can be found at http://newspring.cc/blog/resources. Remember, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). We cannot read the Bible and stay the same.
As you begin your time of prayer, ask the Lord to calm any anxious thoughts so you can hear Him clearly. Getting away from the distraction of emails, cell phones and texts will help. Speak God’s Word from scripture back to Him as it relates to your life: “Lord, thank You for your reminder in Philippians 4:6 that I don’t need to be anxious, but that I should pray and be thankful. I’m grateful that You promise Your peace will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” Find scriptures that resonate with you and pray them. Our God is a kind and loving Father, and what matters to you matters to Him.
Dialog with God
The Lord desires His very best for you. Knowing what His best is takes time–not just time talking to Him but time to be still and listen. Psalm 37:7 commands us to “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” When you have some uninterrupted time, sit quietly with a pen and paper and wait. Then write what you hear during the silence. This sounds like a simple task, but for many of us it is a real challenge. Discipline yourself to set aside a time of stillness before the Lord to hear God speak. He will speak right to your heart.
Today or maybe early tomorrow when you sit with your Bible, journal, pen and coffee, know that the Lord is already there. He wants to meet with you.